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Creating The Perfect Tablescape With Rachael Burrow

by Wolf & Badger

Rachael Burrow is the Style Director at Veranda Magazine and a celebrated writer and tastemaker in the world of interior design. We sat down to pick her brain on what goes into making the perfect tablescape for entertaining and her go-to for sourcing inspiration.

There are many elements that go into creating the perfect table setting, do you have any advice on how to start a tablescape? What do you put in the centre of the table?

When I’m setting the table at home, I usually select one piece that’s speaking to me – whether that’s a fabric for the tablecloth, a dinner set I want to use, or the flowers I envision going on the table. Everything else flows from there. For the centre of the table, it depends on the occasion – I almost always have flowers on the table, whether in a large arrangement or arranged in bud vases or julep cups, because I think flowers make guests feel special, and they make any occasion feel more celebratory. Tapers and candlesticks are a must for any evening entertaining – everyone looks better in candlelight! When the lights are dim, guests are more apt to loosen up and really enjoy themselves. I also love interesting objects on a table, whether that’s little antique dishes for salt cellars or just interesting pieces I’ve collected at antique shops or on travels that can work into the table setting.

Where do you find your interior inspiration from? Do you take inspiration from the people you surround yourself with, locations you travel to, the seasons?

Oh, inspiration comes from so many different places for me – I definitely take a lot of design cues from travel. I am on the move a good bit for photo shoots and markets, and being in a new place – especially one with beautiful architecture, interiors, and gardens – always makes an impression on me and how I decorate. Whether that’s an object or tableware I pick up while there or an idea for how to combine textiles or how to arrange vignettes. A well-curated shop with interesting wares and vignettes is always inspiring to me, and I love finding new ones when I travel as well. And, nature is a huge inspiration – whether it’s my daily morning walk (where a lot of thinking for shoots happens!) or being in a beautiful garden. There are so many interesting shapes and color palettes and textures in nature to take inspiration from. Lastly, books: I’m an avid reader, and design books always have something thought-provoking to lend – and I love collecting them!

Image credit: Lucy Baird

What were your favorite color shades or interior trends of 2022?

I try to avoid trends, and instead focus on collecting and decorating with objects that I truly love. But as far as what has been strong in interiors recently that I am happy to see – I love that wallpaper has had a resurgence again. I tend to lean towards pattern and mixing patterns, so that’s something that I love to see with textiles and wallpapers (and I have some wallpaper being installed in my house very soon, which I’m thrilled about!). I personally have always gravitated towards darker finishes on furniture and never really stopped decorating with those pieces, so I’m glad to see designers and decorators embracing that again as well. I also love that tenting has come to the forefront of decorating again – it’s so dramatic and transporting, and that’s something I’d love to have in my house one day. 

Can you tell us more about the pieces you chose for this particular tablescape?

My favorite way to start the day is to have a sit-down breakfast when I can (and get up early enough!) – it puts my day on the right trajectory, and so I try to be intentional with that before work begins. One thing that I think is important is to use your beautiful plates as much as you can – not just when entertaining guests. Nothing feels more luxurious to me than taking time to make a meal and then setting a beautiful table, even if it’s just for me or for family with no set occasion. I collect teacups and saucers, so I was naturally drawn to Twig’s beautiful set (that blue rim!). Blue and green always play well together, which led to this kind of cheerful and colorful scene.

What did you discover and love about our platform when you were making your selections?

What I love about Wolf & Badger is the variety of products on the site – there’s tableware, interesting textiles, and beautiful jewelry. There’s so much to see, and so many beautiful handmade pieces from around the world.