Interior design

Laura Jackson shares her 3 simple tips to creating a stylish tablescape for autumn

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Megan Murray
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Fantasise about recreating Laura Jackson’s on-point tablescapes? Here, she explains to Stylist.co.uk how she does what she does in three simple steps.

Tablescaping is the trend that isn’t going anywhere. Not only is it ever so Instagram-friendly, but with the country entering different phases of lockdown and restaurants closing at 10pm, it’s more important than ever to make meals at home feel special.

If there’s one person we’re always looking to for tablescaping inspiration it’s Laura Jackson, whose stylish table set-ups have become famous on social media. 

As if her natural talent for making crockery look chicer than we ever could wasn’t enough, she has recently founded dinner club Hoste (which now has its own restaurant kit) and has teamed up with Sainsbury’s Love Your Veg! range to talk about how to make autumnal dinners as picture-perfect as possible.

Here, exclusively on Stylist.co.uk, Jackson shares her three golden rules for setting the table to inspire you (and us!) to get creative at meal times.

  • 1. What are you cooking?

    It only takes a quick peek at this stylishly curated tablescape to notice a running theme: the colour yellow.

    Yes, there’s the rich, mustard wall that features on many of Jackson’s Instagram posts. Then, the touches of yellow in the head vase and, of course, the citrus-hued glass. But the key to this image’s fluidity is not only the decor, but the food and drinks themselves.

    “I let the food dictate the table first,” says Jackson. “So, if I am cooking a certain style of food I’ll try and interpret that in the tablescape.”

    As we can see above, the yellow waffle and orange juice have acted as a starting point for Jackson to pick out accessories which reflect this joyful hue. 

    Think about what you’re planning on cooking for your meal in all instances: what is the heritage of the dish, could this dictate the vibe of its setting? What colour is it? How does it make you feel to eat it; cosy, romantic, experimental? All of these things can inspire your presentation.

  • 2. Layer it up

    “Layering is a great decor hack you can use all over the home – from piling cushions and throws on your sofa to building up your dinner table,” says Jackson of the second stage of curating a tablescape. 

    This part of the process is the real bones of how the finished product will look. It’s about picking out the accessories you’ll use and how to arrange them, and according to Jackson, more is more. With a maximalist state of mind think about how you can layer accessories on top of each to create texture and depth.

    Jackson explains: “I usually start with a tablecloth and napkin and layer up with plates, cutlery, and glassware.” 

    This is a great foundation and you can take it as far as you like. For example, add a table runner to that tablecloth, pick out some candles and candle holders which will work with your theme, position water and wine glasses together – all of these things help create that depth we previously mentioned.

  • 3. Finishing touches

    Arguably the most fun part of tablescaping, picking out the finishing touches to your aesthetic is where you can really get creative. 

    For Jackson, this means adding a little something which feels personal; perhaps a detail to reference a particular guest or the meal being served.

    She explains: “Depending on the occasion, I add in personal touches too, such as a placement for seating arrangements or a flower or herb on each individual napkin.”

    We love the idea of giving each person a hand-written placename or collecting dried botanicals and garnishing napkins with them. 

    For example, if you’re serving up rosemary-seasoned roast chicken, a simple sprig of rosemary at each place setting or even sprinkled around the table would add a flourish of texture. 

    Or, as it’s autumn, Jackson recommends using colourful seasonal vegetables like pumpkins to decorate the table, of which Love Your Veg! at Sainsbury’s have a great selection.

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Images: Sainsbury’s, Love Your Veg! range / Instagram

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.