We caught up with our friend and interior designer, Laura Butler-Madden, about creating a tablescape for everyday living - not just special occasions!
"I love nothing more than hosting family and friends for meals – Patrick and I have always loved doing this – he is very much the chef, and I am always on styling and clearing away duty! There are obvious times of year, when setting the table properly is a priority; Christmas and Easter are two that spring to mind, but I also really enjoy doing it for a non-special occasions too. It elevates an everyday meal to set the table and create memorable place settings for your guests.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time – once you have invested in good table linens, some lovely crockery, and a few vases, then it’s super easy to change up the mood or style depending on what you are hosting.
The table in these pictures was set for a lovely brunch with friends – I adore the Gingham range from Sophie Allport – it comes in three colourways and even though most of my schemes focus on soft, muted colours, for a daytime meal I wanted to brighten things up, so chose the beautiful teal runner and matching napkins. Before the table was finished with flowers, the two gingham elements added the colour pop and I think that they complement the gorgeous bee range of crockery perfectly.
For each place setting I brought in some natural texture with some rattan chargers and then added the two beautiful bee plates. Two plates work perfectly – the small one on top for the croissants and fruit that we will have to start with, whilst drinking tea from our beautiful Rose mugs and then the larger plate for the main event – scrambled eggs with avocado and tomatoes – Patrick slow roasts the tomatoes to really enhance the flavour and it’s one of my favourite brunches.
In all of my design work, as well as at home, I love to work with nature – seasonal and homegrown flowers and even sometimes fruit and vegetables can really elevate your table and mood. For this table I chose white roses to complement the beautiful new rose mugs and then added one of my all-time favourites; eucalyptus – I often use this to decorate napkins – it’s simple but so effective, and for this table the colour works perfectly with the gingham linen. I always fold the napkins in a simple way – I like the table to feel decorated but not too put together, so a casual fold and a simple piece of eucalyptus work perfectly.
Finally, I added some pops of colour with seasonal flowers from a local supplier, who I work with all year round. These colours also work well with the fabric on the curtains and banquette cushions. The bee jug as the table centrepiece works really well – large enough to hold a beautiful arrangement, but also a casual style to perfectly suit a brunch."
Follow Laura on Instagram at @laurabutlermadden.