Stying guru Sylvia Oakley of Villeroy & Boch and her tips for relaxed dining

When it comes to relaxed entertaining, the finishing touches make all the difference. Long wooden tables are a big trend this season, designed to give you hours of enjoyment over breakfast, lunch and dinner and last you a lifetime. ACHICA Living chats to Villeroy & Boch’s styling guru Sylvia Oakley to get her top tips for laying the table this spring…

'Choose one stand out piece for each place setting – a boldly patterned charger is a great way to incorporate some colour and give your table the wow factor to charm guests. These don't necessarily have to match each other -pattern on pattern is big this season - mix vintage with contemporary and break the rules.'

'Add finishing touches to the table with sparkling glassware that has been carefully selected for the wines you will be drinking. A jug of water and water glasses should also be placed on the table before everyone is seated. Add a slice of lime, orange or lemon to the water to add in some colour.'

Combine different elements of a collection layering plates to create unique combinations so that it is almost impossible to make a design faux pas. Try combining white tableware and accessorising in colours that match the room’s scheme.

'Candles create a soft light and are great for all occasions. Candelabras make a stronger statement and are an elegant choice that can be used as a base for dressing formal or more casual dinner party tables.'

'A fun way to create a centrepiece is to use a tall vase with tall foliage that hangs above everyone's head, but doesn't obstruct eye contact between guests.'

'Select two or three colours for your theme and make sure that the table is not too cluttered. The look should be understated with the quality of the products speaking for themselves.'

The ACHICA Living blog brings you style inspiration from ACHICA.

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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor