– What is tablescaping? –
Even with dinner parties being so popular, table setting seems to be a lost art these days. I’m not talking about the which-fork-goes-where kind of table setting, but rather a whole process of thinking, being creative, and designing a mood to be shared on a flat surface. What the hell am I blathering about? Read on, because tablescaping is a whole lot more than just decorating a table. <cue epic saga movie soundtrack>
What is tablescaping?
What exactly is a tablescape, you might ask? A quick search of the internet gives several vague definitions:
- An artistic arrangement of articles on a table.
- Designing a surface with the use decorative objects.
- An arrangement of items gathered into a grouping and placed on top of the table.
- Table arrangements or centerpieces that showcase or highlight a specific object or collection.
Ugh. None of those definitions give me warm fuzzies. Let’s officially set a new definition for when someone ask what a tablescape is:
Tablescaping is the act of creatively and intentionally arranging a tabletop so that it conveys a specific theme, mood, or experience.
Basically, any tabletop you decorate is technically a tablescape. You can create tablescapes on a coffee table, bookshelf, fireplace mantle, or bedroom dresser. In theory, those huge platform decorations you see at the mall during the holidays are tablescapes on a grand scale. But since this is a food-related site, we’re going to be concentrating on the dining room table or thereabouts.
I’ve got a Pinterest board setup with table decor and tablescapes for dinner parties. Lots of good stuff on there!
I’ve also got details on how to setup a gorgeous rustic Christmas table, using stuff you’ve already got around the house, to a pretty Thanksgiving tablescape with super cheap stuff from random stores.
Some folks get so caught up in cooking that they forget about the setting the table, while others get so stressed about table decor that the food is an afterthought. For the record, I personally believe that food is always the most important part of the equation — people will never look back at dinner and think, “The lasagna was awful, but her table looked ah-mazing!”
That said, prioritizing good food doesn’t mean you can’t spend a little time and effort making your table look nice. You can put together a surprisingly smart, attractive table with even the smallest budget if you give it a little forethought, and in many cases you can use objects you’ve already got around the house.
If you want more details, tips, and tutorials on table decorating, check out the post category on table setting and tablescaping.