Boston Home

Formal to Fabulous: The Creative Evolution of Modern Tablescaping

For Beatrice Sannino, tabletops are canvases for self-expression.

Photo by Michael J. Lee

When it comes to setting the table, there are far fewer rules today than there once were. Tablescapes have become less formal, unfussy, and a lot more fun—not everything has to match anymore, for one thing, and creativity abounds. Table setting has evolved into a reflection of the design-minded host.

Different patterns, antiques, and a high-low mix of modern pieces may all be combined atop a table. While a tonal palette is key for cohesion, an intriguing tablescape contains contrast, texture, and a bit of surprise.

Table styling is Beatrice Sannino’s specialty. A Cambridge designer with a line of tabletop linens, she has an eye for beauty and a commitment to sustainability. Sannino’s textiles are sourced and crafted in her native Italy and feature sculptural details and vivid colorways; a touch nostalgic, they’re both timeless and contemporary. Take inspiration from Sannino’s summer tablescape to create your own version of extraordinary.

Beatrice Sannino’s tablescape includes Toile de Jouy placements from her summer collection, along with vintage napkins, Anthropologie’s Eyelet dinner plates, and Argenterie Greggio flatware.

Goblets are from Neiman Marcus, and fresh lemons and butterfly ranunculus act as a live, seasonally inspired centerpiece atop the woven green tablecloth. / Photo by Michael J. Lee

Designer Beatrice Sannino Collective

First published in the print edition of Boston Home’s Summer 2024 issue, with the headline “The Art of the Table.”