How to decorate a beautiful table to sweep Instagram? Ideas, tricks and expert advice to know how to choose dishes, tablecloths, flowers …

In the foreword to his book, ‘ Platonic love: the art of decorating tables‘(Espasa), Beatriz Satrústegui assures that what we have in our hands «is not a protocol manual», that what she is looking for with this bible of good taste (this is what we say) is «that we set up beautiful tables and enjoy doing it like dwarfs ». Therefore, because as she herself tells us, “it is a form of expression”, in its more than 250 pages we will not find strict rules taken from the Austro-Hungarian court, but a lot of inspiration through a close and warm language and wonderful examples that they will turn our table into a hedonistic dream that completes the 360 ​​experience of the pleasure of good food.

Photo from the book ‘Platonic love’, by Beartiz Satrústegui

“Setting a good table is a reflection of us, even if we don’t think about it. You make aesthetic decisions constantly and almost without realizing it, and you tell a story, because you try to evoke something, create sensations». The time of year, the celebration, the menu and, of course, the guests, all influence when creating our little work of art. «It is a tribute to the guest, a well set table is hospitality, that is to say to the guest ‘I care about you’, because the good host is generous, and you have to think about the one in front. The worst mistake is not trying, not playing and not participating». Of course, that host also has to enjoy, “you receive people at home because you like them and you want to enjoy with them, it cannot be slavery. In the end, what people remember the next day is not how beautiful the table was or how good everything was, but how well they had a great time.

The bottom of the closet (or cupboard) to put good tables

In table decoration, as in everything, there are fashions and trends, and «right now we are leaving the Indian tablecloths of block print and wicker, and we are seeing a return to the classics, to tradition but with a more crazy and personalized touch, to white tablecloths, to flowers like roses. For this reason, when choosing the kitchenware for our house, Beatriz Satrústegui has it clear: « the white plate is a wardrobe staple, because it mixes with everything and is essential, you are never wrong».

In addition, it can not be missing in that bottom of closet (or cupboard, rather) «something to put under the tablecloth, a fleece or a blanket, it doesn’t matter, but a comfortable and soft table is key; a white tablecloth, which goes with everything and can be combined with any tableware because it is a canvas that gives importance to the rest of the elements; some dishes in which you want to focus the attention, and that multiply the number of diners (if you are going to invite six people, you need twelve dishes, although they may be different); pretty flowers that you can take even from the gutter and colored candles, that by changing them, you completely transform the effect. And an expert recommendation: “If you can, it is better to invest in porcelain than in earthenware (there is cheap porcelain at Zara Home or at H&M Home).”

Fever for pretty tables on Instagram

Now, in addition to putting a nice table for our guests, we have to put a table that photographs well (90% of the photos of ‘Platonic Love’ are made with an iPhone), because Instagram rules, and in that, Beatriz Satrústegui is an expert with more than 20,000 followers on the social network. « Social media makes us work harder to set a beautiful table, but it also imposes pressure and insecurity that we shouldn’t have.«. Where to place the napkin is one of the critical (and critical) points, although the expert finally makes it clear to us: «to the left or to the right, it doesn’t matter, both are well placed, because one follows the English tradition and the other the French. And it can also be put on top of the plate ».

The decoration of the Christmas table, a separate chapter

In a few days we will dedicate a separate chapter to the Christmas table, which Satrústegui compares with «the wedding dress in a haute couture parade», as in ‘Platonic love’, but the author is clear that «it is the most important of the year, in which we give it because the table is more important than ever ». But as a preview, a couple of tips: «I always feel obliged to surprise at Christmas, I try to be original, but if we want to, it is not to fail, we have to choose only two colors, not three (red, green or white), so we do not fail; give a lot of importance to the light, and at night the candlelight creates a very magical atmosphere; attempt let there be something vegetable, flowers, plants, something green, it does not have to be complicated nor do we have to stick to the classic poinsettia, and that there is a lot of order at the table, that symmetry gives peace and is key to making the table look beautiful «. And a couple of very original details: »I have been putting a piece of straw under the plates for years, an Italian tradition reminiscent of the manger where Jesus was born, and a beautiful figure of the Child Jesus presiding over the table, so as not to forget what it is. that we are celebrating.

As Tamara Falcó told us a few days ago, “food tastes better at a well-set table”, a statement shared by Beatriz Satrústegui, who confesses that although she has eaten at magical tables in luxury hotels and restaurants (remember, for example , one in a wonderful place in Positano), « the best tables I remember are my mother’s«. And it is that, in the end, that feeling of home is what makes the difference: » a house is an apartment hotel until you put a plate in it. Everything happens around a table«.

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