© 2016 BOURBON & BLOOM

  • Cait O'Malley

Tips for Designing the Perfect Tablescape



If you are getting ready to host a special occasion like a wedding or even a dinner party, then you have likely been pouring over Pinterest for countless hours to get inspiration. As a wedding planner and a designer, I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. It can be an incredible tool for finding inspiration and establishing your vision, but it can also create a false sense of attainability for the budget-conscious. Many of the inspiration photos you see of tablescapes are robust and prodigious which typically means the costs are quite high. As wedding planners, we often design abundant tablescapes as part of bridal styled shoots. The inspirations are glorious, but for a real wedding, the flowers alone for that one table are often a few thousand dollars.

Unfortunately, most people are restricted by a much more modest budget when it comes to their design, so today I wanted to show you how to create a stunning tablescape with budget friendly items found exclusively at HomeSense Canada.

Theme: I was going for a French meets Kate Spade inspiration for this particular ‘scape.

Colours: Winter was winding down and everyone was getting excited for Spring, so I drew my colour inspiration from bold, fresh blooms, contrasted with stark white and metallics.

Elements: All of the elements on the table, save for the floral arrangements, are from HomeSense. I mix and matched white polka dot dinner plates from one set with black salad plates from another set and gold speckled saucers from a third set. Each set has its own unique features from the colours and patterns down to the shapes and edging, but paired together they make a beautiful connection. The plates ranged from $2.99 – $5.99.


Two big trends that have been gaining momentum recently are mixed metals, and metallic blacks. I incorporated both trends, using black stainless steel flatware, contrasted against the gold details in some of the plates and the candlesticks, against the silver of the antique-looking stemware. The flatware was priced very reasonably at $39.99 for a set of four. However, the stemware was a bit of a splurge at $9.99 each.



The linens created a perfect neutral, yet stark bright base to build everything on top of, with a subtle stitched rose pattern to soften and blend everything together. The table linen was $24.99 and the napkins were $16.99.


Finally, the vessels for the floral arrangements were once again mix and matched for a unique look. The detailing included gloss and matte textures, as well as variations of white black and gold. The vases ranged from $10.99 to $15.99.


The florals help bring in those bold punches of colour, softening the look of the intense white and black, while adding some beautiful splashes of Spring vibrancy. Because I was able to find budget friendly table elements, I was able to splurge a bit on my arrangements. The centerpieces range from $65 to $80 each and were actually made in-house by Bourbon & Bloom.


Protips for designing a beautiful tablescape:

Dimension – When it comes to designing a properly filled out table, you want to think about levels, layering and depth. Start with your focal point, perhaps a floral arrangement or a tiered cake, and build in other elements around it. Use elements of different heights, shapes and sizes, and spread them throughout the width and length of the entire table rather than keeping things in a uniform line.

Mix and match – Rather than stick with tableware sets, try mix and matching different patterns, colours and materials together for a truly unique look. When it comes to mix and matching, be mindful that moderation is key. Start with neutral bases, like linens, and build in varying tabletop accessories that are different but complimentary to each other and the overall look you are trying to achieve.

Colours – Create a colour scheme to help guide you in your hunt for the perfect elements. Colour schemes are often built around seasons or themes so think about what kind of vision or feelings you are trying to elicit and go from there. Make sure to blend colours and use accents strategically so that the eye flows over the entire table rather than being overwhelmed by each individual element.

Functionality – When choosing elements, make sure they are actually functional in addition to being beautiful. Charger plates make for an elegant addition to any table, but if you are placing your dinner plates on top of them for the meal, make sure your guests can easily use their utensils against the dinner plate without causing it to slip around on the charge. It’s important to be realistic about your items as well, keeping in mind that linens may be stained or that flatware may dull.

Photo Credits: Photography by Emma

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