Turning Tables into Triumphs and TV Shows
What began as a creative and pleasurable escape from the demands of running the largest children’s book festival in North America has evolved into the wild and fun world of tablescaping. Setting elaborately themed tablescapes provides me an escape from my corporate duties into the fantasy world of decadence.
Starting on November 12th, SET!, a tablescaping documentary, will be streaming on DICOVERY+. This documentary takes a playful look at tablescaping completions featured at County Fairs. It showcases the love, joy, and anguish of this unusual art form. In all fairness and full disclosure, I appear in this film along with my eccentric friend, Lisa Giffi. It was filmed in 2019 at the Orange County Fair in Southern California.
And, if this new film wasn’t enough, HGTV is launching a new program, TABLE WARS staring at the queen of entertaining, Martha Stewart. TABLE WARS is set to premiere on November 12, 2021, on HGTV. In the seven-episode series, we’ll see the competitors design and install the ultimate themed dining environment that features stunning tablescapes, centerpieces, lighting, and displays to wow the judges and avoid elimination.
So what’s with all this tablescaping fuss? For a better understanding, let’s first define tablescaping.
Both the TV show, Table Wars & the film, SET! are premiering on November 12, 2021. TABLE WARS can be found on HGTV and SET! will be streaming on DICOVERY+.
According to Wikipedia, tablescaping, or table-setting, is an activity involving the setting of themed dining tables in artful, decorative ways for social events, and in a variety of categories for competitions.
In the United States, tablescaping competitions take place at county fairs and events across the country. Competitive tablescaping traces back to at least the 1930s.
The practice has become better known since the rise in social media posts centered on meals people share including the setting; on photo-sharing Instagram as of November 2019, #tabledecor has 1.9 million posts, and #tablesetting has 2.3 million posts and growing. That’s a lot!
Since March of 2021, GRAND Magazine has featured one of my tablescaping designs each month. Because I fancy myself as a storyteller, I like to include some backstory nuggets about the setting; where the theme for the table came from, and where I purchased items for the table. Writing the story not only brings context, it also adds a little life to the table’s features. Like the saying, “Life is about the journey, not the destination,” so it is my wish with these tablescaping themes.
I hope you’ll consider undertaking the effort and discover the pleasure of setting a themed table for your family or as I do, just for yourself. I must admit, creating monthly table settings and writing personal stories has kept me sane during the past months of confining lockdowns. Maybe it can do the same for you.
I’m not certain where or when all this tablescaping will end, but if you see me with Martha Stewart on HGTV be sure to message me a “thumbs up” on Facebook or here on GRAND.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – PAT BURNS
Pat Burns is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Orange County Children’s Book Festival; a Celebrity Journalist, Film Reporter, the author of Grandparents Rock®. Also, a happy grandmother of four.
Read more from Pat here