No budget doesn’t mean no beauty!
The truth is, tablescaping can be a very costly hobby—trust me, I know. Between all the parts of the table like the plateware, glassware, and all-the-other-wares PLUS the other “less important” details like chargers, centerpieces, and more (FYI these bits are still important and don’t try telling me otherwise), planning a soirée can rack up major expenses… and quickly!
But don’t let the costs scare you away! Tablescaping done right is such a rewarding experience: after all, I do believe that the best kinds of parties appeal to ALL your senses, including your eyes. Can you just imagine throwing a big bash with a meh table? Or attending a party with absolutely no table decor? While the lack of design won’t necessarily change the taste of the food, it will end up leaving a bad taste in your mouth.
Maybe I’m just a scaping snob, but I am a firm believer that everyone deserves to enjoy the finer things in life—and for me that means a well-appointed table at all times. Now this may mean a simpler scape for daily dining or a table that goes ALL OUT for a special occasion, but each tablescape should be as lovingly prepared as the food that will be on it.
Of course, I also have to be practical and face the facts: I am neither extremely wealthy nor extremely handy (AKA I can maybe do simple DIYs but don’t expect to see me wielding a hammer anytime soon). That means I have to think outside the box to create beautiful tablescapes without breaking the bank… or any bones! I also have to think about how much space scaping requires—ya girl doesn’t have unlimited storage, you know!
Luckily for me and for you, years of scaping has prepared me for this conundrum. Over my admittedly short lifetime, I’ve curated tips and tricks to make tablescaping easy—both to the eyes and to the wallet, hah. Below you’ll find my favorite “hacks” to get you that budget beauty look, without looking like a budget beauty. Enjoy!
1. Use less (or no flowers)
I’m definitely on a greenery kick right now! I love the idea of forgoing the traditional fresh flowers for something a bit more unexpected, like a tableload of greens and wild vines. If you do need a pop of color on your table, a mix of wildflowers and weeds can give you the same rustic feel without the added cost!
Evergreens give such a cozy feel to everything! Add some pillar and taper candles around the table and you’ll be all set for the holidays!
Don’t be scared to go crazy with the greens—that’s one of the best things about picking such an inexpensive way to decorate!
2. Go easy on the decor
A beautiful tablescape doesn’t have to be overloaded with parts! Sometimes, a minimalist scape can make a bigger difference than one that’s filled to the brim with decor. This season, try to go from a more is more to a less is more mentality, and watch your scapes (and your finances) transform!
I love this casual tablescape that’s so striking in its simplicity!
Even “special event” tablescapes can benefit from the minimalist trend: case in point? This gorgeous wedding table!
3. Sharing is caring (AKA borrow or rent!)
One of the perks about having a family of tablescaping enthusiasts is that I can borrow things as needed. Tropical-themed dishware? Check. Rose gold cutlery? Double check. Things that I would otherwise have to spend money on can be found in the cabinets of some cousin or another, and for that I am eternally grateful.
But even if your family (or your circle of friends) don’t share your enthusiasm for the art, online rental services exist for everything from linens, to flatware, to even complete tablescaping packages!
Most people associate tablescaping rentals with large-scale events, but recent sites have begun to hit the casual gatherings market. I love the beautiful blue look above, and guess what? The entire thing is available for rent! The internet is truly a wonderful place!
4. Reduce, reuse, and recycle
Since everyone and a half is all about eco-friendly living, why don’t you take it a step further by creating environmentally-friendly tables? We’ve already discussed the importance of the first “R” (i.e., the reducing bit), but don’t forget to reuse and recycle as well!
As someone who’s been tablescaping for practically her whole life, I’ve got SO many old standbys that I’ve reused over and over again. While shopping for colorful themed pieces is definitely super fun, don’t neglect buying quality basics that can work for whatever the occasion you find yourself in!
Basic white tableware and silver never go out of style! Add classic white linens to the mix and you’ll have a table as timeless and as elegant as ever!
If you’re wanting to add more color to a classic table, look for pieces with a timeless pattern like the floral plateware in this wonderful example.
5. Finders keepers
My best scaping-on-a-budget tip? Buy used! Go around your local flea markets and search for beautiful antique pieces to add to your collection. As a bonus, you’ll have one-of-a-kind pieces that you probably won’t find anywhere else!
If thrift stores and antique shops aren’t an option for you, there’s no shame in scouring big-box retailers for amazing steals and deals! While you won’t necessarily be buying antiques, gone are the days when pretty china and gorgeous glassware were prohibitively expensive! I personally LOVE looking through Target, Walmart, IKEA, and even Amazon to find pieces I want for a fraction of the price!
Can you believe that this entire scape is from Target? While you probably can’t get the exact same pieces anymore (the line was launched in 2017), Target is a treasure trove of pieces for every aspiring table artist.
These are just some of my best tips for creating a gorgeous table on the cheap! How about you? What’s your favorite piece of advice for keeping your costs low without sacrificing your style?
Did you know that I have a Pinterest board dedicated to tablescapes? Check it out and make sure to follow Scaping By on Pinterest right here.