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5 Tips for Table Tops that POP

5 Tips for Creating a Table Setting Using Mismatched Tableware | Tip #3 Create dimension |Check out how this tip and more can put the pop on your table top| The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com
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Hello Friends,

Raise your hand if you have a bunch of mismatched tableware.

Now, raise your hand if you’d like to know how to make it work.

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Over the years, I have collected tableware in all colors and shapes.  It’s all odd pieces and nothing matches, but somehow it all seems to come together.  Recently, one of my friends asked if I’d show her how to use some of these pieces.  So I made a few settings for one or two.  If you find these tips useful, we will expand to bigger tables.  And yes, I use the exact same mismatched pieces for larger tables, they just have to be set up a bit differently.  But for now, let’s have a look…..


Tip 1:  Push Color to 110%

Back in the day, there was a hard and fast rule for color balance in a room called the 60-30-10 Rule.  Break it to your decorating peril.  But now, things have changed.  And while this rule is still the foundation ratio from which to start, there is now some wiggle room.

5 Tips for Perfect Tablesettings Using Mismatched Tableware | Tip#1 Color balance | Find out how to make this and 4 other tips work for your mismatched table | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

It happens when, after adding one accent color (10%), the room still needs a little something.  Nowadays, it’s a-ok to go 110%.  This means another accent color can be added to the ratio, making it 60-30-10-10.  This ratio works great for this table setting.  Blue is 60%, white is 30%, terra-cotta is 10%, and lime green is 10%. 

5 Tips for Perfect Table Settings Using Mismatched Tableware | Tip #1 Color balance | Consider the 60-30-10 (+10) rule and how it can help clear color confusion | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Tip 2:  Build On a Bold Pattern

I made this houndstooth tablecloth from fabric designed for women’s clothing.  This is because I couldn’t find a ready-made tablecloth in a print that was bold, but not busy.  I love the houndstooth print with the black chairs. It’s exactly the foundation I was looking for.

5 Tips for Perfect Table Settings Using Mismatched Tableware | Tip #2 Build on a bold pattern | Find out how this tip and more can take a table from drab to fab | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

From the tablecloth, solid-colored pottery pieces and a vintage linen napkin are stacked.  At the top is a fine china bowl in a different pattern and color, but in a pattern that is sized to compliment the houndstooth.  Notice that all of the background colors are the same color (white).  By using all white background colors and topping the stack with another pattern, the table setting works with the tablecloth instead of just sitting on top of it.

5 Tips for Perfect Table Settings Using Mismatched Tableware | Tip #2 Build on a bold pattern | See how this tip and more can make your tables say wow | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Tip 3:  Add Dimension

Before we leave this set of photos, one more thought.  Do your table settings have dimension?  To me, this just means that they are not flat. To create lift from the table, I try to use plates with texture on the edges and top the stack with pieces that stand up rather than lay flat.  Notice the patterned china bowl on the top has edges and handles that curve up.  Then the crystal candle holder adds the final lift.   

5 Tips for Creating a Table Setting Using Mismatched Tableware | Tip #3 Create dimension |Check out how this tip and more can put the pop on your table top| The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Tip 4:  Use Different Shapes

Notice the same charger and dinner plate is now staged on a polka dot background with a whimsical salad plate.  The salad plate shaped like a cupcake is the star of the show.  This setting is a bit flatter than I like, but for a casual and fun setting, the salad plate is perfect.

5 Tips for Setting Table Tops That Pop | Tip #4 Use shapes other than round | Find more tips for jazzing up your table tops with these simple ideas | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Another salad plate in this set is round, but has ruffles on the edges.  And….. I do believe that a striped linen napkin placed just under the salad plate would finish this stack nicely.

5 Tips for Setting Table Tops That Pop | Tip #4 Use different shapes or textures | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Tip 5:  Combine Opposites

On this table, a crystal pitcher is paired with a rustic cutting board.

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Or combine a fine china bowl with a vintage lace tablecloth, a wooden place mat, and a pottery salad plate.

5 Tips for Setting Table Tops that Pop | Tip #5 Use opposites together | Find out more about this tip and more | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

And last, but not least, is a simple topper made with a paper napkin. A red checked tablecloth can be made of fabric, vinyl, or plastic.  To this, stack pretty stoneware and top with a colorful paper napkin to tie it all together. 

5 Tips for Setting Table Tops that Pop | Tip #5 Layer opposites together | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

And that’s all there is to it.  Five ways to look at your mismatched tableware with new eyes.  I do hope you’ll leave a comment letting me know if this little post is helpful AND if you’d like to see these types of combinations expanded.

5 Tips for Table Tops that Pop | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

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23 Comments

  • Reply Carolann June 28, 2016 at 7:53 am

    I just love your table tops! There’s no better way to make a room more interesting and the pops of color are stunning. What a great job you did. You truly have an eye for color my friend. Pinned and shared!

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 28, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      Thanks Carolann…you’re the best…

  • Reply Heather K Tracy June 28, 2016 at 8:03 am

    What a fun and informative post, Susie! Thanks for sharing such a fantastic array of colorful and lovely options…as always, you rock!

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 28, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks Heather! We need to collaborate.. Maybe sometime soon…

      • Reply Heather K Tracy June 28, 2016 at 8:59 pm

        Oh, now THAT sounds interesting, my friend…we’ll talk!

  • Reply michelle james June 28, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Omg!! Thank you. These are amazing. I love all of the colors and am going to start looking for bargains on fun plates. Love this!

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 28, 2016 at 5:55 pm

      Thanks Michelle….Good luck with those plates…. It’s loads of fun to play around with the settings. Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

  • Reply 1915house June 28, 2016 at 11:21 am

    These place settings are so pretty and fun! I loved that you used whatever worked for a tablecloth – thinking outside the box…That’s my fave….

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 28, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      Thanks Sarah…. I LOVE using wild things as part of table settings… we will have to keep trying new things…

  • Reply ARod June 28, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Love all the table top idea’s. What an inviting space you set.

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 28, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      Thanks Anj…. Maybe one day you can come over…I’ll set up the table.. XO

  • Reply apurdylittlehouse June 28, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Awesome ideas Susie. I love them all, and I especially love the idea of layering multiple plates on one another. Just perfect πŸ™‚

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 28, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      Thanks Sue…. Yep…Just take all the mismatched plates and stack’em up. It’s amazing how the look will pull together.

  • Reply mommacan June 29, 2016 at 1:10 am

    super cute post and dishes are my biggest weakness and my mom’s as well.

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 29, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Thanks so much.. I know what you mean…the more I work with dishes…the more I love’em. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 June 29, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    I love all of your ideas. You really have a talent for putting it all together. Your placesettngs look absolutely fantastic.

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 29, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks Debra…You just made my day.. Appreciate much.

  • Reply misstoni65 June 29, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    What great tips and examples to show people like me how to set a nice table without matchy matchy. I always love your table tops!!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 30, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      Thanks Toni!! Agree…no matchy matchy here…. XOXO

  • Reply Marie, The Interior Frugalista June 29, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Enjoyed this helpful post Susie! Oh my am I’m swooning over your beautiful dishes from the colors, patterns & textures. Your salad plates are adorable too!

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 30, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks so much, Marie. I’m such a dish addict…LOL…and it shows. πŸ™‚

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