This July 6, 2011 photo provided by Dean Fosdick taken at the Biltmore Estate near Asheville, N.C., shows a dining room table set for a dinner party. It integrates a huge floral centerpiece with a number of accessories including glassware, tableware and antique lamps. Tablescaping is a feast for the eyes and brings nature into the dining room. (Dean Fosdick via AP)
This April 25, 2017 photo taken at the Comforts of Whidbey vineyard near Langley, Wash., shows a tablescaping model that integrates
natural elements with dinnerware, drinkware and other accessories. Adding fresh flowers to the table is all about presentation
— and good taste. (Dean Fosdick via AP)
By Dean Fosdick
The Associated Press
Tablescaping is an art form that brings nature into the dining room, providing a feast for the eyes. You can cut your own garden flowers and greenery to make a centerpiece for your table — and then keep on getting creative.
“Adding nature to your table will enliven your guests' experience as they take their place for a meal,” said Tobey Nelson, owner of Tobey Nelson Events and Design in Clinton, Washington. “A table that is embellished with beautiful natural elements can turn a pleasant dinner into a special occasion.”
“Add a few stems of lovely greenery such as ferns or hosta to smaller vases along or around the table,” she suggested. “Place a sprig of an herb such as rosemary or a blossom on a napkin or plate to bring your tablescape alive.”
Maybe you have small pots of succulents or herbs on your patio? Incorporate them too, Nelson said.
“Sometimes a creative idea for the garden works nicely on a table setting, too. Think sweet little teacups planted with succulents, or small terra cotta pots with little herb plants,” she said. “These work well to beautify your table and make cute patio decorations through the summer — or great little gifts for your guests.”
No need to relegate cutting flowers to their own patch in the garden, she continued.
“Weave them into your landscape. Plant a few cosmos between shrubs,” she said. “Peonies, a popular garden plant, are great as cut flowers, and their foliage is beautiful in a vase. Lots of vines are great in arrangements.”
Tablescaping with plants from your own garden adds a personal touch to the dining experience.
“A lot of times you can personalize by using native flowers that emphasize the area in which you live,” said Kaleb Norman James, who owns a wedding and floral design company in Kirkland, Washington. “Or something that a bride and bridegroom can display at their wedding dinner that they're proud of — flowers that tie in to who they are, where they've been or what they've done.”
Even the smallest details count.
“I love to look into the elements that may be overlooked,” James said. Rarely does he use a plain white napkin, for instance: “Look for color or patterns or some type of decorative element like a flower.”
Tablescaping is more than a floral centerpiece, he said. “It's tying in a lot of different pieces. The flatware, glassware, linens, table numbers and place cards that fit a theme.
“Try to add some additional custom things on top of that,” James said. “Fruit or something depicting the season. Little trays with grapes flowing onto the table. Or berries in silver compotes or bowls.”
In winter, add candles, geodes and crystals for a glamorous touch, he said.