IDS Vancouver: A Well of Inspiration
This year, September was absolutely full of design events and projects! Conveniently, this means we are immersed in inspiration before the holiday season takes off and we have lots of opportunities to include our favourite design elements in dining tables, new interiors, seasonal decoration, parties, the list goes on! Sometimes the hardest part is refining what you love and translating it from a showroom, magazine page (or blog!) to your own space.
A standout on our calendars was the Interior Design Show (IDS) hosted in Vancouver. Our dinner table installation that we conceived for Dinner x Design was packed up and transported across town where we re-assembled it for a new audience of design aficionados. Having put together our tablescape twice, in two very different settings, we have a few notes on how to successfully design and assemble a dining table for any event this season:
- In early planning stages, set some boundaries with an overarching theme or colour palette. We found this focused our design as well as encouraged us to be creative within the parameters we set. Working with the idea of ‘Vancouverism’ we made sure that each element related to a visual or cultural touchstone in our city.
- The most interesting and visually appealing results came from coordinating, not matching. Our overall palette included a range of neutral tones and materials that we punctuated with coloured glassware, succulents, and metallic accents. In a design setting like Dinner x Design or IDS this enabled us to focus our audience on the quality of our bespoke items and the craftsmanship of each piece. At home, a well-developed palette will hold its own when guests and food are introduced to the space.
- Consider the whole dining area. We had the extra challenge at IDS in building walls that complemented our tablescape. We balanced our ‘room’ by bringing in some larger scale items and more decorative pieces that would not have worked on the table itself (large carved panels, delicate bird nests, paintings to name a few). We made sure there was still plenty of room to circulate around the table and highlighted the table itself with a beautiful ceramic chandelier. Whether you have a formal dining area, an eat-in kitchen, or a patio your table should relate to its surroundings both visually and logistically.
- A dining table is, after all, functional. We selected our pieces based on their aesthetic, of course, but also their purpose. Try not to overload the table with too many purely decorative items. The essentials ( in our case: linens, plates, utensils for each course served, glassware, serving dishes, etc..) should be able to hold your design and extras (centerpieces, place-cards, decorative accents) will enhance it. To make the “…should I or shouldn’t I?” decision easier, break the decor list into Essentials and Accents.
- Start simple and build. We started with a theme and a goal to showcase local makers and artisans. You may have an heirloom place setting, favourite colour scheme, special linens, or a photo from a design magazine. Find a solid base for your design and revisit it periodically to stay on track and make sure each addition contributes to the design. Want to keep it simple? Look at your inspiration and see if your table elements fit with your principle ideas. If you want to go for an over-the-top table play with scale and decor and build, build, build!
Are you inspired? We hope so!
Have a wonderful long weekend and a lovely Thanksgiving!
-Designers Collective Team