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table runner Photo courtesy Blueprint Studios

Make Mine Refined: Tabletop Design Moves to Simpler, Subtle Look

Understated design and subtle accents are trending in tabletop design for special events.

Today’s tabletops are refreshing and simple, accented with understated details that charm guests while keeping the conversation flowing.

“It doesn’t have to be complicated or over the top to look amazing,” says Kevin Dana, executive director of marketing and product development for CORT Events in South San Francisco. “Take your event concept back to basics to create a refined and welcoming feel.”

Designers are curating tabletops to create a simpler mix of colors, patterns and textures.

“You might see our homespun china paired with rose-gold flatware atop a silk patterned table linen,” says Kathy A. Newby, CERP, director of sales for Abbey Party Rents SF in Daly City, Calif. “It’s less about stark, in-your-face contrast and more about subtle, interesting combinations.” 

CLEANER LOOK Modern tablescapes feel less formal, creating sense of openness that is comforting and familiar, says Lily Yeung, director of sales and marketing for Blueprint Studios in South San Francisco, Calif. She notes that clean lines and minimal patterns add interest without looking chaotic.

“Table linens are being exchanged for sleek white or industrial textured tabletops,” Yeung says. “The void of table linen allows for other details to stand out. Using materials, such as lace or ribbon, to tie linen napkins is small detail that makes a big statement.”

Yeung sees more clients preferring subtle monochromatic pieces over ornate table settings. Neutral pieces let other details, such as textured dinnerware, catch the eye. “Speckled finishes or printed marble lines provide subtle style, along with a unique look to each piece,” she says.  

While subtle design gems are a leading trend, designers looking to make a big impact without the big centerpiece need look no further than the charger.

CHARGERS IN CHARGE Chargers offer a versatility beyond the typical gold or silver, says Shereé Bochenek, creative director for Minnetonka, Minn.-based Apres Event Decor and Tent Rental. Marbled, wood and glass chargers create a cool contrast on an industrial-style table …

See the full story in the Summer issue of Special Events. Not a subscriber? We can fix that—just click here.

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