The art of the "tablescape"
As a general rule, I have a strong aversion to the latest word trends. For instance, I want to run screaming from the room whenever I hear the word "granularity" applied to a discussion of student essays, and I loathe the word "iteration" applied to travelling art exhibitions. Funnily enough though, when I encountered the word "tablescape" in the interior design book the stuff of life by Hilary Robertson, I didn't find it as abhorrent as I thought I would. In fact, I found it quite appealing.
A tablescape, in case you're interested, is a changing display of visually interesting objects that you've bought or found. Such an arrangement can include pictures and photos, ceramics, flowers and foliage, or random bits and bobs that have come across your path. Roberston has a designated table in her apartment for her changing "still life" arrangements, and an important element of the tablescape is that it is frequently refreshed so that your eye is continually delighted by the sight of new compositions. A good tablescape should also reflect the interests and personality of the homeowner. Here are a few examples from Robertson's gorgeous book with photographs by Anna Williams:
A still life in the home of a florist.
A display shelf in the apartment of a landscape designer
A shelf above the bed in the home of the owner of a vintage emporium
Inspired by the ideas in the book, and looking for a new home for my three vintage rolling pins (see last post), I tried a small tablescape of my own. The rolling pins are segregated on their own woven mat, which sits alongside a group of ceramics and a vase of flowers.
The monkey dish, bought during our trip to Shanghai last year, is one of my favourite ceramics.
A "shelfscape" in my office features my two favourite toys: a sweet felt dog bought 20+ years ago from an op-shop and a gorgeous old wooden cat puppet (named Topper) that came from an antiques store in Whangarei. They sit looking cheerful alongside a framed postcard by Grant Banbury, a couple of pots from Freedom Furniture and a drawing of Merope by Emma Smith.
Here's a close-up of Topper's lovely face.
But of course, all the visually stimulating tablescapes in the world pale in comparison to the ever-changing "sofascape" that is this small furry marvel!
Why would you want to look at anything else?