APPLYING interior design principles to table and room decorations gives an edge to any occasion. Select a suitable theme, style and colour scheme, and carry this through to the smallest detail.
Union Jacks, royal icons, and red, white and blue colour schemes will feature in many of this week’s celebrations, but there is no limit to the choices available.
Outdoor parties usually offer absolute freedom of choice since there is seldom a dominating feature that must be worked into the scheme. Decide whether you are going for a simple pastoral or a lavish romantic look. Are you aiming for a rustic picnic or sophisticated urban feel? Decide how you will translate the theme. Bunting, basketware and flower-printed fabrics suggest country style, whereas candlelight, scented flowers and floaty fabrics spell romance.
In the same way, colour schemes belong to different themes. Single or contrasting dark hues tend to be sophisticated, whereas vibrant primaries suggest historic feasting. Indoors, take into account the style and colour of the surrounding space. Period style rooms work best following a consistent theme, picking up those commonly recognised features of the era and devising a co-ordinating or contrasting party decoration scheme.
Think of ways to decorate the backdrop to the table. Make temporary wall hangings from cheap cottons, old sheets or even strips of foil. Create accessories from card or paper, cutting out shapes or patterns. Layer lighting with candles or lanterns. Repeat the colour scheme in your table decorations and table covers using unusual containers for centrepieces. Be as imaginative as you can to make yours a celebration to remember.
• Pat Elliott, The Borders Design House. Visit our website for design services, courses and workshops. Start a new career as a Homestyle Advisor or learn to ‘Be Your Own Designer’ with our distance-learning interior design course (07765 057 409, www.thebordersdesignhouse.co.uk)
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east