Inspiration 13 May 2019

Award-winning interior blogger, Karen, shows us how to add those little touches of luxury to a simple table setting.

Karen Clough, aka @karenanita, set the table using our Abode showroom accessories, whilst keeping in mind dinnertime is all about enjoying family time.

A little about Karen;

As a busy working Mum, writer of award-winning interiors blog ‘Well I Guess This Is Growing Up’, a background in journalism and someone who’s currently renovating her new family home, Karen’s day to day life is chock full of inspiration. Follow her on her Instagram or Twitter to see what she’s up to.

As part of our Spring Home Edit challenge, we asked Karen to create a table setting using products available from our Abode showroom.

Karen decided to bring some colour to the table by combining fresh pinks, greens and a few touches of gold for that added luxury vibe.

She then added contrasting black matte cutlery that made for a dramatic twist alongside our velvet blue cooper dining chairs.

So, if you've got a special occasion coming up, or just fancy jazzing up the dinner table midweek, here are some great ideas for creating that 'wow' factor in your own home.

Follow Karen’s simple tips to give your at-home dining experience a touch of dining out flair.

1. Choose 2 to 3 colours

Using a limited colour palette keeps things simple, without being uninteresting. I adore the pink and green combination, especially when contrasted against the black cutlery. Sat upon the beautiful wooden table, it’s a fabulous pairing of modern cosy home for me.

2. Leave room for more

Always leave room on the table for more. Whether you’re serving bread, an ice bucket or serving food straight to the table, you’ll always need some extra room. Layer up where you can.

3. Add a touch of luxury

A runner, napkins and setting plate. Whatever you have! It adds an air of luxury and it’s nice to have something left on the table once the plates are cleared away.

4. Add some (plant) life

Always add some life, whether it’s through a vase of flowers or some faux leaves sprinkled around the seating. Bringing the outdoors into your dining room can make mealtime feel like a real occasion - as if you’re eating al fresco on holiday.

5. Add the unexpected

Add something unexpected, whether it’s a piece of crockery which shouldn’t be there or an interesting pattern in your serving dishes - it’s a conversation starter.

Karen’s final words of advice - “Have fun with it! Designing your home life should be personal to you, and great design, in my opinion, is all about making the little moments of every day a bit more memorable.”


When it comes to dining in, we wanted to get to know a bit more about the woman behind the table, so we asked Karen a few questions:

Do you usually dress your table or is it only on special occasions?

We rarely dress up our table at home, and it’s something I want to rectify! Growing up, setting the table was part of a family ritual at the end of the day. It was time to catch up and all pitch in. I think many of us workaholics have forgotten that, and it’s something that we need to remind ourselves is important.

What is important to you personally when sitting down at a dining table?

Communication. The dining table is such a great place for socialising, whether it’s a budget-friendly mid-week meal with the kids or a lavish girls’ night in. Set the scene to sit and enjoy the company of those you cherish.

What makes a dinner party successful to you?

Laughter! And a clean table by the end of the evening. It might sound too sensible to clear up whilst the party is still going, but you’ll thank yourself the morning after.

What would be your ultimate dinner party?

I love party games, I must admit! There’s nothing more than I love than a family dinner party, full of chaos, noise, and “Did I remember to take it out of the oven?” panic. When the calm of children in bed arrives, and the dishes are tidied away, there’s not much better than a tub of chocolate mints and a great game of cards to wind down the evening.

What would be your dream dish to eat at a dinner party?

Spaghetti Vongole! Wonderful, cheap and full of flavour. Also great for parties. Simply serve in an oversized bowl and let everyone help themselves.

Do you feel it’s important to sit down at the table with family and friends?

Absolutely. Our lives become hectic and it’s easy to sit down in front of the TV and get a quick bite to eat. But it’s not quality time. I think it’s vital to get a few minutes each day to really talk to one another and enjoy your meal.