Setting A Table With Personality

Give your table personality. Source patterned pieces from antique and thrift stores and play with textiles to spruce up your space.

Photo by Rachel Benavides

I’m a firm believer in mixing patterns whenever possible, and this extends especially to table settings. No matter what your interior design taste might be, a tablescape is the quickest and easiest way to inject playfulness and pattern into your home, and to experiment with colors and prints that might otherwise be daunting. Stripes, paisleys, bold colors and graphic patterns — anything goes when you are setting a table, and in today’s style climate, more is definitely more.

As always, I find that vintage dishes are the cheapest way to play with this trend, especially if bold colors and patterns are something new for you. Paired with patterned table textiles, colorful or unique cutlery and jewel-tone glassware, you have an easy, eye-catching table perfect for spring and summer entertaining.

Photo by Rachel Benavides

All Mixed Up

Vintage plates are plentiful! Sets are easy to source at vintage and thrift stores, in a plethora of patterns and colors. Don’t worry about finding an entire place setting — this is where mixing comes in. Find a set of dinner plates, and mix in another set of salad plates or soup bowls.

If mixing patterns seems daunting, start by finding two that have something in common. Disparate patterns in the same color tones are a great match, or maybe use similar patterns in wildly different colors.

Don’t forget the textiles! Tablecloths, placemats and napkins are having a bit of a moment right now, and they make a great way to play with pattern and color.

No need to be formal. While table setting might make some people think of fancy dinner parties, today’s table styling is all about having fun. Don’t worry about where your bread plate sits or which cutlery goes where — create place settings that work for you!

Get the Look: Placemat, Lisa Corti, hand-painted blue ceramic bowl and Pomelo Ceramics from Lady Captain; Plates, Cutlery, Vintage from the author’s collection