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Showing posts with label tablescape. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tablescape. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tablescapes

As I put away my Christmas decorations and reorganize the house, I usually take the opportunity to make a change in my decor. I rearrange some of the furniture, edit out some of the tchochkes (most of them are packed away at this point, to my husband's great relief), move around the artwork. I also tend to redo the 'tablescapes'. I was first introduced to this term through the Peak of Chic blog, when she did some wonderful posts (part I and part II) on the art of tablescapes.

The details of a tablescape, by a master of the tablescape, Jim Beebe Hawes of Caldwell-Beebe.


Tablescapes have been a topic of great interest to me this year, mainly because I am in the process of completely changing everything in my entryway. When I was trying to decide what kind of piece to put in my front hall, one of my fellow bloggers commented that I seemed to be more interested in the tablescapes of the pictures that I posted, rather than the specific furniture piece in the picture. There was wisdom and insight in that observation! Perhaps this is because tablescapes are really like little still lifes, which appeals to the artist in me. I really think that the creation of a beautiful tablescape is a true form of artistic expression.



Another beautiful tablescape, from the Ethan Allen catalog. The variation in height, the bowl, artwork, and arching branches create a beautiful composition.

The term 'tablescape' is attributed to the British designer David Hicks (1929-1998), and he was a master at artfully arranging and grouping everyday objects, works of art, and accessories. In Hicks' words: "What is important is not how valuable or inexpensive your objects are, but the care and feeling with which you arrange them.” Patricia Gray did a wonderful write-up of David Hicks and his timeless interiors, so no need to replicate that here, but make sure to check out her post. It is very well written and well researched, with lots of pictures of Hicks work.

A tablescape by David Hicks, from Peak of Chic


In my usual style, I did some research on tablescapes. I found an excellent guide in the principles of creating a tablescape on the website of a realtor/designer. Here are some of the basics that the author, Sandra Tuell, shared in her article.

  • Select items for your tablescape based on the size and scale of the table surface
  • Select an odd number for your composition; an old rule of thumb is that groupings of 3, 5, 7 or 9 is more pleasing than even number groupings.
  • Use hardcover books as pedestals to elevate objects.

A Suzanne Kasler tablescape. I love the little sculptures, resting on books that have been made into stands of varying levels. Kasler employs the odd number rule very effectively, with five sculptures, and seven total items on the table. The scale of the table is small, so Kasler has selected small scale items for the surface: a delicate lamp, small sculptures. Even the intaglios displayed above the table are small in scale.

  • Layer items as an artist creates a scene, with a background, middleground, and foreground.
A beautiful Michael Smith tablescape. This is also one of my favorites from my inspiration files. The tallest object, the branches and vase, form the background. The bust forms the middleground, effective because of its shape. The linear form of the books provide a constrast in the foreground.

A David Hicks masterpiece, from the Peak of Chic. This one certainly has great elements of arrangement, and all three planes - background, middleground, and foreground.

  • Creat highs and lows to give dimension and depth
A tablescape that emphasizes varying heights. From Better Homes and Gardens, via the Newhomes blog.

Barbara Westbrook Interiors. The whole arrangement has a great variation in heights with the mirror, sconces, and all of the items arranged on the console.
  • Vary some of the textural elements in the tablescape - light/dark; shiny/matte; curves/straight lines.
Another Caldwell-Beebe tablescape. The variation in line, texture, and tone is masterful.

A high impact tablescape from Anne Coyle Interiors. There is a lot going on here, but it works for me! This tablescape beautifully illustrates the concept of varying textures and lines.

The final recommendation from Sandra Tuell's article is a good one: use all of these points as guidelines, not as rigid rules. The most important guideline is to use your own personal treasures, things that inspire you, to create your own tablescape masterpiece.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lovely tablescape


Yes, I am still agonizing over what to do with my front hall...and I blame it all on this picture. Somehow or another, I stumbled upon this wonderful image from Decor8's blog. It is from the talented designer Anne Coyle (thank you for letting me know, Peak of Chic!). There is something so appealing about this tableau to me. If you break down the individual elements in this picture, it should not be on my obession list. I am not a fan of yellow or purple. I am also not a fan of lots of 'stuff'. However, the console table is just about perfect to me. It has presence and style, and enough width to pull off a mirror and a framed sketch (as well as a multitude of other items!). Perhaps it is the overall balance of the arrangement that appeals (I love the variation in height of all of the objects). Perhaps it is the lovely sea fan that catches my eye.


I think something like this would be amazing in my entryway. A dark brown/black console (I love that this one has books balanced on the bottom...I have SO many design and art books), my Niermann Weeks mirror, a small painting or sketch, a seafan in a bowl. Combined with a Madeline Weinrib Mandala rug with green and black....maybe it is the hunt I enjoy the most.

To visit my store, Quatrefoil Design, click here.

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Beautiful framed intaglios, available here:

Unique architectural renderings, available here:

Whimsical original crab and lobster paintings, as seen in House Beautiful, available here:



http://www.quatrefoildesign.com/

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