Tablescapes: Q&A Two

tabletop designs on a budget use color Q: What are some tips for designing on a modest budget?

A: On a budget? Use color!

Just like fresh paint on your walls at home, inexpensive shots of color — in napkins, say — have a big impact on the event space. We recommend using napkins for color because they’re versatile and relatively low-cost, even in specialty fabrics like satin and crush, and everyone needs them anyway.

Even if you serve dinner buffet-style to save money, and the dishes and flatware will be stacked on the buffet tables, we suggest setting out colored napkins at each of your guests’ places. It doesn’t cost anything more, just a few minutes’ time, and you get this rhythm of color swatches down the length of the table that’s striking (see photo above).

One of our brides last summer did this with orange napkins, and she picked up the hue with big red, orange and yellow pom-poms in the ceiling of the tent. The bursts of fiery color seemed to bounce around the white reception space, from table to tent. She got a big impact from a small investment.

Universally, the key to staying within a budget is multitasking equipment. Everything on the table — favors, menus, place cards, linens and napkins, even donation envelopes at a charity gala — can be tapped as a decor item.

Photo by Evantide Photography

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