Styling Tables on a Budget



July 3, 2009

This article is written by Irene C. Perez for Philippine Daily Inquirer and is published on May 20, 2009.

Got too many trinkets at home? Use easy-to-find and affordable accent pieces to liven up your dining table. You don’t have to be a pro to create a pretty table setting, just be creative – explore and experiment. Think fun and functional.

Designer Estien Quijano (09173241010;  [email protected]) gave tips on how materials found in your home could double as table accessories. The easiest way to make your table look styled is by using napkin rings, he said.

“Just roll the napkin and be imaginative with the rings,” he said. “You may use old Christmas tree decor, baby bangles, strands of faux pearls, or lace that you could buy by the yard.”

Have beads from old or broken bracelets? Restring them with an elastic cord and use them to keep the napkin in place. And the best thing is you can give them to guests as well.

If you’re feeling generous and want to give your visitors an extra treat, you may give them freshly baked breads with homemade jam or a pot of fresh herbs.

Quijano, a columnist of MyHome magazine, recently showed us to do a Spanish-inspired dinner setup at the recent Table and Flower Arrangement workshop in Dimensione on Bonifacio High Street in Taguig.

He used materials that can be easily bought in Dimensione, like LSA vases, Chilewich tabletop and runners together with Island Rose flowers to come up with an attractive arrangement that could sure make your guests feel welcome and easily be a conversation piece.

The table was a rich mix of black, white and red with gold and green accents.

As a modern twist, black photo frames were used as charger plates. Then he put a gold chandelier candelabra with red candles as an centerpiece.

For Small Spaces

Small spaces or a short budget shouldn’t hinder you from having a nice table. For those who live in condos with a table for two, Quijano suggests of putting the arrangement in one corner instead of the middle and arrange the chairs to form an L shape. This makes the setup more intimate and encourages comfortable conversations.

But how about single guys who want to decorate their pads, but are clueless about arrangements, and wouldn’t be caught dead with girly flowers on their tables?

“Use bamboo shoots, ferns, twigs. Then have cacti as highlights,” said floral stylist Benjo Pacson (0917-81benjo; It’s low maintenance and easy to arrange.”

Going green is the “it” thing when it comes to homes, Pacson said. “We are in tropical country so rich in foliage, you don’t exactly have to spend too much in making your place chic.”

Most homes now are gearing towards dynamic and native materials, using lots of fibers like katya, rattan and sawali which makes for organic chic look.

“You can even use bowls of fruits, even veggies. Toss in ginger with roses and pears for that rustic feel,” Pacson adds.

For a quick decor, place name cards on sticks and pierce them on green apples with red roses.

“Maximize your garden. Maintain pots and planters so you won’t have to buy flowers every so often, and cute potted plants can be used directly on your tables as well.”


Create a simple but pretty table centerpiece with Island Rose. Visit and choose from a wide array of roses readily available for your work of art.

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