Get In My Brain: 8 Easy Steps to Style Any Table!

Hey buddies!
Okay, I had lots of questions about the styling on top of my “new” vintage butcher block table my Instagram buddies convinced me to snatch up last week, so I thought I’d tear this look back down in order to rebuild it step by step for ya to maybe give you a glimpse into how my brains work…keep reading if you dare!  😳😂  This is certainly not the only way to style a table top, but I do seem to consistently utilize a few of the same practices when designing a space, so maybe they can help you in your beautiful home, too!

First, I like to gather up a color scheme or vibe, and then I try to make design choices that stick pretty close to the chosen palette.  For spring-into-summer around here, I’m very inspired by the creamy pale greens in Jadeite or milk glass (both faux and vintage), simple blue and white flour or grainsack stripes, white florals and natural wood tones.  That’s my palette I’m working with for the next season, and now I can be as creative as I want within that palette…and everything will work together seamlessly!  For instance, I know that if I use flour sack stripes on a pillow in one room, a napkin in another or as a hanging piece of art somewhere else, the entire flow of those spaces will be blended together because of the similar pops of pattern.  Same goes with the white florals: no matter where or how I use them throughout the house, they will all call back to each other creating unity and a sense of “done-ness” throughout.  Pops of Jadeite green sprinkled throughout will help create that same sense of cohesiveness, too!

So here’s the picture I posted to Instagram last week with the finished styling all complete.  (The mugs and candle have since been removed while we do some real deal living up in here, but they come back out when Mommy plays and photographs.  😉)  Let me show you a step by step of how I pulled this space together!

1 – Start by choosing your table and being mindful of its shape, size and the area you want to cover with decor (meaning if it’s a dining table, be sure to leave room for plates, dishes, etc).

2 – In order to ground and center my tablescape, I chose a large piece as the base of my design and then built out around it.  This vintage demijohn from my Cotton Stem Collection with Painted Fox Home [HERE] adds height and acts as the base to the entire design.  I also like that although it is large, it is transparent, maintaining a light, airy feel for the look.  I draped a flour sack towel underneath upon which to build out the design, and this keeps things in line with my palette and adds neutral texture.

3 – We are working our way down to smaller vessels, but before we get there, I added a medium size pitcher to bring together the large size of the demijohn versus the tiny Jadeite-esque vases coming in later.  Varying the sizes, colors and heights of your containers adds interest and helps marry the large to the small.  Because my bee pitcher (also from the CS Collection with Painted Fox) wasn’t quite tall enough for my desired look, I just added a few vintage books underneath for height.  One of the best decor assistants, vintage books!

4 – Now it’s time to pop in some smaller vessels to complete the set up.  I like to decorate in odd numbers, using 3’s or 5’s as a grouping.  Not sure why, but this seems to be more pleasing to the eye, especially when the heights are varied like this.  Two green vases plus a green plate completes the set of five vessels…now let’s add the floral stems!

5 – I used these faux white blossom stems from The Findery in Waco as my fluffy texture, and I cut them to size using wire cutters.  I love to add florals and greenery stems for height, texture and interest, and you can find so many yummy pieces at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Amazon, too!

6 – For whimsy and to create a more lived-in look, drop a few loose blossoms that accidentally fell off your stems onto the table top and scatter about.  Not a necessary step, but I think it’s fun and makes the look a little less precious and “done.”

7 – If you are staging for a photo, a party or just because, I think adding in some actual useful objects to your table top decor shows how you’d use this space in real life…like coffee for two!  Rounds out the purpose of the space to show that this is a spot to stop for a cuppa with the hubby or a friend, and it sort of brings the shot to life by showing how you’d LIVE with this space!

8 – When in doubt, add a candle.  My faves are from Antique Candle Works!  It brings warmth, light (literally….) and an air of coziness to any space/shot!  Just be careful to adjust your white/color balance if you leave the candle lit in a pic.  Personally, I like the warmth a candle’s glow adds to a pic, but it does throw a more yellow light than simple natural lighting, so just adjust your photo as needed.

There you have it!  A little glimpse into how my brain worked out styling this cutie, curvy new-to-me vintage table, and I hope seeing the process inspires you as you decorate your own home!  I always seem to follow a similar pattern when I build out looks in my home: find a palette that inspires me and stick to it; the rule of odd numbers; using neutral textures and faux florals/greens for interest and softness.  Once you sort of develop your own formula, it’s so easy to just switch out the specific colors and patterns as you move through each season while sticking to your formula and boom….quick and simple table top styling unique to YOU!  Hope this stuff is helpful, my friends!

(Some affiliate links used in this post)


  1. Lisa Buteux

    April 11th, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you so much for taking us along with you as you style a space! So many great tips and ideas! A lot of “aha!” moments for me! :o)

  2. Cati Wilson

    April 11th, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    What a lovely job and such practical tips! 😊

    I would love to see a blog post or story sometime on how you shop for specific vintage finds and treasures (like your dining table on Craigslist)! What keywords do you use…do you use words like “vintage” or steer clear so people don’t jack up the price for that word alone.

  3. Amanda

    April 12th, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Thanks so much for the “brains” behind the design madness. 😉 I went this past Saturday to the studio opening for Antique Candle Works. They had an amazing turn out. I had to buy the Sweet Lemon which is divine. Thanks so much for featuring them. I was so happy to support local here in Central Indiana.

  4. Erin | Cotton Stem

    April 12th, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Oh yay!! I love them so much!!

  5. Sheila

    April 13th, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    The butcher block would also be a great spot for the plate ring from Painted Fox styled again with books rather than plates

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