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Illuminating Tablescape Design: How to Add Moody Lighting For Glowing Warmth When You Gather With Guests



As September waned, I enjoyed the luxury of determining, “What would be the theme for my latest table design?”  I was leaning into a Halloween look.  No, Too early for my style.  But no denying autumn was upon us; twilight and evening darkness sneaking in… hmmm. Then a light bulb went off. Literally. 💡 



I could celebrate the power of light and its casting off the dark, along with its illuminating symbol of the spiritual, the divine, and oh yes, intelligence.  In my mind’s eye, I could see the design “performance” lit up by Kleig lights.    

Let there be light!   



I was also inspired by my very special Ladies Who Lunch Conversation guest, Alice Chun, who is the inventor of the SolarPuff™ and the president of SoLight Design and designer extraordinaire of their collection of graceful, solar-powered lights. 

As a garden designer, I know the importance of light for plants  ~ and people.  

Interpreting a kind of light-art for the table was going to be the challenging yet fun undertaking here. 

But I was all in to create a light-filled look.  

Telling a story is what makes a table design special.  It makes the look more than just pretty. 

Layering the tablescape accessories is key to elevating the look.

I started with the colors and the foundation. And along with the theme, build up from there, mindful of texture and balance, and style. 

The Optics of Light Elements  

The colors of the table accessories would need to be primarily gold, as autumn and gold just seem so seasonal, plus gold surfaces better reflect and refract the light.  Same for the crystal glasses.  Our wedding champagne and wine crystal graces the settings and better captures the lights.

The place settings begin with the almost glittering sunburst gold chargers.

The dinner plates are sun yellow.  

The salad plates are the gold, vintage Stangl pattern I’ve been collecting for more than a few years.  (Any leads on dinner plates will be Most appreciated!)  

I used gold flatware to complement the shimmering look. 

For the foundation, I went with a black-colored table runner, sprinkled with gold glitter.  One can never have too much glitter! 

Little known fact: Glitter was invented in the Garden State ~ (the industry “still steeped in mystery”) and remains the global leader in all things sparkly ~ including this glamour garden girl ✨

De”Light”ful Table Details Accessories 

To add the artful details, I started with our home utility inventory, choosing interesting light bulbs.  I just love using things in new, surprising, and different ways!

Here the light bulb shapes lent a surprising, almost industrial design element to the composition. 

I also scattered some of the mini fishing lights that shine in different colors for another, added use of light.  

Suspended on the spiky succulents, there are solar-lit spiders resting there, offering a night glow ~ yet more light style. A pre-Halloween spooky luminescence. 

I placed the planet lights I bought for a previous celestial tablescape on pedestals at different heights that together, provide soft, colorful moody glow on the table. 

  Varying heights adds depth and nuance to table design. 

I wanted a simple but multi-use “light bulb” and called around to some craft stores with no luck. 

I searched online for Edison-style lightbulbs that can be used as vases. Perfect score! 

Not only are they great little vases, but they also work swell with mini tea lights inside. You could add in mini string lights for another sparkly look.

They are just adorable.  

   

On the centerpiece look, it must’ve been karma, because during my treasure hunting at the recent annual flea market in our marinla, I found two gold Stangl pieces at an annual flea market in our marina.  

The pieces match the dinnerware I have ~ yeah ~ and I put the flower-like piece inside the bowl to create a two-tiered centerpiece.

I put in the white branched, timed, battery-powered lights ~ making a sparkly dazzler, and in the bowl, a string of lights, wrapped in gold, glittery ribbon. 

I added in some faux Sunflowers 🌻 🌻 🌻 for beauty and as nod to Alice’s sun-powered lights!

It’s a happy, heart of the design.

Fronted by the pièce de résistance: two Solar Designs SolarPuffs. 

 

The SolarPuffs possess an elegant, origami-inspired design.  Alice dipped into her Korean cultural heritage to create this timeless style.  (See my blog post about Alice and her designs here 

In turn, I was inspired to create the place setting napkins utilizing an origami fold, using two different napkins, in the table’s two primary colors: black and yellow, in order to help tell the SolarPuff design and engineering story.  The napkin colors also amplify the sunflowers and sun connection 🌞 

I placed glittery, gold tea lights and various other elements into the final look. A roaring fire adds that ancient glow of warm light to the overall ambience.

It’s reported that Light allows us to see the surrounding world by distinguishing details, individual colors, movement, and brightness. It has a very big impact on a human in terms of the physiology and psyche. 

Light has also and always been glorified as the source of goodness and the ultimate reality; it accompanies transcendence into the Nirvana of Buddhist doctrine. 

Light is indeed spiritual. 

And it offers a very big welcome to your guests.  A light-filled table design where you gather can provide and promote a warm connection for your family and friends. 

Please enjoy this illuminating table design to help inspire your next dinner party or social occasion where you gather to eat together.

Here’s the video tour of the Illuminating Table Design

Cheers


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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

Join me to celebrate a romantic, garden-infused, entertaining lifestyle filled with artful design, sparkling dinner parties, peerless martinis, and copious magnums of champagne!

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