Table trends – 3 colour-led ideas to steal

It’s that looked-forward-to time of year when the act of entertaining enters our lives with fuller force. November, for our friends in the US, is all about Thanksgiving but even if you don’t celebrate that tradition it does herald the beginning of several month’s worth of dinners at home with friends and family. Dinners where the cloth napkins and flower arrangements can be pulled out, the candles are lit and we’re all generally encouraged to notch our effort levels up a bit. This can amplify anxiety levels in the process, but – ever here to help – we’ve got some snazzy ideas for setting a great looking table that may allow you to relax some of your cooking aspirations. Surely. Here are three looks for you to consider…

Look 1: Soothing all-white

Table linen from Society Limonta

The above table linen is from the beautiful Society Limonta, but if you’ve got one of your Grandmother’s lace tablecloths in your cupboard, that will work just as well. Simplicity at its best, this look is quiet, peaceful, seasonal-looking and will work in pretty much any home – maybe a bit less so in a maximalist one. The details (clockwise from top left):

  • For a floral arrangement go for either all-white flowers in a simple vase or consider a greens-only Terrarium.
  • Choose plain white crockery and if you are of the mind to add a few more pieces to your collection, try and find some decorative ceramics such as those by (high-end) Astier de Villatte (above right) or this scalloped collection by Zara Home.
  • One great jug nestled amongst our plain white everyday crockery is a good way to add pizazz without starting from scratch – we like this Max Lamb / 1882 Ltd piece, sold here.
  • Interesting glassware will make the whole shebang look very expensive – head for something by Michael Ruh (above left) if you can or keep an eye out for interesting shapes in your local charity shops and car boot fairs.
  • How radical are you when it comes to committing to one tone? You could take a leaf out of Marije Vogelzang‘s book (below) and serve and all-white meal on top of your monochrome table.

Look 2: Modern Rustic

Table linen in a host of gorgeous colours from Larusi

A look for those aiming to live the KinFolk, Hole & Corner type of life. Rustic modern is all about earthy tableware made by an artisan in a shed. Hand thrown crockery, un-ironed linen tablecloths and napkins, rough chopping blocks and horn serving spoons all fit the bill.  Think a rusty autumnal palette of browns and burnt oranges. The details:

  • Photographer and artist Martyn Thomson filled giant urns with foraged foliage in autumn oranges (above top left) for his exhibition at London Design Festival in September. This idea would work well as a table centrepiece or as a side show on a fireplace or coffee table and best of all you can probably forage all the foliage on a country walk.
  •  This blown glassware (top right) by Jochen Holz is a beautiful blend of clear and coloured glass – the collection also includes striking coloured jugs.
  • Ceramicist Rebecca Proctor of Modern Craft Workshop creates a host of crockery all in gorgeous moody hues that look designed to be placed on linen cloth (bottom right).
  • Steal this simple serving idea from The New Craftsmen and fill your old jars and glasses with condiments – add bone serving spoons if you can (bottom left).
  • Ilse Crawford recently launched amongst a complete furniture collection, some wonderful hand chiselled serving trays. Add a couple of root veg on top, place in the centre of your table and you’re away.

A new collection by Isle Crawford made by artisans in Bosnia launched at London Design Festival 2017

Look 3: Pattern mash-up

Granby Workshop presented their tableware in a clash of pattern at September’s London Design Festival

Liverpool’s Granby Workshop recently launched their Splatware crockery collection, which is made by squishing different coloured clays together. They presented it on a cheerfully busy dining table where the pattern was thrown together with what felt like a similar process in mind. Think more is more for this pattern-clash look. Whatever you bring to it, it will probably work, though if you want a guideline for success pick a point of continuity, be it sticking to one or two colours or a single pattern type. The details:

  • Nathalie Lette is the queen of surreal tableware, check out her crockery as well as her wonderful tablecloths.
  • More splattered crockery comes from this enamel collection that has been spotted in many a tastemaker’s home.
  • Gorgeous stripes in calm colours with tumblers from Momosan.
  • A The Chromologist favourite, John Booth makes illustrative vases for flowers – they work just as well without.
  • Try an overhead floral display for this sort of busy table – Take a workshop with The Flower Appreciation Society if you want to learn how to make one of their Autumnal hanging planks (below left) or go to Confetti System for a paper garland branch (below right).

Header image: Country Living

Jill Macnair


Jill Macnair has worked as an interiors journalist for 13 years, contributing to titles including Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She set up cult interiors blog My Friend’s House in 2009 with Ros Anderson and continues to run the forum daily.

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