Dining Room Series: Tablescapes for Each Season

If you’ve spent enough time on Pinterest, you might have heard of the term “tablescape” and wondered what on earth they were talking about. A tablescape is basically just a beautiful arrangement of objects on a table. The dining table is obviously one of the main focal points in a dining room, and so it follows that it should receive some special decorating attention. And yet, particularly when dining tables are actually used frequently, they often get a little neglected and can become cluttered with the paraphernalia of everyday life. On the flip side, if you create a gorgeous and elaborate tablescape that actually prevents anyone from eating at the dining table, then you’ve defeated the whole point.

So, in my dining room, my goal was to create a beautiful tablescape that was both aesthetically pleasing AND practical. I wanted it to be contained enough so that four people could eat at the table without moving the centerpiece, and I included functional objects that we would use regularly. I also wanted to be able to make minor adjustments to reflect the seasons, without starting from scratch each time. I used the principles of color, balance, proportion, scale, and texture that I discussed in my post on living room accessories, which you can read here.

I started with just a simple table runner from Pier1; the one I chose has a slight sheen to the fabric, so that it brightens up the table and adds an interesting texture. Then I added a wooden serving board (this one from Pier1 is similar); in addition to its obvious function, the wood tone and carvings tie in beautifully with the decorative elements of my buffet. Next, I layered a lovely blue and white patterned vase (you can find similar ones for sale here), salt and pepper shakers, and a ceramic napkin holder from Williams Sonoma (remember the rule of three!). The vase gave me the flexibility to change out the floral arrangement depending on the season, and it added height to the vignette. Finally, I balanced out the entire grouping with silver candlesticks on either side.

And voila! And the best part is, by changing out the flowers and adding a few seasonal objects, I can continue to use and adapt this tablescape all year round! The possibilities are endless, but here are a few of the variations that I have come up with so far:

Fall Tablescape.  The addition of mini pumpkins helps to give this simple arrangement an autumnal feel.

Fall Tablescape. The addition of mini pumpkins helps to give this simple arrangement an autumnal feel.

Winter Tablescape.  An arrangement of faux poinsettias and white roses along with scattered evergreen branches, pine cones, and red berries transforms this vignette into a festive holiday centerpiece.

Winter Tablescape. An arrangement of faux poinsettias and white roses along with scattered evergreen branches, pine cones, and red berries transforms this vignette into a festive holiday centerpiece.

Spring Tablescape.  The faux floral arrangement of pale blue hydrangeas, white roses, and yellow ranunculus captures the pastel hues of spring and ties into the colors of the artwork in the background.

Spring Tablescape. The faux floral arrangement of pale blue hydrangeas, white roses, and yellow ranunculus captures the pastel hues of spring and ties into the colors of the artwork in the background.

Summer Tablescape . The salmon pink mini roses brighten up the floral arrangement while the citrus fruits add more pops of color and give the centerpiece a more summery vibe. The ivory patterned napkins also help to lighten the display.

Summer Tablescape. The salmon pink mini roses brighten up the floral arrangement while the citrus fruits add more pops of color and give the centerpiece a more summery vibe. The ivory patterned napkins also help to lighten the display.

So, what’s on your dining room table? I hope this post has given you some inspiration to try your hand at assembling your own “tablescape”! Make it personal to your own aesthetic tastes and practical needs and most importantly, have fun with it!