Setting a Great Table
Q: How Do I Set a Great Table?
In this Fast Food and Restaurant Era, we often neglect the importance of sitting down to a meal at home or doing a little entertaining around a prepared or take-out meal. Bottom line: you need nights at home where you go all out for yourself, for your significant other, for your family, or for your friends. Our dynamic design duo's advice and tips in this episode cover how to set a great table, bringing scale and drama into your arrangements, adding surprise and humor and fantasy to your meals, ways to mix and match the same elements to switch from formal to informal table settings, how Marie Antoinette's breasts inspired glassware, and Irwin's chocolate ice cream dessert project (yum!).
More Tops in Tabletop
The Design2Share editors have been looking at some of the many great looks for dining and entertaining, and we'd like to share some recommendations with you. We'll start with decoupage artist John Derian, whose hot tabletop line, from trays to cake display domes, will add a fab punch to your festivities (see photos below).
Design icon Eva Zeisel, arguably the most influential person working in pottery today, has her Classic Century dining line reintroduced by Crate & Barrel (below). This is the way to set an incredible table, with pottery that is pure and sensual at the same time.
Notable Newcomers for Your Table
Goodbye to the old days of slapping food on paper plates! There were amazing, beautifully designed tabletop and serving accessories at the recent New York International Gift Fair in NYC.
It would be cushy to start out each morning with breakfast in bed, right? Well, BYWHITE Design has created Le Petit Dej Breakfast Tray, available in yellow, white, and red acrylic. Your meal arrives on the tray, complete with a built-in fresh flower holder!
We were impressed with the Scandinavian cutlery company Gense and their 150-year-old reputation for high quality tabletop products. Their stainless steel casual cutlery line is formidable, and we were particularly drawn to the spritely, award-winning Appetize Appetizer Set, inspired by the open face of the Japanese tea leaf (see first photo below). And look at the second photo below -- their Amuze Tapas Set, a half-ball of stainless steel covered with enough picks to feed an army of nibblers!
The Four Seasons Design Group has crafted a beautiful nature-inspired line of tabletop accessories called Table Art, and we were very much drawn to their Bamboo Basket (see top photo), Asaragus Salad Set (first photo below), and Gingko Dish (second photo below). Their entire line is worth exploring as they use everything from oak leaves to coffee beans as inspiration for their imaginative collection.
DESU Design made a strong presence at the Gift Fair with their line of innovative tabletop products that blurred the boundary between art and design. Their admirable goal is to create pieces of lasting quality, retaining their beauty and functionality for generations. We were drawn to a pair of striking white servers, the two-pocketed Lithos and the flat, ridged Taru (see first photo below). Also beautiful and functional is their Masu Serving Tray, a long serving surface with a well perfect for soy sauce to accompany a sushi spread or olive oil with freshly-baked sliced bread.
The amazing trays from Ibride, part of the high-quality line of products distributed by Keena, are high-pressure laminated images over pressed wood and paperboard. The result is unlike anything else on the market, with trays that can be . . . yes, used as trays . . . as well as simply hung on the wall as art. We love the romantic and Gothic flair of these trays and their striking images.