Title Image

My Coffee Table Needs Help! A Lesson in Tablescaping

My Coffee Table Needs Help! A Lesson in Tablescaping

I recently rediscovered my stash of old Domino Magazines and stumbled upon this shot:

Via Domino Mag, April 2008

It’s from the home of Allegra Hicks, the daughter of the legendary interior designer David Hicks, who among other things was known for his mastery of the tablescape.

“Tablescaping” basically refers to artfully arranged objects, on a table.  I was so taken with this picture – the red and black motif, each object so beautiful in its own right…the whole effect is masculine, polished, beachy and vintage.  Tablescaping at its best!


Here’s an iconic David Hicks tablescape, to give you an idea.  I mean, this was taken in the 60s or 70s and his look is still so relevant today:


And another David Hicks original:



All this talk of tablescaping has gotten me thinking that I need a little tablescaping in my own life.  Here’s the sad state of affairs in our family room:

Two remote controls and a copy of Elf on The Shelf?  Shameful!  This table is screaming for some love.

I set out to find some inspiration:



















I just love this one – absolute perfection, but not fussy or complicated.




Here’s tablescaping on steroids.  By Kelly Wearstler, of course!



In my Tablescaping research, this is what I’ve learned so far, in order to “get it right”:

1)  If you’re grouping similar objects, make sure to have an odd number of items – it’s more pleasing to the eye.

2) Make sure to choose items of “disparate” sizes – that means, choose something flat, something tall, something in between.  The eye wants to travel up and down!

3) Green is Good – notice that in most of these pictures there is some kind of greenery.  Green is not only a neutral, but it really rounds out a vignette unlike any other color.  I know you aren’t going to run to the florist every week like a crazy person to replenish your arrangement!  But what about something like these fake succulents I just spotted at Target for $9.99?

4) Less is more.  You don’t need to go crazy with “stuff” – just a few items can make a big impact.  Unless you’re Kelly Wearstler.


5) Do you want to create a focal point around one item or give something more height?  Stacked books are a great way to elevate something!  I’m a nut for stacked books myself.


Here’s my attempt at tablescaping!  I just used things from around the house.  It only took me 20 minutes to grab a few items and try them out in different arrangements, keeping the guidelines above in mind:


Okay, again – here’s the BEFORE:


And the AFTER, “instagrammed” for dramatic effect!

What do you think?  Could your coffee table, dresser or TV console benefit from a little tablescaping…?

No Comments

Post a Comment