If there’s anything I’ve learnt from my years in Paris, it’s that every meal time is an occasion for pleasure! Whilst I’m not sure I’ve ever taken one of those mythical two hour lunch breaks (in working hours at least,) weekends and evenings are a time to savour a multi-sensorial feast.
In the rush of everyday life, especially now that we’re all heading back to the office and winter is coming, it can be all too easy to rush down delivery (straight from the box,) and spend one too many evening in front of Netflix.
Dressing your table can be a simple ritual to encourage you to enjoy time to yourself, and bring a little French joie de vivre to your everyday – even if it’s with take out or pre-bought pastries!
Now that we can get together again, are you getting back into entertaining? Whether it’s for yourself or for others, with the evenings are drawing in, it’s time to get cosy, enjoy the pleasure of eating, and fun of being.
Intentionally choosing your plates and napkins, being thoughtful about the way food is displayed, and spending a few minutes considering the details can really help to unwind and de-stress – it’s a form of meditation!
As Cloud 12 founder and nutritionist Jenya Di Pierro recently reminded me, “mindfulness transforms even the simplest meal into a rich experience.”
Here are some simple style tips to inspire your day-to-day dinner table.
Play with textures
Alongside smooth plates, consider knobbly glasses or including textural elements such as crystals or flowers for an intriguing, sumptuous feel. Hydrangea’s are great option, as they dry out well, and so can be used all year around – perfect for when you don’t have time to order fresh blooms.
In my golden styling guidelines, I always incorporate a touch of spice or dash of ugly to prevent a look from becoming too classical. Whether it’s home or outfit styling, the same guidelines apply! Here I’ve used a lumpy black glass vase from LiuLiu glass in China, that contrasts with the delicate purple flowers.
There are so many gorgeous colourful candles out there at the moment, in all shapes and sizes! Colourful hues are an easy way of giving your tables cape a refresh, especially if you tend to use the same plates daily. These beeswax candles from the local monastery shop on rue des petits champs, and are available in a range of heights and sizes for added textural appeal.
Black isn’t just for little black dresses
Although tableware is often thought of as white, I love to include black crockery to add depth and dimension to a scheme, and keep it feeling elegant.
Even the simplest schemes are elevated with lacquered black place mats, that create intriguing optical effects when smaller round plates are stacked upon them.
Go on a treasure hunt!
Get creative and find things from elsewhere around the home!
Here I’ve used a vintage Balenciaga scarf from my collection as a napkin tie, and an antique Venetian turquoise glass box that usually holds fancy hair pins, as colour pops. Unexpected personal touches help a table to feel warm and friendly.
The art of the incremental upgrade
Apply the art of the incremental upgrade – what small and gradual swaps can you make to elevate your everyday? Some new napkins perhaps, or a water glass that feels good between your lips…Not too thin that it’ll smash, not too thick that it feels like you’re about to have braces fitted. It’s not just about the way the things you surround yourself look, it’s about how they make you feel! Gradually get rid of old bits and pieces that don’t feel great – a mug that your ex used to drink out of, or the heavy duty glasses – because the kids used to smash the good ones. If you’d like to receive a copy of my FREE declutter your life guide, simply drop me an email with DECLUTTER in the subject line – email@example.com and I’ll send it straight to you.
Create daily rituals
Even if you’re entertaining for one, incorporating a touch of tablescaping to your everyday life, can become a pleasurable and grounding ritual, that encourages you to take a moment to yourself. Taking your afternoon tea from a tray set out with a pretty teapot and cup, loose leaf tea and a little candle, adds a hint of everyday luxury to your routine
If you don’t have a marble table, it’s still really easy to incorporate into your scheme, for a textural and luxurious touch that will enhance any table. Try a marble board to showcase cheese, figs and grapes, or use for crunchy bread or walnut cake.
tea from Mariage Frères
Consider handmade ceramics
The handmade Japanese black bowl I’ve used (with the turquoise flower inside,) has a beautiful irregular feel that adds warmth to prevent the look from becoming frigidly elegant. I love the way the wobbly hand-finish contrasts with the smooth circle of the placemat, giving a sophisticated but friendly feel! It’s always fun to embrace a little imperfection in schemes – be they for your home or wardrobe to keep things feeling polished yet real!
Find things around your home in matching colours, iittala have a range of practical water glasses, like this lime green one, so that you can change colours every day!
Even some cheap corner shop flowers (like the lime green blooms pictured) can add a touch of freshness!
Let me know how you get on with elevating your everyday!
I know that you’re busy, let me help. I have created beautiful moments for Chanel and Vogue, prime ministers and princesses and I am now here to help you.
I have a range of Festive offerings to take some of the load off, so that you can enjoy the most memorable and beautiful time possible – simply and stylishly! Whether you’re looking for style help to find the perfect frock so that you can wow this season or beyond, have a style question to help you dazzle into the new year, want gifts luxuriously wrapped, or to create beautiful memories against the perfect festive backdrop and stunning Christmas table, I’m your discrete style wing woman here to help. Book a complimentary call here, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Love, xoxo Aleksandra