I'm an interior designer – and this is how I tablescape for Valentine's Day
I love a pretty but informal mix of Spring colors – and plenty of candlelight
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Whether you are celebrating à deux over a romantic dinner at home or hosting family and friends, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to create an abundant tablescape using all your favorite tableware.
There is little required to elevate an otherwise everyday table when you're decorating for Valentine's Day, and no need to overhaul your existing pieces.
Dig around in your cupboards and follow these tablescaping tips to create a lavish but tasteful table at home.
Birdie’s creative journey started when she worked at Percy Bass, an interiors shop and design service in London. Birdie then went on to join Imogen Taylor’s team at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler’s old premises in Mayfair. Many buying trips later and with a decorative antiques course from the V&A Museum under her belt, Birdie decided to set up her own antiques business. Birdie initially focused on sourcing homeware from Scandinavia, before creating her own designs. From block-printed fabrics to unusual table lamps Birdie’s discerning eye enables her to create unique designs that sit comfortably alongside the antiques and contemporary art sourced from artists both local and further afield.
1. Layer up linens
Table linens are great pieces for making any occasion a special occasion and are always my go-to when I want to set a table that's a little more memorable.
For a smart Valentine’s dinner, start by laying pairing placemats and napkins with a color-coordinated tablecloth. If you prefer to keep things more low-key, leave out the tablecloth and lay napkins and placemats on a bare table.
For a rich, artisanal look, layer in earthy colors and natural materials – rattan or woven reed placemats are wonderful choices if your style is more rustic and pared back.
2. Mix and match ceramics
Next, add in ceramics in coordinating tones. The same rule applies to your ceramics: use matching plates and bowls for a clean, cohesive look or mix and match various styles for something more fun and eclectic.
If styling a combination of designs and color, make sure there is balance somewhere in the stack of ceramics – for example you might want to match your dinner plate and side plate, or dinner plate and bowl.
I love to use mismatched dinnerware in two or three colors but make sure to use tones which feature elsewhere in my interiors scheme so that the table sits in harmony with its surroundings.
3. Add candlelight and flowers
Though I like to steer clear from Valentine’s Day clichés, candles and flowers are an obvious exception to this rule. A scattering of candlesticks and a large vase of seasonal flowers are my go-to for a tablescape centerpiece all year round but are particularly fitting for February 14th.
Not only are candles atmospheric and inviting, they also create warm, ambient lighting – the ideal setting for a Valentine’s date night or cozy evening in with friends.
Complete your tablescape with a dramatic flower arrangement in the center of your table or style two or three smaller vases interspersed with candles. Opt for a less stereotypical flower choice (I love tulips and hydrangeas) and mix in some green garden foliage for added color and texture.
Finish with some personal touches – perhaps some hand-written place cards or menus if you’re hosting on a grander scale!
Birdie’s creative journey started when she worked at Percy Bass, an interiors shop and design service on Walton Street. Birdie then went on to join Imogen Taylor’s team at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler’s old premises in Mayfair. Many buying trips later and with a decorative antiques course from the V&A Museum under her belt, Birdie decided to set up her own antiques business. Establishing the business in Norfolk in 2014, Birdie initially focused on sourcing homeware from Scandinavia, pieces that weren’t easily found in the UK, before creating her own designs. Birdie writes for Homes & Gardens about interior design.
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