Breakfast Table Setting Ideas from an Expert
Ensure your breakfast table feels extra special. Liberty shares a lesson in laying a suitably extravagant tablescape.
Granted, not every morning allows for a proper sit-down, paper-out, radio-on kind of breakfast . Most days, we just about manage to shovel in a few spoonfuls of granola before we rush out the door. But for long, lazy brunches that spill well into the afternoon, the breakfast table certainly deserves a little more effort. And that’s where these breakfast table setting ideas come in. Here, Liberty’s lead creative, Hannah Perse-Cottle shows you how.
How to Lay the Breakfast Table
“We’re all used to creating an amazing tablescape for a gorgeous dinner or a Sunday lunch, but it feels even more special to set a beautiful table for breakfast,” says Perse-Cottle, the creative mind – and hands – behind these breakfast table setting ideas. “Taking the time to set the table in a considered way elevates the meal and encourages both you and your guests to linger a little longer.”
When starting a full tablescape, your first consideration is curating a coherent colour scheme, a task far easier than you might think. “I often start with a single hero item that has gorgeous colours in it and then build a table around it,” recommends Perse-Cottle. Tablecloths work well as the anchor. “Summerill and Bishop's marble tablecloths are so brilliant because they have so many colours in them; you can choose whether you want to pull out the bright orange, the pink or the green.”
Tablecloth chosen, napkins are up next. “In true Liberty fashion, embrace a clash of prints,” urges Perse-Cottle. “Just stick to a tight colour edit. I wouldn’t necessarily do clashing prints in different colours; it’s important to have one consistent thread running throughout.”
“There should always be a natural element to your place settings, whether that’s a fruit bowl filled with fruit or a jug of gorgeous flowers”
There is one thing Perse-Cottle never sets the table without. “There should always be a natural element to your place settings, whether that’s a fruit bowl filled with fruit or a jug of gorgeous flowers,” she says. With flowers, scale is vital. "Make sure tall installations are so high, they don’t interrupt eye contact across the table,” although she’s more of a fan of low, atmospheric bunches of seasonal flowers, like daffodils and tulips. Flowers aren’t your only option. Try eucalyptus stems, sticks of rhubarb or even bunches of kale.
Including decorative fruit in your place setting provides a welcome opportunity to actually use some of the more impractical items in your tableware collection (i.e. that gigantic and totally non-dishwasher safe bowl you brought back from a far-flung holiday). “If you have a bowl or plate that doesn’t work particularly well for serving things in, fill it with fruit and show it off as a decorative element,” says Perse-Cottle.
“Unique and beautiful plates can be exciting conversation starters; the more pieces you collect, the more you have to play with”
As for the tableware itself, don’t stress about total coordination. “Unique and beautiful plates can be exciting conversation starters; the more pieces you collect, the more you have to play with and the more variety you’ll be able to create each time you lay the table.”
Layering is key. “I love starting with a charger, particularly for breakfast, when you’re more likely serving in bowls or smaller plates,” Perse-Cottle shares. Lay each place setting with a large plate – something bright, in a fun print or interesting shape – to fill the space, before laying food-filled plates and bowls on top.
One last thing to consider? Fun. Add an extra quirk with the way you lay the cutlery or tie the napkin – looping it up around an egg to form a cute set of bunny ears instantly adds a touch of magic.
Build Your Place Setting
Discover our edit of covetable tableware fit for a decadent breakfast spread.
Ask a Liberty expert
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