When it comes to hosting guests at home, it’s all about taking pride in what you provide—an approach that extends far beyond just what’s on your plate. For a little inspiration from some very stylish sources, the designers behind our favourite lifestyle brands like Dinosaur Designs, Bethan Gray and Chilewich dish on setting the scene (and table).
“The table is always the first thing I do, usually on the morning of the dinner party so I don’t have to think about it when I’m cooking; it’s knowing that I’m all set to go. My table is always set with lots of Dinosaur Designs—I put a cloth on the table with Dinosaur Designs side plates, dishes and salt and pepper grinders. I love fresh flowers from Grandiflora Sydney. Tips: the colours I use on the table must be in harmony with the food. Pure beeswax candles are not only good for you and smell beautiful, but also give a warm light to a table. I like to serve mineral water with fresh mint or lime in our Dinosaur Designs jugs; it’s important to keep guests hydrated and refreshed when serving wine and different flavours throughout the meal.”
– Louise Olsen, Dinosaur Designs
“It all starts with the plates. I designed a tableware collection for 1882 Ltd called Lustre and we do actually use that at home. Its white base has a reinterpretation of my Dhow pattern applied by hand in black and 24-carat gold, so my colour theme is usually white, black and gold. Then I add natural materials such as wooden chopping boards, a linen tablecloth and flowers or greenery from the garden. The finishing touch is always a solid brass candelabra—there is nothing quite like candlelight to set the right mood for a meal with the people you love. The biggest tablescape I have ever created was for the launch of The Glenlivet Vintage 1967, a limited-edition 50-year-old single malt, for which I designed the bottle and case. I transformed their Still House into a field of barley lit by shards of sunlight with a single dining table running down the centre, set with the Lustre collection and sprigs of greenery from the surrounding Scottish Highlands. It was much more impressive than anything I have ever managed at home!”
– Bethan Gray, Bethan Gray
“Dressing the table is truly my favourite part of entertaining. For me, a tabletop is a blank canvas, not something simply to cover with a cloth. Using a placemat at every seat provides an individual setting for each guest. It marks his or her space, making them feel more comfortable, welcome, and at home. I love to add unexpected textures, colours, and objects. I use unconventional vessels for flowers, salt, and pepper. I also roll napkins and tie them with yarn—I've even used beautiful rubber bands. Creating a particular mood for an occasion or celebration is as essential as the food!”
– Sandy Chilewich, Chilewich
Ready to turn the tables yourself? Shop Lane Crawford’s curated edit of home interior and entertaining essentials below.