When perusing tablescapes in magazines or decorating catalogs one trend becomes apparent: highly styled tables utilize a lot of layers. You don’t have to be a stylist or designer to achieve a layered look when setting your table. Here is a simple tutorial for creating a layered look in your tablescape.

We’ll start with our foundation. (I’ve removed some chairs for easier viewing of the table surface.) If we were to keep the surface bare we could add in a runner and/or place mats, but in this example I’m going to add a tablecloth.

There is nothing more essential than a good basic white table cloth! From this groundwork we can create a variety of looks by adding in our various layers.

One of the easiest ways to spice up a basic tablecloth is to add a smaller overlay or table runner. Here I used a faux burlap runner to add depth and texture to the table top.

Adding in our actual place settings and a simple floral arrangement completes the table, but this is the point where the tablescape can really be spiced up and given a more “finished” look by adding a few additional layers.

I took our basic setting and added two different colored napkins and topped by a miniature pumpkin on each plate. This little extra touch adds something special to the table setting. The pumpkins could also be used as place cards for a more formal dinner party.

I also added interest to the centerpiece by adding a wood leaf-shaped platter, again adding texture to the table, and layering in a lantern and more pumpkins. These simple embellishments give the table a more decorated appearance and highly-styled appearance.

How do you like to add interest to your tabletop? Do you prefer a more layered look in your tablescapes or do you like to keep it simple?