Picture gilded serveware, polished cutlery, colourful, brown-glass accents, warm candles and fresh flowers artfully assembled over classy table linen. How one puts together a tablescape can make all the difference to a formal dinner or even a casual brunch among loved ones. There’s more to a meal that what’s plated before you, and the design gurus show you how, with their elaborate table settings that are all the inspiration you need for your next soiré
Sachin & Neha Gupta, Interior Designers & Co-Founders, Beyond Designs
Moody and enigmatic, yet warm and welcoming, this table setting was designed to transcend just the visual experience; it’s a treat to all senses. Dazzling luxury and intricate details are the high points of this tablescape put together by the minds behind Beyond Designs, Sachin and Neha Gupta. A regal crystal chandelier hangs over an elegant marble tabletop. Elaborately crafted crystal candle stands set the mood, while colourful glassware, gilded dinnerware, vibrant serving bowls and golden cutlery — all created and curated by Beyond Designs Home accentuate the setting with glamour. From silver articles and white-and-blue china to glass accessories, an eclectic amalgam of accent pieces underlines the more-is-less philosophy of the theme of the décor. “If you are looking to create a multilayered, splendorous mood, mix and match glassware, cutlery and dinnerware of disparate styles,” the Guptas advise. “Combining different kinds of accessories, antiques from different eras, and vibrant artwork adds to the rich look. Make sure to achieve a balance with all elements.” They also recommend including floral arrangements to “add freshness and soften the mood”.
Sravanya Rao Pittie, Interior Designer & Founder, Soka Design Studio
Bringing culinary memories from travels to the dining room, this tablescape by Sravanya Rao Pittie was inspired by a restaurant on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Da Paolino. “It has the most exquisite lemon orchard cascading through its walkway!” the designer says, recalling sitting under an orchard of lemon trees and their sweet-smelling leaves. The multilayered tablescape comes together with different textures and techniques of porcelain art. Besides a pair of Maiolica ceramic urns from Ravello and candles to reminisce an Italian soirée, the table comes alive with handmade ‘lemon plants’ and Noritake plates crafted by Soka Design Studio’s porcelain artists. Other elements include pieces from Bordallo Pinheiro. “The menus and designs are personalised to make the experience Italian yet homely. Italians take their food rather seriously, and it’d be unfair to box the experience into a lunch or dinner. Their passion for food extends beyond a routine, which explains the variety of flavours and preparation styles across its expanse,” she explains her work here.
Sonal Jetha, Designer & Founder, Kaunteya
Invoking her brand’s ethos of taking inspiration from India’s historic artforms, heritage and architecture, Sonal Jetha fashioned this table setting for an informal holiday lunch or brunch. “The earthy hues of the look depict how the design draws from nature, using products from Kaunteya’s elegant Pichwai series,” she says. The use of pampas grass and jute coconut fibre placemats lend the layout a bohemian look, while the high candles, classic cutlery and fresh flowers add a classic, indulgent touch, along with the tableware that’s adorned with 24k gold for a regal finish. “It’s fun to experiment with different ways to set up a table for a particular occasion and make your guests feel special,” she adds. “Meticulously chosen flowers enhance the colour scheme and bring a sense of joy and cheer to the atmosphere. On ways to accentuate the look further, she advises using varied textures of tableware and linen. “One should try to make sure that the elements used have life in them and narrate a story. Leave ample breathing space to let each element shine through.”
Adil Ahmad, Restoration Architect, Interior Designer & Founder, The Palace Collection
Contemporary classical is how Adil Ahmad loves to define his style. Amalgamating the present with the past, the designer takes pleasure in fusing modern elements to suit present lifestyles with accents from classic schools of design. In this tablescape, evident is Ahmad’s signature regal touch. Inspired by the vast and varied Indian cultural heritage, which he attempted to interpret in a classical contemporary milieu, this table was laid out for a formal festive lunch. Drawing eyes is an heirloom English crown derby set, flanked by glasses that are made of hand-blown Murano glass. The cutlery and bespoke gilded flatware are Ahmad’s own design, while the table linen was hand embroidered with his family monogram by Pretty Singh of Kuchamen Fort. The chairs around the dining table were custom designed by Alex Davis of the Indi Store. “The most important detail one must keep in mind while laying out a tablescape is that all the elements must come together to create a cohesive whole,” Ahmad says. “They must look and feel perfectly balanced and coordinated to appear stylish.”
Deepika Jindal, Creative Director & Managing Director, Arttd’Inox (JSL Lifestyle)
Staying true to her brand’s character of finding art in stainless steel, this table setting by Deepika Jindal is as elegant as can be, with all tableware, serveware and cutlery sourced from Arttd’Inox. The miseen scène breathes life into a leisurely brunch spread, to be shared among friends and family on a beautiful Sunday, where everyone gets to spendtime with eac other and enjoy delicious fare served in beautifully designed tableware. Jindal has “dressed up” the table with elegant yet quirky additions like plants sourced locally, handwoven textiles, signature napkins, and even seasonal fruits, making the layout a subject of conversation and allowing the host to personalise it to their taste and showcase their creativity.
Gunjan Gupta, Creative Director, It’s All About Homes (IAAH)
In a natural extension to their brand ethos of transforming houses into homes, Gunjan Gupta’s table setting is warm and inviting. “The table setting is rustic, antique, and nature-inspired. The colours are used keeping summer and monsoon in mind. It’s an ideal setting for brunch or lunch with light colour tones during the daytime,” she says, adding, “Also, it will go well for dinner as it is paired with formal cutlery and drinkware. You can even place a small menu or place cards to add personalization.”
Gupta’s home decor brand It’s All About Homes (IAAH) is known for presenting traditional Indian art and craft techniques in a contemporary way. For her signature table setting, she asserts the importance of one important element: Flowers!
“Flowers, candles, cutlery, and wine glasses are the elements that we all use to create the right ambiance for your intimate gathering. One should always keep in the mind to use these elements in the right way. The flowers should be used in such a way that there is enough space in the middle to keep the serving dishes,” she says, adding, “That is why a lot of empty space is left in between to make a comfortable service. Flowers shouldn’t be at eye level as it hinders conversations, the middle centerpiece in the setting is kept low height whereas the corner ones are kept higher to maintain the right height.”
Gupta has paired IAAH’s rustic stone collection with formal cutlery and formal wine glasses to create a versatile effect that’s perfect for a variety of occasions.
Co-ordinated By: Amber Tikari and Sonam Poladia
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in HELLO! India’s July 2022 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!