How to Take Your Tablescapes to the Next Level

When Shrek first came out, my mom got it for us on VHS. I can't tell you how many times my siblings and I watched that movie, but just know it was enough to memorize the entire script, line for line. I caught it playing on TV the other day and felt the nostalgia wash over me as Shrek explained to donkey that ogres are like onions -- layered. There are complexities that make us all who we are and as you begin to uncover those complexities you understand a person more. As someone who has become less of an open book and more of a guard your heart gal, this made so much sense to me. I love children's movies mainly because of these types of lessons that always come up when you're too young to really appreciate them.

The onion analogy applies to people and as I sat there staging a table for a dinner party the next day I realized it also applies to tablescapes. As you layer more elements on to a table you begin to set the tone and in some cases elevate the entire aesthetic. I've gotten to the point where I'll wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea in my head for the next Forbidden Luxe gathering, but for someone looking to create those experiences for the first time it doesn't always come as...freakishly. And that, folks, is exactly what I'm here for. So if you're looking to host a dinner party, or a gathering centered around food, but don't really know how to hit your guests with that "wow" factor, read on. 

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The first thing people's minds shift to when thinking about tablescapes are usually the centerpiece. It makes sense -- centerpieces are the focal point of your table. However, if there's anything I've learned it's that small details here and there can really help boost the wow factor. Once you have your flowers and vase in order, the next thing that will really take your tablescape to the next level are your place settings. Think of each guest's seat at the table [solange plug] as a special honor. The same way you want the recipeint of a gift to feel like you really put thought in it, you want each table setting to fit in, but also give your guests a feeling of celebrity. With that being said here are a few things you can do to make each seat special: 


Karley just told me that a name is the most beautiful word a person will ever hear. Of course that's subjective and of course it's true. Not only will name cards allow you to assign seats to set the vibe for your dinner, it will also make each person feel special by calling them out directly. Fingers crossed there aren't any unexpected plus ones.


This will take your at home dinner to the next level by laying out the meal for your guests in the same way a restaurant will. Feel free to do this even if you're serving food family style as menu cards allow you to add another element to your table design hassle-free. It's a great way to incorporate different colors, patterns and designs to your table as well. 

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Cloth napkins are a must if you're hosting a dinner. They automatically upgrade your event no matter what. To get started, invest in basic white and a few basic colors that you can mix and match as needed. Then, throw in some fun napkin rings to round out your look. You don't have to have a closet full of table linens to keep a few of these in your reserve either. Think of napkin rings as jewlery. The same way you put on earrings or a necklace or bracelet, napkin rings help accessorize your tablescape. The best part about them is, even if you don't want to invest in the traditional kind, there are lots of fun ways to recreate their purpose. 

Watch this video to see just what I mean: 

With these three elements you'll definitely take your table setting to the next level. They're super easy, super doable and are guaranteed to wow your guests.