Create a natural summer picnic feel indoors
Who says table runners have to run lengthways? And why wouldn’t you use old pairs of jeans as cushion covers? For Hester, decorating is about having fun with new combinations. Her dining area feels carefree and inviting; she’s sewn tea towels together to make table runners, which makes the setting feel special, but leaves parts of the wooden surface exposed, so it still feels relaxed and natural.
‘We love having brunch and inviting friends over for buffet-style dinners. Everyone can chat easily around our narrow table – it’s great for conversation!’
Lay the table with care
‘We always eat together as a family,’ says Graça. ‘It’s a part of our daily routine that we all appreciate.’ Making a dinner setting feel special doesn’ t have to take a long time. Even laying individual placemats, with stacks of circular plates, bowls and glasses, can look artistic and inviting. ‘When I’m entertaining, I simply add flowers and some colour to the table to make it more special. I love to mix patterns; I don’t like anything to be too matchy,’ she adds.
‘I love to update my decorations and dining area. Change is renewal and makes the energy of the house feel different and happy.’
Make it impromptu with a simple rustic table setting
‘A table setting can be quite simple,’ explains Hans, a stylist whose Parisian apartment is personal, but not perfect. What catches his eye in a home? ‘Texture. Colour. Random things put together.’ For a quick lunch, he serves quiche, cheese on a wooden chopping board and a fresh baguette wrapped in a white cloth, so nothing distracts from the food itself. And what does he set the table with? ‘Just plates and cutlery and a wrinkled linen tablecloth. I don’t like perfection!’
‘Home is all about food and eating and socialising and being together... it’s not a showcase.’