12 March, 2009
Tableuxs & Tablescapes
Where does the line get drawn between simply piling things onto a surface or actually being able to create a fabulous tableux or when entertaining, a tablescape? I admire those who can create an arrangement of items on a chest or table that looks effortlessly arranged or collected.....but, abhore those who pile endless amounts of stuff onto a surface in the hopes that it looks ......hmmm, well 'nice.' As Steven Parissien says in his recent book, Interiors: The Home Since 1700, 'True clutter is very different from those artfully arranged tablescapes ... aimed to give an instant lived-in look.' That's what I think I try to achieve when creating a tableux, that "lived-in look" with an arrangement of items loved, collected, and memory provoking. I tend to lean more towards the sparser arrangements of things loved and collected; especially in the summer months when dust seems to collect more heavily like on the entrance table above (forgive the poor photography, it looks much nicer in person.) I like being able to focus on the objects d'art themselves as opposed to seeing books piled up in stacks with objects on top of them, making the literature completely useless as you are too afraid to move the objects on top to actually read the books! Don't get me wrong, in a library, stacks of books on a central table are good -- as long as the reader doesn't have to wade through chotchkas on top to get to the books. I love old tea boxes or antique wooden boxes in general, but on a larger space, struggle to put something so low next to something higher, like a lamp for example without stacking them on top of each other. Well, hopefully as I see more and develop more - perfecting the tableux will come to me! Until then, there are great books out there and tons of websites, of course, to browse through for inspiration! Happy tablescaping! For some amazing ideas, see Phillip Sides Interior Design in Alabama (http://www.phillipsidesinteriordesign.com/PSIDDefault.html). He has some beautiful tablescapes using very calming colors, like the first image below. And, of course, if you want to see more perfect tablescapes, please check out Phoebe Howard's creations at http://www.mrshowardpersonalshopper.com/mrs_howard_personal_shopp/page/2/ - perfection in every image. I've included several of her tableuxs below, along with my favorite etagere with an artful arrangement of items by Phoebe and her team. Enjoy!