Costco Connection® - January 2019

Decorating Your Dining Table

Designing tablescapes and simple centerpieces for year-round use

BY RANDY ALTIG
PHOTOGRAPH BY COSTCO PHOTO STUDIO

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When it comes to changing and designing spaces within your home, the recipe for success throughout the year lies in striking a balance between form and function, creating a fresh new look that is easy to adapt to the seasons or your needs. My designs always include a dining table: a central gathering point for family and friends.

Decorating your dining table while keeping it functional is a consideration not to be overlooked, especially when it comes to centerpieces. (See the callouts for my specific tips.)

Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing a layout for a table and chairs. Chair cushions are not set in stone; it’s only fabric, and changing it to match your seasonal décor is very easy. Slipcovers are another way to impart transitional style to any dining table chair. (I recommend staying with neutral tones, such as ecru, cream, linen or white.) Doing this will ensure they complement the main performer in the room, your table.

Multipurpose pieces combined with tried-and-true design tips will always bring the best results, ensuring a usability and design aesthetic that will work for years to come, no matter what trends or fashions are in style.

  1. When picking the focal point for your centerpiece, such as a bowl, basket, vase or old-fashioned bread trough, make sure to copy the lines of the table for optimal usability and visual appeal—square on square, round on round, rectangle on rectangle. Finished centerpieces and tablescapes should never be more than 12 to 14 inches high. This will ensure your tabletop can remain decorated without any part of it having to be moved for conversation.

  2. Electric pillar candles can make a beautiful yet strong statement within a grouping. Try wrapping them with twine or ribbon and accenting them with sprigs of ivy or flowers.

  3. A low-profi le bowl with floating candles or flowers, a mixed bouquet of flowers cut short in an interesting vase or a bit of greenery and seasonal fruit are good design elements that can be interchanged throughout the year.

  4. Votive candles placed in glass jars and casually sprinkled across the table create a harmonic symphony of dancing light during an evening meal. When deciding on candles, choose fragrance-free varieties so they don’t compete with the wonderful aromas of the meal.

You can do it!

For the arrangement shown above, I created a base with a wooden bread trough (traditionally used for kneading dough) to blend the visual weight of the table with the centerpiece while staying true to form for a tablescape on a rectangular table.  Pick colors and textures that evoke your overall theme. I recommend no more than four colors plus an accent; remember that sometimes less is more. To accomplish this I chose citrus yellow, green-blue, green-gray and cream. My accent was blush rose pink.

For the arrangement shown above, I created a base with a wooden bread trough (traditionally used for kneading dough) to blend the visual weight of the table with the centerpiece while staying true to form for a tablescape on a rectangular table.

Pick colors and textures that evoke your overall theme. I recommend no more than four colors plus an accent; remember that sometimes less is more. To accomplish this I chose citrus yellow, green-blue, green-gray and cream. My accent was blush rose pink.

Designer tips:

  • Attach glass candle votives to the bread trough with museum putty, which holds and secures them in place.

  • Establishing a base of faux flowers and plants, and building on them with the real thing, will give you a much broader selection for your arrangement any time of the year.—RA

Randy Altig is an Emmy-nominated television host, author, designer and lifestyle architect (MaximumLiving.live, Instagram @maximumliving).


 
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