For this week's installment of entertaining tips, Dwell invited Los Angeles–based blogger, jewelry designer, and hostess extraordinaire, Kate Albrecht of mrkate.com over to set a table or two.
I wanted to share with you some quick ideas for on-the-fly table-tops for those unexpected entertaining moments when you have guests (or maybe a date) coming over with little notice and you don't have time to shop for a formal tablescape. I tasked myself to look around my rental apartment and create two, on-the-fly, modern-vintage themed tabletops that would suit my entertaining needs, without even getting as much as a bouquet of flowers from the store!
For the first tabletop, I started with my round, white-on-white table and chairs set. I used a vintage beaded Indian sari as the tablecloth to set the tone for a whimsical, world-traveler table-top. I think this would be perfect for a casual dinner party where guests will be delighted by the humor in the details. Elements of this table-top could also be interpreted for a wedding or a festive winter occasion.
I added height to the table by bringing in a vintage globe, a houseplant. For some more funk and personality, I added accessories like a wooden elephant and empty bottles with candlesticks.
For place settings, I used round silver trays (originally from the Goodwill) as chargers and mis-matched vintage lace pieces as the napkins. To complete the whimsical vibe, I used spiked bracelets (from Forever 21) as the napkin rings.
Instead of placing the silverware on the table, I stuck the forks, knives, and spoons in a glass jar filled with dried beans. Fun!
I went for a slightly more modern and clean look with this second tabletop. I think this would be perfect for a romantic dinner date and the colors would work year round. Again, I started with my white table and chairs set and added two white cotton scarves in a cross-shape as the tablecloth. The candelabra was an old lamp that I bought at a garage sale and dismantled to use as a tealight holder. This brings height and elegance to the tablescape.
In lieu of flowers, I cut a large leaf off a plant outside and put it in a simple bottle. In a vintage silver pitcher, I used a leek, a carrot, and a ginger root for some more color and whimsy...there are other options besides flowers! The wine glass and decanter are Goodwill finds that normally accent my home bar area.
I used bamboo placemats and simple white dish ware at the place settings. To add a touch of color, I used mismatched vintage silk scarves as decorative napkins. You won't want your guests using these as actual napkins so fold some other ones underneath for use while eating. I hope you found these table-top decorating and entertaining tips helpful and please visit my blog mrkate.com for many more fun and simple ideas!