How to Craft a Stunning Tablescape
Asked "When creating a tablescape, what's your approach? Are there any rules?" Charles takes the lead. "Well, I hate rules. So the first rule is there are no rules. But first and foremost, it has to be functional. So all the stemware, silverware, and so on needed for the evening's meal must be there. That's first. After that, it should be dramatic, entertaining—"
"And PRETTY!" Michael interjects, to the laughter of us all. Charles is quick to agree. These two have been working together so long, they have a lovely way of finishing each other's sentences, bouncing off each other's ideas, and considering questions before thoughtfully deferring to the other for an answer on a particular question.
Michael joins in from here to emphasize the importance of different heights and elevations along the table, using candles and flower arrangements to get the desired diversity. He illustrates his point with a story of a time he was hired for event design for a wedding. Enlisting the help of children in attendance to collect rocks from the waterside setting, they stacked the stones like cairns around the candles to support them. Bringing nature to play and thinking of creative solutions makes for pleasing tablescapes and memorable occasions.
Charles adds, "Bring out your best! That's what it's there for! But once the guests arrive, relax."
As if reminded by this key word—relax—Michael outlines the importance of asymmetry in plotting out a beautiful tablesetting.
"Asymmetry takes down the rigidity, while also being visually pleasing. It makes the atmosphere more relaxed."
In their setting for the showhouse, you can see they applied both nature and asymmetry, as well as things that connected to the rest of the room, to make a beautiful tablescape. For the floral element, they adorned the Paul McCobb dining table with both a low-to-the-table autumnally-colored flower arrangement and a tall gathering of berry-bearing twigs which tangle up close to touching the branch-like body of the light fixture, Sierra, complementing each other beautifully.