8 Tablescaping Trends To Transform A Soirée, According To Tastemakers

Julia Khan Anselmo (aka @feisty_feast) sees flowers and fruit as tablescaping works of art

The art of tablescaping has long been perfect Instagram fodder, with covetable linens served alongside delectable dishes and inviting adornments. But which trends and tricks are taking over tastemakers’ feeds? KATIE BERRINGTON asks four tablescaping aficionados to share the styles that have inspired their dinner parties and supper clubs


Food as art

“Vegetables themselves are works of art: the sculptural shape of artichokes or cauliflower, a bright pop of red from a radish, or the bright neon green of fresh, soft herbs,” says Julia Khan Anselmo of @feisty_feast. “I love keeping the vibe convivial by hosting big, family-style sharing plates, where guests are passing dishes around the table, or where I can stand and serve everyone from big platters. Big, beautiful ceramics with food make a statement of generosity and abundance, which every good host knows. Food can be the perfect tablescaping styling item. Last year, I hosted a spring lunch where I kept the table very minimal and clean and placed pink marbled borlotti beans in their pods on the plate of each guest, and for my fiancé’s 40th, I had mandarins on each place setting.”

Considered centerpieces

“Keeping the eye line between guests is important to me, so I try to avoid having too many flowers obstructing the viewpoint from guest to guest,” continues Khan Anselmo. “Or, on the other hand, maybe you feel like having giant pots filled with blooming flowers or branches, with bread or crudités hanging from the branches. Guests can then focus on the person sitting right beside them instead of in front of them.”

From rustic loaves to colorful floral displays and mandarins at each place setting – Julia Khan Anselmo (@feisty_feast) uses simple decorative adornments to create a convivial vibe
Samantha Picard (aka @tablescapeluvr) likes to give her tablescapes the full cottagecore treatment

Cottagecore charm

“In tandem with the popularity of ‘cottagecore’ in fashion trends, I see a huge shift to more ‘rural’ tablescapes, such as those one would imagine seeing in a rural countryside cabin,” says Samantha Picard, aka @tablescapeluvr. “A simple summer-fruit tart combined with floral-printed table linen is a prime example. Patterned pitchers? Yes, please. Mimosas served in cute pink martini glasses topped with floating edible flowers that one could have picked in a country-house garden? Say no more.”

Xanthe Ross recreates the ‘summer countryside kitchen’ look

Cottagecore on vacation

“One aesthetic I’ve picked up on and taken in my own way is inspired by a European summer countryside kitchen, where everything feels slightly unpolished and fun,” says chef Xanthe Ross. “I think this trend comes from the desire for cottagecore – as if you’ve got the linens out of your cupboard at the last minute, lit some candles and filled the table with delicious dishes. There’s a family feel to this style.”

Nothing celebrates summer like a brightly colored alfresco tablescape à la Xanthe Ross

“For my supper clubs, I always serve sharing dishes, and the food itself ends up being quite a big part of the tablescape, as do the plates I serve it on. The thrown-together, slightly kitsch look goes against the minimalist feel that was such a big trend a few years ago.

“You can go so far with tablescapes, and some of the trends are almost like pieces of art, as opposed to places to eat and enjoy company. My favorite tables are those that are quite ‘out there’, but still practical to sit comfortably around, so you can relax and enjoy your meal.”

Burton & Grace uses velvet bows, floral displays and unexpected fruit (such as tomatoes) to add drama and depth to luxurious tablescapes at special events

All tied up

“We love a bow motif,” says Celia Burton of supper-club brand Burton & Grace. “We played with this idea for an event we worked on with the help of stylist and consultant Anna Singleton (@the_table_edit), wrapping candles and plates in ribbons with long tails that draped onto the table. It was a delicate and simple way of adding drama and depth to a clean white tablecloth and trimmed-linen napkins. The ribbons were pinned to the tablecloth so that each guest had to ‘unwrap’ their plate.”

Fruit in floral arrangements

“We always enjoy mixing up a classic decorative element,” Burton says. “For an event with Jo Malone London, our florist Flavia Studio had huge mantlepieces to dress, so she used tomatoes to add depth to the rich red color palette, creating a twist on a classic floral design. Since then, we’ve been obsessed with fruit in our floral arrangements.”

Mixing materials

“Rather than sticking to a specific material, styling tables by combining different elements – such as glass, metal and ceramics on a single table – is a trend that I’m very much here for,” shares Picard. “I find that, just like with interior design, mixing materials on a singular table creates interesting and dynamic tablescapes.”

“Mimosas served in cute pink martini glasses topped with floating edible flowers that one could have picked in a country-house garden? Say no more,” says Samantha Picard
Picard is often asked to personalize tablescapes with elegant name cards and unique touches to delight a host’s guests

Getting personal

“I’ve been getting requests from clients for more tailored table settings to reflect the hosts’ or guests’ personalities and preferences,” Picard continues. “This could include custom place cards, monogrammed linens and unique centerpiece ideas. I have styled a table where, in lieu of place cards, each guest went home with their own personalized linen napkin. Creating personalized tablescapes can help to ensure items are re-used, which is a more thoughtful and sustainable approach.”