October 21, 2017

Creating a Tablescape: Tablescape Ideas


When I threw out my 30 days of intentional living” idea, many of you said, “Count me in.”

As I ponder and think through what my goals are for that month, I am the first to understand that encouraging you on a “ten minute a day challenge” doesn’t come lightly.

Day in and day out…just ten minutes a day…balancing beauty and bedlam…together.ย  I don’t want my “best intentions” to be put into procrastination mode. We’ll brainstorm ideas revolving around family, finances, friends, and home. (I couldn’t think of another word to finish my alliteration. ๐Ÿ™‚

Simple decorating ideas that embrace a “welcoming home” mentality is one aspect on which I want to focus.
I claim no decorator titles, but with a desire to create a haven, yet sticking to a frugal budget, there are some things that can be done in just ten minutes to go from mundane to magical.

A beautiful table is one place to begin. We can spend so much time creating a recipe, but forget to make that mealtime memorable. In ten minutes, we CAN add a little beauty to our meal time bedlam, even if it’s created for the wonders of Chick-Fil-A.
For months, I just thought tablescape was a creative name some blogger coined. Who knew that it’s a real designer definition?

A tablescape is an arrangement of items gathered into a grouping and placed on top of the table.

I hear you all snickering, “well, I have lots of things placed, stashed and stuffed on top of my table”. I’m not talking about the junk mail, ladies…clear that off. ๐Ÿ™‚

The sky is the limit with tablescapes and creativity sores when that imagination is set free.
Remember, ten minutes of intentionality…that’s all.

I love tablescapes because they give you the opportunity to shop your home. Look around and see what kinds of items you can mix and match. A few ideas might be:

  • Photo frame, mirrors (I love)
  • Fabrics, pretty napkins
  • Flowers, foliage
  • Fresh fruit or quality fakes
  • Baskets, books, candles
  • Tea trays (I find tons at yard sales), vases, or bowls

A tablescape can simply be an arrangement of your favorite items or a many centerpiece. Think of a landscape painting, and that is a wonderful analogy for a tablescape. They refer to the way things are laid out. I used to view them as something you only did on the dinner table, but they’re wonderful to arrange on coffee tables, picnic tables, or any other occasional piece that lends itself to decorating โ€” even mantels or shelves.

Some of the main ideas that I’ve seen suggested are very basic concepts.

  • Gather interesting items of different textures together.I typically brainstorm ideas for my kitchen table and picnic table. Good items to have are books, decorative plates displayed on stands, bowls filled with fruit or other decorative items, vases, flowers, candles, and other accessories. These items are found in abundance at yard sales for pennies on the dollar. I love this simple idea for outdoors. Teal is one of my favorite colors. This shows how simplicity of style can really stand out when matched with a bold color.


  • Arrange items in staggering heights.The eye is drawn to varying heights. Stack a few books and put a decorative plate on, if needed. If you have a lamp on a table, use that as your tallest height, and work with other smaller items to fill in your tablescape. And yes, I have found 3 bird cages this summer at yard sales just waiting to be painted. Still wondering where they will go. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • blue birdcageBHG.com
  • If you don’t intend to use the table for anything else but display, plan away. Otherwise, take up no more than 1/3 of your table with a tablescape unless you This is my biggest problem when doing my kitchen table. I spread everything, every where. You want your tablescape to stay intact but make sure that people can still set down their plates and cups without bumping things over.


  • Use your surfaces wisely. If you set up a gorgeous tablescape on your coffee table but no one has a place to put down their coffee, you’ve defeated the purpose. “Decorating is meant to enhance โ€” not to hassle”.

Do you have items that have been pushed to the back of your cabinets since your wedding day gift opening? Go grab them. You may be pleasantly surprised at what small little items you can add just to make your meal times that much more memorable this week.

So go surprise your family this week by turning the mundane into the magical. They’ll definitely ask, “What’s this for?”
They are your reason for creating a welcoming haven, aren’t they? Sometimes I forget that.

Be on the look out for the start of “30 days of intentional living.”
30 days/10 minutes a day…it’s going to rock our little homes. ๐Ÿ™‚


two-tier water centerpiece


  1. These are beautiful pictures and great ideas. I'm always striving to make our home a haven… so glad I found your blog, and can't wait for the 30 days of Intentional Living ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hugs Denise


  2. southerninspiration says:

    Oh, girl, I am ALL OVER this…….bring it on….looking forward to the challenge!

    love the pics!


  3. Gorgeous pics…love the idea.


  4. I am green with envy right now. I have seen the blog posts about tablescapes and drooled over magazine pages with beautifully set tables. It is something that I long to do, but can't. I have a very, very small dining area in my kitchen. I have to cram a small table that we all barely fit at and I don't have room for anything other than the plates ๐Ÿ™
    I plan on buying a new home in a couple of years and having a large dining area is #1 on my list. Until then I will continue to be green with envy whenever I see a blog post about tablescapes. For now I just try to mix it up with napkins.


  5. Smelling Coffee says:

    These are great ideas. Sometimes,I think that the most fun part of having company is setting a fun/pretty table. I need to do this for my family more often! Thanks for this reminder. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  6. Great ideas, I know whenever I do something fancy my girls wonder what's going on…..we shouldn't save special things just for guests, our families are the most important people who grace our homes!


  7. Sooo pretty!


  8. Mrs. (not) the Jet Set says:

    Great examples! I just posted today about my fresh cut flowers. I never knew that it was called a "tablescape" but my family sure did enjoy them.

    Thanks for sharing!



  9. Sandy Toes says:

    What a wonderful idea! I love the shells!
    sandy toe


  10. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    So psyched for this series. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love all the inspiration photos you showed us! ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. Hillary @ The Other Mama says:

    Jen, this is awesome! You are so on top of things. I love the idea to shop our homes and those silly wedding gifts in the back of our hutches. I know I have some doozies! LOL! But, with the right yard sale bird cage, who knows what I could come up with?? And I love a yard sale, too, sista! I've yet to see that cute of a bird cage, though. You should definitely paint one of yours teal!


  12. HeathahLee says:

    With my mom here with me for a couple of weeks since her surgery, we have wreaked havoc on our routines. Just having the living room picked up (less than 10 minutes) and the dining room table cleared with a pretty little setting on it (right now it's a pretty white plate holding our napkins and salt and pepper shakers) lifts my spirits whenever I walk in the room. Ten minutes can do a LOT!

    Can't wait for more of these posts!


  13. I had to laugh – my table scape normally includes about 6 puzzles and one kid! haha! Beat that – nothing looks better!


  14. Blushing hostess says:

    I do not "tablescape" because, like you, my life needs to be simplified, not encourage clutter. I do set a pretty table though from all the sets I have inherited or were gifted and always have a pretty centerpiece. Simple is beautiful – even Ina Garten and Martha are in your camp!


  15. Runner Mom says:

    Hey!! Somehow, I got to your blog without it shutting down on me!! This is so weird!! Now, it's doing the same thing to Nester's blog!Has she changed something on hers? Don't know if it's my computer or what! I agree, these cyberspace folks need to play fair!!

    I just loved getting to meet you! What a wonderful time! Thanks for the little par-tay on the Veranda on Friday night! I really enjoyed it. After this event at my church tomorrow night, I am going to focus on looking for those darlin' crocs!! A new mission!

    I am going to try to add your blog on my sidebar–whether it will open each time is another story!

    Have a wonderful day!!


  16. Hi Jen…

    What a great post! I really enjoyed reading all of your ideas about tablescaping…I'm a tablescaping fanatic! Hehe! I guess it's the little girl inside of me that still likes to play with dishes! I also really enjoyed all of your photos…beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing your ideas with us today!!!

    Warmest wishes,


  17. Great post Jen! I'm going to backwards a little around about the 10 minute thing. Sounds important to me. ๐Ÿ™‚


  18. Great post! I love the tablescape idea. Just a little something special for an ordinary meal.โ™ฅ


  19. elizabeth says:

    FABULOUS idea and great post! I can't wait for more like this. Simple (and frugal) ideas to make our homes more pleasing.


  20. New Every Morning says:

    Looking forward to it, Jen!
    Beautiful inspiration pics ๐Ÿ™‚


  21. Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful says:

    LOVE this. And looking forward to more!



  22. You know that I love a good tablescape! Any reason to decorate makes me happy. Thanks for sharing all of those wonderful ideas.
    And I love the idea of "intentional living."


  23. Anonymous says:

    I took an extra 5 minutes and through together a tablescape for tonights dinner. I also used cloth napkins and our good silverware. Nothing too fancy, but when we went around the table saying our high and low for the day, my 9 year old SON said his high was eating at such a beautiful table!!

    I'm definitely inspired to participate in the 30 days of intentional living. My family is worth it!



  24. Claudia@DipityRoad says:

    What an exciting adventure!

    Looking forward to the inspiration.

    I cant promise to particiate every day– but it sure sounds fun to me.

    TTFN~~ Claudia โ™ฅ โ™ฅ


  25. great post! lovely blog. my first time here. I'll be back!!!



  26. Beyond the Nest says:

    You've given me a great idea! I have some of my husband's mothers china packed away in boxes with nowhere (I thought) to display them. How sweet would it be to use them in a tablescape for hubby to see when he gets home! (Hope he doesn't cry…too much). Karen


  27. shopannies says:

    great post and real pretty blue glass


  28. Thanks for the reminder. I get so busy sometimes if the napkins make it to table folded we're doing good! It doesn't take much to change it up a bit – just need to remember to do it.


  29. I have been wanting a new table, mine is small and round this post makes me just want to get more creative with what I have.


  30. Great article on tablescapes. Including fresh fruit baskets add an additional level of sophistication to your tables.



  1. […] Follow the guidelines for how much space, what types of materials and how not to overdo it here at What In the World is a Tablescape.ย No really, you should read it. It’s good, and everything I would […]

  2. […] yesterday, it’s time for the thrifty table liner and few old wedding gifts for a frugal tablescape parade when two friends came for a little […]

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