Interiors stylists Caroline Anderson and Sofie Lawett are the creators
of the inspiring new tables and recipes book from IKEA, FANTASTISK
– Every Day Counts. Here they share some of their ideas
One big idea to set the scene
”Everyone can have fun experimenting with
different table settings. And don’t feel
constrained by rules. For example, there’s no
need to have matching items for each guest;
in fact it can look much more inviting and
informal if you try mixing cutlery and crockery
that you wouldn’t normally put together.
Here’s four great table settings to awaken your
A summer brunch
This table is set for a help-yourself brunch
– stacked plates, cutlery, tea and coffee cups.
Foldaway side tables are a great way to
accommodate unexpected guests. We used
one to extend the garden table. And if space is
limited on the main table, set your food on the
Favours are small presents you often give to
wedding guests but it can be nice to give
guests a gift to take home from any meal.
These pots are homemade using wallpaper.
Each is planted with a seedling for a herb or
flower. Alternatively, plant your seedlings in
small pots wrapped in textile for a personal
This table isn’t laid out with individual place
settings but make it easy for everyone to grab
their cutlery set by wrapping a knife, fork and
spoon in a paper napkin and fastening with a
piece of contrasting fabric.
We wrapped strips of fabric around the back of
these chairs. A simple idea that adds a
personal touch and reuses old fabric.
A bohemian wedding
This mood here is easy and relaxed. It’s a
bohemian summer wedding in a field. We
mixed everything up – old plates and glasses
with new; lace and linen table cloths; flowers
picked from the garden with ones bought from
the florist. Everything is OK.
Use coloured tape to write your guests’ names
on the back of each chair or spell out a
message – we taped ‘just married’ to the back
of the bride’s and groom’s chairs. Just pick a
tape that is easy to remove!
Use photos for place settings – it’s easy and
personal. If you can use an instant camera to
take a snap of each guest as they arrive, it
means they will have a nice keepsake of the
A midsummer feast
Eating outside means you already have a
naturally beautiful backdrop so you can take it
easy with your table. Use whatever seating is
to hand – don’t worry about everything
matching. Let the food take centrestage and
set everything off with fresh field flowers
displayed in a vase or jar.
Invite guests to tuck in by arranging food on a
mix of wood chopping boards and scent the
table with fresh herbs placed in glass jars.
Use a sprig of fresh herb to decorate napkins.
Wrap a strip of fabric around the napkin for
added interest – and to stop the sprig blowing
away in a summer breeze!
A kid’s party
What’s your theme? Be bold and bring it to the
table. This is a party for an animal lover and
we’ve covered the stools with fabric that has a
wild feel to it, as well as creating a centrepiece
of animal toys.
Why not pop some popcorn and serve it in
homemade paper bags? Kids will enjoy
watching the preparation as well as eating the
Even when you use paper napkins and plates,
you can make a table feel extra special. Each
place setting here is the same, which makes a
real visual impact – and means no child will be
jealous of what the other has! Even though we
have a tablecloth, we have layered each
setting with a place mat, plate and napkin.
And we added something extra to those
ordinary things like the place mat (edges cut
into triangles) and the napkins (folded into a
fan shape) that the kids will hopefully find
A birthday breakfast for two
A twist on breakfast in bed. Set a table for an
intimate birthday breakfast prepared with love.
Write a message around the rim of a plate to
create a special mood on the morning of a
loved one’s birthday.
Make your own handwritten gift tag and attach
it to a present using a big clip. The feel is
homemade and super personal.
Inspired? Here’s even more great table setting ideas
Inside the new FANTASTISK Every Day Counts
book, you’ll find more ideas that make every
day special. Created by Caroline Anderson and
Sofie Lawett, FANTASTISK has 17 tables, for
special days and everyday, through the four
seasons, with easy recipes to suit each table.
‘We hope the ideas in this book will be a
starting point for great times shared at the
table with friends.’