Affordable table settings
If grandma hasn't yet left you the prized china, there are other ways to set a glamorous and stylish table when entertaining family and friends.
Champagne flutes as vases
Any drinking glass can become a botanical vessel. Repeat seasonal foliage down the centre of a table for a living runner.
Build a tablescape
Start with slender but sturdy dried plant material from your garden or a craft or florists' supply store.
Use a piece of plywood or wood, or a slate or terracotta floor tile as the base. Lay out a geometric hole pattern around the candles and use a drill with a wood or masonry bit that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the stems. If holes are too small, whittle stems with a craft knife. Glue in place if desired.
Votives should be in glass surrounds, but larger candles can sit directly on base.
Tree-like twigs edge a stream bed of green pebbles running down the centre of a sealed piece of Meranti. Use a drill/driver and wood bit to drill holes into the piece of wood that are the same size as your twigs. Space these along the wood to allow for the positioning of votive candles. Spread small pebbles around the candles and twigs.
This project also uses a tile and has concentric circles of stems surrounding a large candle. The outer stems are lower than the inner stems and will create a dramatic light effect once the candle is lit. Follow the instructions for Build a Tablescape above for this project.
There are no rules that your table setting has to be a particular colour - in fact you can add your own favourite colours to an informal or formal setting. ABOVE: A bright table runner set with pretty china, delicate glass candlesticks and silver tealights brings warmth and sparkle to a gathering.
Mix it Up
Pull up a chair - even if it's a garden chair! This casual dining arrangement may be lacking in designer pieces, but what it lacks in price it more than makes up for in style. Set again the blue walls the white chairs and accessories make a dramatic statement. If you've just moved into your first home try mixing up various furniture styles to create a modern but quirky look.
Transform a rustic pine table with a few colourful accessories. Vintage lace panels, white walls and painted floorboards create a soothing backdrop in this dining room. Bright accessories form colourful accents, while cushions upholstered with floral patterns soften the wooden bench-style seats. Complete the look with tableware in rich berry shades.
If you simply have no idea where to start but want an elegant dining space on a very small price tag, white is the classical and timeless option. You will find a wide selection of white accessories, dish and tableware at very affordable prices at most home decor shops. You can dress white up or down with the addition of a few basic accessories:
For a casual table setting and a relaxed dining affair, add basketware and colourful dinner sets. You can punch up with even more colour with table runners and placemats. You'll find plenty of colour at Mr Price Home.
Add a touch of sophistication for a formal setting, with decorative tableware and accessories in contrasting colours. Splurge on something special at @Home.