The Art of Tablescaping


Tablescaping, or table setting is an art. Tablescaping is a portmanteau of table and landscaping; an activity involving the setting of themed dining tables in artful, decorative ways for social events. In my world it’s a serious thing. For The Mad Table, it’s a way of life!  

Springtime Setting

In recent years, tablescaping has been elevated to more than an art form. There are now events centered around tablescaping such as the Picnic Experience. So now I am here to give you the latest tips and tricks to make your next table and/or event look like a professional set it up. And you don’t need to wait for the holidays to prepare the table decorations.

Breakfast Table Setting

I have a weak spot for all things beautiful and an ongoing love affair with charming tableware. The goal is to find a magical interplay amongst the decorations and pieces on your table. That said, we usually follow the “less is more” rule.

Patio Table Setting

When to tablescape?

Dress up a table when you will be entertaining guests, hosting a cooking class or even simply having a friend over for lunch. In other words, ALWAYS! With a little planning, you can make almost every meal a special occasion. 

Why tablescape?

Set a beautiful table because we you it makes our guests feel special, inspires them and makes them want to connect and share.

Where to shop for table setting pieces?

West Elm, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Target, antique shops, consignment stores. Anywhere and everywhere!  You’ll be surprised by the treats you find when you’re out and about and open your mind to the possibilities. 

What can be used for decoration?

Fresh flowers or greenery is almost always a must! Here are some of our favorites: eucalyptus, lavender, succulents, gerbera daisies, tulips, peonies, fresh herbs and olive branches.

Fresh Herbs Table Setting

Simple candles – votives or tapers.

Mini bud vases filled with your favorite flowers or greenery.

If you’re on a budget (and we certainly understand that!), clippings from wild vines, dried twigs or an assortment of leaves from the backyard can be lovely.

Handwritten name cards are always a nice touch.

For kids’ parties, think candy jars, beautifully decorated cookies, mini bowls with snacks.

First Communion Cookies

Various glass water pitchers with slices of cucumber, apple or citrus or add berries, mint or watermelon.

I also love personal touches, like individual wine carafes, simple flower stems or fresh herbs placed on napkins and tied with jute, twine or ribbon, homemade gifts for guests (spice blends, salts or a sweet treat). 

Dinner Party w/Wine Carafes

Staples for a beautiful table

At The Mad Table, we always prefer glass plates or nice china and real napkins. But don’t stress about ironing those napkins. You can twist them into a knot and no one will notice that they’re wrinkled or just dampen linens and toss them in the dryer for a quick fix.

Knotted Napkins

If you are planning an event soon and would like The Mad Table to tablescape and cater it, make sure to contact me here. And make sure to follow/like The Mad Table on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all the latest news, fabulous recipes and gorgeous entertaining tips and ideas.