Fabrics – Use fabric that furthers the theme. Don’t limit yourself to just tablecloths, use runners, wide interlocking ribbon, placemats, napkins and chair covers. Save money by utilizing your venues standard tablecovers and adding your color through the napkins. Think wild, whimsical or sublime. A growing trend is to use feather boas, scarves and handkerchiefs on the chairs or use a roll of themed heavy duty wrapping paper over a picnic table for outdoor events.
Lighting – Lighting creates the mood. Use candles or tea lights en mass along the length of the table. Add low cost drama and elegance by pinpointing your arrangements.
Botanicals – Add something natural like flowers, plants, foliage, fruit or vegetables to the assemblage. Also consider flowering branches, painted bare branches in interesting shapes, mosses, sod and even soil to bring a finishing touch to your tablescape.
Hard Accents – Common items used in unusual ways define hard accents. Frames, hats, baskets, decorative boxes, or bottles can become unique table decorations, as long as they follow the theme and provide the right touch.
Create Levels – Use a colored tablecloth over containers as bowls, cans and cardboard boxes, or use racks and glass blocks over the tablecloth to create various heights. Place objects or platters on the varying heights along with some on the table.
Make it Comfortable – Do not take up more than 1/3 of the tabletop surface for the tablescape. Make sure the place setting is secure and allow for ample elbow room.