V86: Expert Style Tips - Tips For Styling Beautiful Tabletops by Matthew Robbins, Matthew Robbins Design

Expert Style Tips

Matthew Robbins, Matthew Robbins Design

MATTHEW ROBBINS, MATTHEW ROBBINS DESIGN Matthew Robbins is creative director and co-owner of Matthew Robbins Design in NYC. His firm designs and produces events in NYC and all over the world. In addition to event design projects, Matthew also takes on a limited number of interior design and styling projects. He is a contributing editor for Martha Stewart Weddings and appears regularly on Martha Stewart Radio and TV. His first book, Matthew Robbins’ Inspired Weddings, was just published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Matthew brings over 15 years of experience in art, design and event production to every project.

If you’re looking for the most beautiful creations made from nature, Mathew Robbins is your go-to guy. He has an incredible eye for color, style and design. I am continually impressed by his wonderful arrangements and his ability to work with Mother Nature by creating art out of flowers’ natural beauty. It doesn’t hurt that he’s the choice of Martha Stewart, either. You will not be disappointed in what Matthew will create for you. I promise. - CECI JOHNSON

Five Quick Tips for Styling Beautiful Tabletops:

  1. Allow your color palette to pull it all together: Choose a great palette and a range of tones within that palette to create something bold, cohesive and unique. Color is more than enough for creating a look and making a statement. You don't need a theme or anything too specific if you pull things together with color, such as a range of fresh spring pink tones with white accents. Work from hot pink to the palest blush tone and allow the white to add a fresh, crisp contrast.

  2. Think outside of the floral centerpiece: Consider objects and non-floral items such as collectibles, architectural details, and family heirlooms as still life pieces that will enhance your table decor. Use multiples of one collected item to make a unique style statement, such as many spools of twine in various sizes. These can stack and add texture to your still life. Use a few random blooms or pieces of foliage to add a little natural whimsy. Once again, when working with so many objects and shapes, remember color is key for pulling it all together!

  3. Allow your food to make the statement: Set the table with beautiful food such as textural breads, produce, and seasonal savory treats. This can lead to a family-style table setting, and you don't have to focus on flowers to make the design statement. Still, don't think you can get away with using no flowers - but remember you can use less and make a great table setting.

  4. Use unique floral materials with unexpected textural elements: Leave the traditional roses and peonies behind and try working with pods, grasses, and beautiful foliage. You can create wonderful, poetic arrangements with these materials and the overall effect is very calming and subtle.

  5. Allow your linens to make a statement: Choose your tablecloths, dinner napkins and other tabletop accessories carefully. Your paper goods, such as a menu or place card, can also tie it all together by incorporating your color palette or custom motif as a signature touch. Remember, your guests really do experience the textures you set your tables with, so a nice linen goes a long way. You always want a beautiful dinner napkin, preferably 100% linen as the fabric is smooth to the touch, natural, and it actually functions as a napkin! There is nothing more irritating than trying to use a dinner napkin that slips and slides all over your face due to the shiny polyester fabric. Also, remember your table linens are not ball gowns. They should complement your table setting and overall look, but they should not look as if they are attending the Oscars!

Discover more on Matthew Robbins Design

Matthew Robbins, Matthew Robbins Design
Matthew Robbins, Matthew Robbins Design
Matthew Robbins, Matthew Robbins Design

In Matthew Robbins' Inspired Weddings, Matthew Robbins shows you how to base your wedding design on an object you and your spouse-to-be find meaningful. Robbins, one of Martha Stewart's go-to wedding experts, walks brides and grooms through his process of transforming the special into the spectacular, showcasing nine objects around which to build a wedding design. Along the way, he shares insider tips and industry secrets that make all the difference, allowing every couple to feel that they have imbued their special day with a bit of Matthew Robbins' wedding magic. At once hip and traditional, Robbins thoughtfully brings together classic themes and sentimental objects that allow anyone to create glamour and visual spectacle at nearly any budget.

Matthew Robbins' Inspired Weddings