A table set in a ravishing style is like an art masterpiece – opulent, emotionally appealing and with fine details in which it’s easy to fall in love. As carefree as the shimmering sunlight captured by the Impressionist painters or as experimental as the canvas used by an abstract artist. The new trends are an invitation to celebrate and live life to the full. We showcase tables for special occasions with a visual allure to be admired and savoured.
There’s lots of talk these days about a yearning for high-quality handcrafted products, for something tangible in our digital world. Natural materials, hardwearing non-manmade fabrics and arrangements that wouldn’t be out of place in an old, rustic farmhouse all translate to a love of simplicity. The latest festive tables exploit well-loved traditions and trends to the full. Elegant grey, washed-out blue and pastel powder shades show off their full strength in concert. Matt-effect cutlery complements this sense of stylish laisser-faire. All in all, it’s reminiscent of a Baroque still-life, a carefully composed arrangement. For these painters it was a world that held its breath in celebratory anticipation – honest and without showiness. Our favourite items are premium bone porcelain – pure white or with a subtly shimmering platinum rim – combined with serviettes made from rustic hand-woven linen. For centuries, pure linen has been used in kitchens on account of its durability; this classic item is now enjoying a new prominence on tables set for celebrations. However, it’s not ironed with perfect creases – the preference today is for a smooth structure and a stonewashed look.
- Manufacturer: Noritake
A touch of scandal
At many celebrations we want fireworks and passion. Opulence impresses and makes a special evening a night to really remember. Eye-catching trends give everyone a reason to celebrate: brass and copper tones, abstract decorations and mysterious black. At first glance we’re reminded of dinner parties from the golden age of Hollywood. Tables that could have been painted by art deco icon Tamara de Lempicka, one of the most unconventional painters of her time. The feel here is as sensual as perfectly chilled champagne. A gold-coloured fork is lifted elegantly to the mouth; the decorations delight the eye like the flickering tongues of flames. Hunger is too meagre a word for this expression of ravenous desire.
- Manufacturer: SPAL
A game with no limits
Denial of norms and conventions – that was how bohemian artists lived their lives. Studios in disarray were the birthplace of great works of art, their creators whiling away whole nights in fervent discussion around make-do tables. The eclectic bohemian style fits in beautifully with a lightness of being where love, friendship and life itself are celebrated. To be free, with just a hint of anarchy – that’s the sentiment the artist cliques in Paris’s Montmartre must have embraced. With the modern-day bohemian look, aristocratic colours such as red, gold and silver are in demand alongside warm earth tones. They’re combined with roughly finished wooden elements, plain-coloured linen serviettes (a must for special occasions – only pizzas are eaten with paper napkins) and a few wild flowers to catapult these tables into the here and now. For those who are particularly daring on the style front, non-prickly succulents complete the laidback look.
- Manufacturer: Arzberg
For a long time, floral patterns were to be used with caution, tainted as they were with suburban conventionality. By contrast, the new tableware ranges confidently feature the beauty of nature in a way that’s fresh to the eye. Decorative elements interpret historical etching motifs or take us on a walk around those gardens loved by the French Impressionists. Blue, the colour of the sky, the sea and cornflowers, is all part of the picture here in concert with white. Geometric patterns similar to those of the Russian avant-garde group Jack of Diamonds make for a blue watercolour wonder. Yellow and silver are also used, bringing a gleam of summery energy to the whole.
- Manufacturer: SPAL, Wegwood