Meet Janet. She is the force behind Rosemary & Thyme lifestyle blog where she shares tips on entertaining, home decor, cooking, styling, floral arrangements, antiquing, and more. Her work has been published in several magazines including Cottages & Bungalows, Country Living, New England Fine Living, amongst many many others.
We were lucky to have her create an outdoor tablescape for us featuring the Geo tablecloth. See how beautiful it turned out!
Im a big fan so I was thrilled when she agreed to share with us her ideas and inspiration!
ARDEA HOME: How did you get into designing tablescapes?
JANET COLLAZO: I grew up in a home where elaborate entertaining was not done often. Of course, we had family dinners and holiday gatherings, but the table was always very casual. The focus was mainly on the food and enjoying each others company. A fancy table wasn’t priority.
This totally changed when I got married. Wanting to make the dining experience extra special for my husband, I started buying books on entertaining and setting tables. Turns out, my sister-in-law loved setting tables and was an etiquette expert and so the lessons began. I soon discovered that I shared her same passion and love for setting a pretty table and developed my own style.
AH: What are your favourite magazines on design?
JC: Traditional Home, Veranda and Victoria
AH: How about your favourite site?
JC: I have a large list of websites that I frequent for inspiration but if I had to choose, then these would be at the top. They are always packed with amazing design tips.
AH: What’s the strangest request you’ve gotten for a job?
JC: Swap the dinner forks for spoons.
AH: What is your creative process when starting a new table setting?
JC: My first step for starting a table setting is to find something that inspires me. That can be many things - A beautiful tablecloth, vintage plates, flowers, color, season or holiday. Once I have an overall theme in mind, then I begin to pull together the supporting elements.
These include the following:
- Dishes, Silverware, Glasses, Napkins, Runner, Tablecloth, Placemats
- Accessories: Candlesticks, Candles, Serveware
- Flowers or Centerpiece
Once I have all my basics, then I proceed to choose my base. That can be a tablecloth, runner or placemats. Sometimes, I will use all three (3) but if I want to keep things simple, then I just use Placemats and a striking centerpiece.
As I mentioned above, an eye-catching centerpiece is a must! This can be fresh flowers from your local market, fruits or a combination or both. The point is to have a focal point that relates to your theme.
After placing the large items, I will tuck a bit of greens or floral branches throughout the centerpiece. I also “scatter” votives around the center of the table to add ambiance.
I then finish by creating my place setting. I normally begin with a charger or placemat and plates. I often place napkins on top of the plates. Sometimes I will use a napkin ring and use a casual utensil arrangement.
Lastly, I always like to include something that makes my guest feel special, like a box filled with candy or cookies, ornament, fruit or some other token. The primary goal is to make the experience memorable.
AH: What are the key elements to designing a beautiful table setting?
JC: A beautiful table sets the mood in every event – whether it’s an intimate dinner, Sunday brunch with friends or holiday.
Part of setting a table is the enjoyment that I get from the entire process. From selecting the occasion, inviting guests, planning my theme, selecting a menu, choosing my linens, dinnerware, flowers. But beyond that, entertaining is about enjoying your guests and creating new memories. Your family and friends will love you just for making the effort, so don't fuss over the details - Relax and have fun in the process.
Hope you enjoyed learning more about Janet and her work, be sure to visit her blog at: https://rosemary-thyme.blogspot.com/ and follow her on Instagram @rosemarythymeblogspotcom