Table-laying Tips With Jemima & Alice HerbertBy Jemima & Alice Herbert, LAY London
Jemima & Alice Herbert, LAY London, give us their top tips for table-laying. LAY is a revolutionary tablescape rental service, delivering curated tabletop looks to Londoners’ doors. With a firm belief that hosting shouldn’t mean hassle, LAY does all the work so you can get your beauty sleep. It’s what dinner party dreams are made of!
Where are you writing this from?
Jemima: We are in Devon near the sea. Dreaming of heading to the beach, but very much inside and trying to keep busy and creative…
What or who inspires you at the moment?
Alice: Who could not be inspired by what the NHS and frontline workers are achieving. They put themselves at risk every day – it’s truly selfless and brave. It’s also inspiring seeing small acts of kindness everywhere (@goodnewsmovement shares lots of these stories which is uplifting).
Jemima: On a more local note, Instagram has been a real window into how many small businesses, like catering companies, for example, have quickly adapted to provide deliverable meals but also providing for key workers too. I think this shows real perseverance when it is such a tricky time for the hospitality industry.
For creative inspiration we love…
@Telltalefood – the best ideas for serving up the most delicious-looking food
@decorhardcore – a fountain of whacky design inspiration
@bygloriagonzalez – interiors blog perfect for day-dreaming
How do you start your day?
Sitting in the garden with an oat milk latte (quite basic.. but can’t go without!) and planning productive tasks for the day, however small the achievement might be during lockdown (write a postcard, finish puzzle…) ticking off a list is always satisfying.
What are your favourite accessories to use when laying a table?
Alice: Linens totally transform the table. We knew when we started LAY that we wanted every tablescape to have colourful fabrics at their core. Our block printed tablecloths from Jaipur come in wonderful prints that really bring a table (and party!) to life.
Jemima: Pretty, delicate glassware – thin rims help make drinks taste better, no question! All of the glassware in our rentable collections has been hand-blown in Italy, and you can really feel it when you pick up a glass that is light-weight and tactile; we are particularly fond of some lovely bobbly tumblers that we’ve stocked up our own cupboards with too…
Imagine you were hosting a party: please pick 3 HOPP Suppliers you would would use
Hard to choose when you’ve got so many great names on your site..
Raj Tent Club – even if just a couple of their parasols for a lunch in the garden; they are are picture perfect and would magically compliment every LAY tablescape too.
Lara Arnott to take the photos – her photos seem to sparkle
The Rum Runner – their cocktails are ridiculously good and so are bound to get the party off on the right foot
5 top table-laying tips:
- Dressing a table is a bit like dressing yourself, you can keep to a coordinated, chic palette (blue & white is always a winning combo), or instead go colourwild and add plenty of accessories. Let your mood or the occasion dictate your styling; don't hold back!
- There's no doubt about it, fresh flora and fauna brings any tablescape to life. Arranging little flowers in bud vases along the table can be more effective than one large centre piece. If you're missing bud vases, egg cups or jam jars will also do the trick.
- No flowers? Get fruity, arranging bowls of lemons, limes, oranges or pomegranates to add freshness and colour.
- Mix it up - if you have mismatched tableware or incomplete sets, work with it... By alternating every other place with different china or cutlery it will give the table character, plus you've created your own unique theme!
- Make each person around the table feel that bit more special by adding a personal touch to their place setting. This could be anything from a funny illustration to a hand-written menu or something sweet to take home once the fun is all over.