Styling & photography by Manvi Drona-Hidalgo | Stationery by Fig. 2 Design Studio | Market Picks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

I’m so excited for Manvi and I to bring you the first column in the Tablescape 101 series for 2012. With Valentines on the horizon we thought we’d work around the theme of romance but with a new twist. So, gone are the tacky pink and red hearts and the gratuitous declarations of love, replaced by an all together more sophisticated and balanced affair that we’re calling, A Table For Two. Over to the lovely Manvi to guide us through it (be sure to let us know your top tips for romantic dinners in the comments below!):

Happy 2012 B.B readers! I hope the year is off to a fabulous start for you. My husband and I avoid the craziness of crowded restaurants on Valentines day and much prefer to celebrate with cozy and intimate meals at home. For the ‘Table For Two’ look I wanted to create a bold and graphic table that maintained a gentle and romantic vibe. I’m not into heart shapes and wanted to skip the over-used pinks and reds, instead pulling inspiration from an old Chanel ad. The result was a modern black, white & gold colour palette with splashes of amethyst. Claudia of Fig2Design did a play on ampersands for the invites by creating sleek, black business card-sized invites embellished with a gold ampersand and encased in black and white ampersand patterned envelopes. While invites are not required, they go a long way in getting your partner excited about the day. I’m all about the details, details and details!

For the table itself I chose a jazzy, cursive fabric from Ikea which reminded me of the moments passed, and precious times partners spend together. Layering it with a plain white fabric underneath brought out the pattern and with a quick iron and fold the table runner was complete. For the centrepiece, I created low arrangements of white and purple anemones, white ranunculus and white roses which I placed in graphic tumblers also from Ikea. Then for each placesetting I re purposed gold chevron drawer liners, which made an excellent backdrop for the black and white Kate Spade plates. I tied the table together with amethyst accent hues in the tumblers and flatware, both of which echoed the anemones. So this Valentine’s day surprise someone special with a delectable dinner for two. To me its simple gestures like this that speak louder than words. What are your tips for the perfect dinner for two?Manvi


Will Taylor

Will lives in NYC and is an interior design author and content creator. He's been blogging about his love of design, style and travel since 2009. His #MakeYouSmileStyle approach to decorating and dressing has inspired over one million Instagram uploads to the hashtag from followers across the world.


  1. I saw this pop up on twitter and I had to comment even though it's not yet Feb. 1 over here! Yipes! Still, I just love the color of this tablescape. So rich and such a pleasing change from the normal Valentine's pinks and reds. Beautiful!

  2. It's beautiful! I love the graphic setting mixed with those beautiful flowers and colours. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series!

  3. Love Love and love more! These are some of my fave posts! The anenomes are so stunning – I must get some! And i am loving the stationery too!! You know how much i love black and white stripes and the gold is super fab too! Might have to purchase for the wedding!

  4. Thanks again for having us, Will. I love working with Manvi on projects for you! I had so much fun designing the stationery for this shoot. It was an idea I had been dying to do and it's great to see the response. Cheers to more fun projects together!

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Hey, I'm Will

Welcome to Bright.Bazaar, my make-you-smile style corner of the internet. I’ve been sharing my love of beautiful design, feel-good homes, everyday style, inspiring travel and, pretty much everything in between, since 2009. As well as working as a content creator, I write interior design books and edit a bi-weekly e-newsletter called Smile Mail. I live in New York City with my heartmate and can often be found listening to Madonna’s Confessions album and dreaming up my next home renovation project.