Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.
Issue link: http://spiritofwomen.epubxp.com/i/766272
27 SHUTTERSTOCK and napkin rings to develop an overall theme, such as a holiday, season or event. "It's a temporary form of decorating for your table that doesn't have to match anything else in your house," Saavedra says. CELEBRATE WITH STYLE You can create tablescapes for any occasion, such as the coming of spring, or just to give your party a personal touch. Saavedra, for example, recently hosted a dinner get-together for some friends who had returned from spending a month in France. To honor her guests, Saavedra created a French- themed tablescape by filling four small, clear glass cube vases with marbles and large sunflowers, the stems of which she trimmed. She then arranged the flowers in the middle of her dining room table. To complete the look, she added props as a backdrop—a bottle of champagne, a hardcover book about the French artist Henri Matisse, sprigs of fresh lavender and a croquet square that her guests had previously given her. The tablescape looked like she had spent hours on it, "but it took no time to create," Saavedra says. Here are some tablescaping tips that can help make your dinner parties and other special events extra inviting and memorable for your guests. Start with a tablecloth and runner To help your tablescape centerpiece look organized, use a tablecloth and a table runner as your canvas and build from there. "A runner gives everything in your tablescape a boundary," Saavedra says. Think in layers Consider adding placemats and chargers—those decorative plates that go under the dinner plate just for show. The more layers you add, the more luxurious your tablescape will seem. Feel free to use chargers of different colors or styles, such as slabs of wood. "For a music-themed birthday party," says Saavedra, "I used large 78 RPM records as chargers," which she found on a thrift store outing. Careful use of color is key The use of color can add interest and richness to your tablescape, but it can also be overwhelming. To play it safe, "pick three colors—two main colors and an accent color to work with," Saavedra says. Incorporate your color scheme into all of your linens and objects. "Bring the color from your centerpiece into the napkins," Saavedra says. Group interesting objects Gather items for your tablescape centerpiece that build on your tablescape's identity. For a spring theme, for example, Saavedra often will arrange large and small ceramic Easter bunnies, pots of spring flowers, an artificial bird's nest and Easter eggs on her dining room table. For a fall-themed tablescape, she usually displays three to four white and orange pumpkins of roughly the same size in the center of the table, offset with two or three green plants. At Christmas, three or four poinsettias take center stage on her table. Depending on your theme, feel free to scavenge your home for tablescape-worthy artifacts, such as an heirloom bowl, keepsakes from your vacations, photos of you and your guests, something your child has created or seasonal touches, such as flowers or plants that come from your garden. Mix it up Place settings are an important part of your overall tablescape's look and feel. "It's fun to have a variety of dishes," Saavedra says. For a picnic-themed tablescape, for example, you could use white plates with blue or yellow checkerboard rims plus solid red, blue and yellow plates and a floral plate or two in the mix. Remember that plates don't have to match to create a pleasing effect. Lighten up Candlelight can add a warm glow to your tablescape, but it requires constant maintenance and is a fire hazard. A better idea? Use LED garlands or flameless candles of different heights to brighten up the center of your table. One trick: "Add a strip of adhesive rhinestones to the top of votive candles for an extra twinkle when the votives are lit," Saavedra says. Or, add the rhinestone strips to the tops of wine glasses of different heights and put a flameless votive in each one. The extra dimension of objects at varying heights can make a tablescape more visually appealing. "Whenever you create any kind of design, it's important to include items of different sizes and textures," Saavedra says. • The more layers you add, the more luxurious your tablescape will seem.