Did you know that April marks one year of POP Canberra becoming a permanent, cool, locally driven, community hub store in Braddon? POP is permanent!
So when I was thinking about this months POP at home theme, celebration was the first thing that came to mind.
A celebration created at home through a dinner party with everything that POP represents – Canberra, local, community, quality, design and people.
With all of this in mind, it was time to put together a table where the guests would feel surrounded by pieces that had been made with thoughtful intention.
When putting together dinner party tables, I often start with the season as this really sets the scene for how you want your guests to feel – warm in winter, cool in summer etc. I then work backwards!
Instead of setting it place by place, I start with a colour palette that works with the season, pull everything from the cupboards and shelves and pile it up on the table. Get it all out! Don’t be practical; get all of those pieces out that you have invested in. All of your beautiful dinnerware, ceramic decorative pieces, vases, cups, candle holders, local wine you have cellared.
The magic then starts with the tablecloth.
I love layered fabrics on tables, especially in the cooler months. This creates a softness, warmth and texture as your base. Once your tablecloths are in place it’s a matter of building it up from there.
Think about your place settings here. I’ve opted for some woven reed placemats for that textural and colour contrast (and to save my beautiful linen tablecloths from potential spills).
Now start to dream up your menu, how many courses will you be serving?
This will determine your dinnerware lay out. Set them out, add your cutlery and then build your glassware around that. We’ve selected a beautiful Collector Wines Shiraz and a Fortified Shiraz by Lake George Winery so we’ve set wine glasses, water cups and a dessert wine cup.
I’ve placed a little local chocolate on each table setting as a take home gift for each guest. You can get really creative here! Think about personalised place cards, little love notes or even menu cards. You can do something fun with the napkin or add a little floral touch.
Then onto the centerpiece!
Think about visual layers but also keep in mind that your guests and you need to chat across the table - so consider height and placement.
I've made the candles the focus for this table as we are heading into the cooler months, I wanted to create a warm and moody table.
A throw of some low lying foliage and salt dishes and you’ve just created a pretty special dinner party table.
Light the candles, play your favourite record and pour that wine. Celebrate!
Written by Belinda Neame
Photography by Tim Bean
Belinda Neame is a local stylist, content creator, supporter of local and a lover of all things handmade, high quality and bespoke.
Belinda is the owner operator of the stunning 'Hold Cottage' in Gunning and founder of 'The Forage' - Canberra's premier street food event.
Belinda's husband, Tim is a firefighter by day and lives behind the lens of his camera when not working for his community.