When people ask about the “proper” way to set a table, I find myself saying the same thing every time: when it comes to table setting, there are no more rules.
This fact is both liberating and daunting. If the sky’s the limit, where do you start?
My advice is simple: mix and match. It’s probably no surprise to find out I have a large collection of porcelain and ceramics. I love to showcase the breadth of my collection by combining different pieces in one tablescape.
Using the Rosanna design Rue du Bac as the basis of my palette, here are six mix and match tablescapes I hope will inspire you.
After you’ve chosen one pattern around which to build your tablescape, look in your own collection to see if you have any pieces that play on the colors in your base dishes.
In this case, the burnished silver of the napkin ring and flatware pull the eye back to the driftwood-colored background of Rue du Bac. In fact, a driftwood arrangement scattered through with tealights would make a lovely centerpiece for this table.
You can also design a tablescape that plays on the pattern of the plates, like this:
The textures of these two chargers make the 1-dimenstional pattern on the Rue du Bac appetizers plates pop off the field.
You can also experiment with surprising yet complimentary colors:
Lastly, you can layer in eclectic or antique pieces to create a conversation between contemporary and vintage designs:
The flowered plate is a Limoges pattern from France. The plate picturing the woman is a rustic ceramic set I found in a flea market in the Umbrian region of Italy.
As you set your table, think about colors, patterns, and shapes that are complimentary, and about those that provide contrast. Survey your own dish collection and decide whether pursuing contrast or compliment will create the most unique and cohesive look.
Be creative and have fun!