Whether you’re sitting down for a quick mid-week breakfast, lunch with friends on Saturday or dinner for two on Sunday, it can be easy to forget the decorative details – especially if it’s just you and your partner or flatmate. Of course, it’s down to time constraints too, particularly during the week. When you get home from work and it’s late, you want to rustle something quick and simple up for dinner and laze in front of the TV before it’s time for bed, not think about flowers, napkins and table runners.
Adding a few decorative touches to create a delicious dining scene needn’t take a lot of time though and it can make such a difference to the setting. The trick, we find, is to have the decorative details already, so that when you come to make the table, it’s simply a case of choosing what to put where. Cream embroidered napkins, mismatched cutlery and a selection of vases for fresh flowers, for example, are all simple and inexpensive investments but can go a long way in creating an inviting and individual table setting.
Think about complementing colour schemes like our breakfast setting below, or consider different arrangements depending on the season or type of meal you’re hosting.
For those lazily long breakfasts at the weekend – or even if you’re used to rushing out of the door on Saturday mornings – make time for sitting up to the table to enjoy a hot pot of coffee, a read of the paper or a chapter of your book. We love the simplicity of this table set-up – notice the focus here is on beautiful ceramics in complementing shades. If you’re guilty of storing your best china away for those special occasions, why not get it out this weekend and make the most of it?
If there’s a room you frequently use for lunch – perhaps it’s the conservatory or your dining room – it makes sense to plan your everyday table decorations around your existing decor. It’s not always possible to have fresh flower displays so don’t be afraid to mix a little faux foliage with real to bring the outside in. We’ve used a selection of vintage pots here too – you’ll find an abundance of these in charity shops and at car boot fairs – they make the perfect home for succulents and trailing plants.
Keep these on the mantlepiece or on a sideboard so it’s easy to decorate the table if you’re in a hurry.
Ellenborough Painted Ext. Table | Primrose Upholstered Chair | Rectangle Velvet Cushion | Green Marble Shelf
For summer evenings enjoying equally summery salads or cosy Sunday roasts during autumn, our range of extendable dining tables are the perfect size for bundling high with seasonal foliage, rustic kitchen accessories and myriads of delicious dishes. Whilst during the week you may not have the time, for weekend gatherings why not take a moment to decant food and drink into mismatched bowls and bottles. While of course, what you serve is important, how it’s served adds a special and memorable touch too.
Chester Grey Ext. Dining Table | Foxglove Buttoned Chair | Woven Round Seagrass Rug | Blush Matte Velvet Cushion
The subtle painted finish of our Chester Grey range means it perfectly complements more natural and blush tones. Try adding a few accessories to your dining set-up to make guests feel extra cosy and at home – throws, cushions and rugs needn’t just be for the living room.
For those after-dinner wine and cheese spreads or late-night tapas gatherings with friends, keep the setting light and relaxed to make room for all those wooden boards holding camembert, stilton and individually prepared dishes. If you decide on a darker oak table and chair set, try teaming with lighter ceramics and accessories to complement and brighten the display. Don’t forget that we have a whole host of exclusive kitchen accessories and vintage-inspired ceramics at our Cotswold Co stores too!
Camille Limewash Oak Dining Table | Camille Limewash oak Dining Chair | Clemento Wool Blend Round Rug | Safaa Lantern Lamp
a few of our favourite flowers…
It’s fair to say that we’re pretty big fans of a floral arrangement or two on our dining tables. Perfect for adding colour, height and texture, they can really help to elevate a setting and make it look beautiful, elegant and just that little bit more special too; and yet, they actually require minimal effort. Pop in terracotta pots, old jam jars or glass vases (we’re not averse to using bowls or bottles either) and arrange your best floral display. Sometimes, we find a wild and ‘over-grown’ arrangement works better than one more uniform.
While seasonal flowers like Hydrangeas and Peonies work wonderfully for a colourful impact – especially when dotted with sprigs of foliage like eucalyptus stems – houseplants like String of Pearls and Ivy, along with dried flowers like Lavender, Aliums and Craspedia, also make faithful additions due to their extended shelf-life.
Above all, remember a table setting is an incredibly personal and creative display – and of course, the best bit is there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Just keep potted plants and a selection of vintage-inspired kitchen accessories (chopping boards, large platters, textured runners, jugs and napkins) close by so you can rustle up a quick or more thoughtful display in next to no time. If you strive for a country-inspired feel, pick flowers from the garden or display dried bundles to help bring the outside in. Use your imagination too (hardback books are great for providing a little extra height for popping a vase of flowers on!) It may sound simple or even a little futile, but even if you’re just sitting down for a quick meal, a small vase of flowers or laying a nice placemat down makes all the difference.