This tabletop from a recent wedding showcase event wowed me with its strong graphic elements and natural wood accents. While it takes a creative mind and lots of work to make a spread this beautiful, here are a few ideas that you can easily borrow to for your home gatherings.
This table was created by event planning and design company Glitter + Rye for NYC's recent The Cream Event, an "experiential showcase for brides and grooms," designed to give attendees fun, stylish, and interactive access to the cream of the wedding-design crop. While I could only dream of designing something this lovely, here are some elements that I'll certainly keep in mind for my next dinner party:
1) For a foundation, mix patterns in a simple palette. Separately, the black and white polka dot table cloth, chevron runner, and gingham napkins would have made a very basic visual statement. But put together, they form a cohesive foundational color palette that still keeps the eye moving.
2) The wooden elements warm the table up, adding an organic feel to what could otherwise be overly modern or graphic. With a short trip to a lumber yard, Lowe's, or Home Depot, you could buy some inexpensive plywood placemats (my favorite aspect of the whole table!) or have some posts cut to varying lengths for a centerpiece. Many stores will cut the lumber to your specifications for free.
3) Differing heights make for a simple but visually interesting centerpiece. The reason that this centerpiece works so well is that there is not only a variation of materials and textures (fresh flowers, pillar candles, and wood pedestals), but also a variety of heights. Be sure, though, not to make any items too high, or you might restrict conversation across the table.
4) The gold accents here (tassels, dot confetti, candlesticks, cup rims, and the gold dots and hearts painted on the napkins) add a bit of sparkle and pizazz to the table while giving it an even more cohesive feel. With a successful tabletop, it's often the details that matter, and the small bits of gold help add warmth and a touch of luxury without pushing the table into over-the-top territory.
For more images of the Glitter & Rye table and other fabulous tabletops from the event, visit Ruffled.