We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE | Styling by Sean Santiago

Today in #TabletopGoals we’re showing you how to use black, gold, and pops of color to create place settings that are unexpectedly vibrant and unapologetically luxe—perfect for a casual evening with friends or hosting your family’s Thanksgiving.

How’d we do it? For starters, we kept it simple, mixing in similar hues and playing with scale and proportion. A well-set table should be functional, yes, but fun. Add a bit of fantasy by incorporating a few elements that the cold-hearted might call “superfluous” for the average dinner (cordial glasses); we call them fantastical.

Read on to get the look.

Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE | Styling by Sean Santiago


Creating this tabletop is a bit like doing your makeup; first, you’ll want to start with a good foundation. We used pieces from ABC Home’s Ripple dinnerware collection in gray—a dinner plate, salad plate, and bowl. The matte, muted colorway is the perfect starting point for a tabletop focused on texture and tonality.

We laid out Snowe’s linen table runner in charcoal and took the seductive hue one shade darker with ultracool matte black glasses from Duralex, while jewel-toned water and cordial glasses add sparkle. The resulting mix is dark but not drab, punctuated by moments of brilliance. (This is a table that will look great in candlelight.)

Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

Look 1: Matte Black

We used metallic placemats from Chilewich in different patterns to create visual interest—an ingenious bouquet alternative if ever there was one. For the first look we used the brand’s Dahlia style in brass, offset with matte black flatware.

We placed ash grey cocktail napkins form Snowe in each place setting and tied gold-plated stainless steel cutlery with linen tape from Stephanie Seal Brown. A sculptural tea light holder from Gentner Design adds extra dimension.

Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE | Styling by Sean Santiago

Look 2: Metallic

We put a twist on our dark twisted tabletop fantasy by swapping out the placemats for Chilewich’s metallic lace gold rounds, and contrasted the shape by tucking Snowe’s table napkins in natural linen in between the plates.

Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE | Styling by Sean Santiago

Our flatware went from black to bold brass, so we took the tealight holder down a notch to a darkened brass in the same graphic shape. An elegant water pitcher in smoke with a light pink base adds another layer of interest—and practicality.

Fifty shades darker, indeed.

Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE | Styling by Sean Santiago


Runner: Snowe
Napkins: Snowe
Placemats: Chilewich Black cups – Duralex Dinnerware: ABC Home
Glasses (short): ABC Home
Glasses (tall): MoMA Store Black tumblers: Duralex Ribbon: Stephanie Seal Brown
Tea light holder: Gentner Design

Get more tabletop ideas:

This Tablescape Rental Service Will Make Your Next Dinner Party a Breeze Top 10 Table Settings for a Fall Brunch This is How You Set the Table Like an Italian