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rustic table styling ideas black dining table and grey chairs

Create my Rustic Table Setting at your Place – it’s Easy!

Eager to put together a rustic table setting inspired by all things native Australia? Of course you are! Scroll on as I give you some tips on how to rock this earthy and organic look at your place.

This week I taught a table styling workshop for Metricon Homes. Using phenomenal homewares from Salt & Pepper, I took attendees on a bit of a style journey. I thought it only fitting I take you through a similar one in this post.

After all, gorgeous decor moments can’t just take place in the permanent pockets of your home (though I do love permanent things like wallpaper and pendants). A sublime table setting is a good opportunity to get your creative juices flowing; be it for Mother’s Day, Easter, a birthday or any other special occasion. Sure, it’s only temporary, but why can’t great design moments be fleeting and fabulous?

And besides, the pieces you’ll use in a rustic table setting like this one are items you’ll keep for years. It’s a wash-rinse-repeat situation here. Replicate it for every occasion and it’ll get easier as you go along – I promise!

You can jump ahead and watch the video below to see how it comes together, or read on for some of my hot tips. This entire post and video was produced in partnership with the design team at Metricon. God they’re good.

A Rustic Table Setting is all about Texture

OK, so right off the bat you’ll notice how warm and earthy this scene is. That’s all thanks to the interplay of textures. Wood grain is the name of the game here and there’s a lot of it. The tabletop for starters, in that gorgeous deep brown. And then on top of that, the round chopping boards we’ve used as placemats.

Thinking outside the box is a nice idea when it comes to place settings. Everything can get housed on the chopping board: plates, bowels, glassware, napkins and cutlery.

You’d think a tablecloth might be needed here, but not for this look. You really want to see the timber grains mingling. And that’s another thing you should definitely embrace: different toned timbers sitting side-by-side.

There’s also a lot of texture elsewhere in this scene. The tableware itself is a combo of matt and gloss ceramic, which is beautiful. Then there’s softness coming from the fabric napkins in light tones to add contrast.

salt and pepper tableware and vases mothers day table styling

Refine your Colour Palette though

So with all this texture play going on, you’ll notice that the table looks full but not visually chaotic. That’s because we’ve kept the colour palette really refined. It’s subdued but interesting. You gotta keep a careful eye on the colours you use here though. If you bring in too many, this lovely rustic table setting can quickly become a messy mis-match of design moments.

When it comes to colour, think black, brown and grey tones as your base. Add a dash of white and beige here and there. And then embrace tones you’d see in native Australian flowers; muddy olive tones, chalky lighter greens, ochre yellows and a dash of mottled red. Let the neutrals be your main players though and you can’t go wrong.

Also don’t feel that the look has to be perfect. This is not a formal setting. It’s organic. So if you have some napkins in white and others in grey, it’s perfectly OK.

rustic table styling ideas for mothers day from salt and pepper

It’s Definitely a More is More Look

You’ll notice the table is quite full. I love that about this rustic table setting. That’s the whole idea here, actually. It’s not a pared-back formal look with symmetry and everything in its place. It’s more of a moment to take a relaxed approach and pop on as many items as you can.

My major piece of advice here is to ensure you have items on the table at different heights. And in different shapes. And in different colours and finishes. That’s how you create a table that feels designer and ‘complete’, but not messy.

A lot of people want to serve food in the kitchen or on a sideboard and then bring it over to the table. I’m in full support of that approach, but do include some bowls, plates and platters on the table that house food guests can graze on. Think cheese and dips, breads, olives and salami, olive oil and balsamic. You get the idea.

Having food as part of the setting also means you clean as you go. You’re literally taking apart your design with every slither of cheese and hunk of bread you devour 😉

PS I am so totally craving bree and bread now!

rustic table styling ideas for mothers day | TLC Interiors

Take from your Own Garden – and Spread it Round

It’s nice to include a stunning floral arrangement on the table top, but also think about place settings. For example, a place card with someones name on it can be accompanied by a sprig of herbs, or a beautiful flower, or a gorgeous stem/branch. All of these things can be plucked straight from your own garden or kitchen pantry.

When it comes to greenery it’s also nice to go beyond your tabletop. If you have a sideboard nearby, decorate that with similar flowers to those on your dining table, but a smaller arrangement. Doing this will make the scene go beyond just a rustic table setting. It means the entire room feels more cohesive and intentional.

Sometimes table settings can feel out of place because it’s this highly decorative moment that doesn’t tie into the rest of your home. By having smaller decor moments on nearby buffets or benches, you get around this issue.

rustic table styling ideas with food styling on black plate rustic table styling ideas from metricon

The Nomad Collection from Salt & Pepper

So as you’ll have seen us mention in the video up top, the pieces you see in these photo are from Salt & Pepper. They’re part of the Nomad collection and good Lord and I in love with them.

The Nomad collection is such a nice journey through subdued colour, interesting textures and organic shapes. And the best part is that while it shines in a setting like this, you can absolutely use it day-to-day.

If you want to explore the Nomad collection a little further, click here. Some items will be available but some might now be out of stock. They’re so good they fly out pretty quickly!

Drop me a comment below if you have any other questions. Otherwise, have a ball creating this rustic table setting at your place! 

australian native flowers in a matte black vase from salt and pepper in rustic table settting

This post includes images and/or videos of Metricon display homes and events, reproduced with permission.
© Metricon Homes Pty Ltd 2016.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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4 Responses

  1. Perfect, perfect, perfect now that’s what I want the House Rules people to do for god sake soft walls rich opulent colour combos.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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