How a professional food stylist sets the table

Linda Lundgren is a food stylist at Agent Bauer and knows all about the latest trends in table setting. Here she shares her searches for trends and gives tips on how to plan the perfect table setting for every occasion.

What basic ideas do you have when you set a table?

Personally, I think you should use porcelain and colours that aren’t overpowering but keep the focus on the food. I’m quite a traditionalist and prefer round plates to square ones, with a natural feel to the porcelain. Mix the new with the old and preferably use handmade tableware in natural tones. Also, the cutlery shouldn’t be too big and bulky.

Bestick, dukning

“Natural and light material.”

What trends do you see?

What I see now is a big trend in patinous and industrial tableware. Those of us who work in the sector are tired of this now. It’s certainly a nice style which I think will continue for a bit longer, but those of us who work in the sector want to move on. I think that in future we will come back to the Nordic feeling, with pale and white material and classic, clean lines. When I think Nordic, I think about the Noma restaurant in Copenhagen with its wood and colours. Natural and very white. The style also works really well with food when you set the table. I’m also into the English country house style and Downton Abbey, for example, is a great inspiration for me. This will also become a trend, which is evident from the stylists I work with.

How important is it to set the table correctly with cutlery and glasses in a certain place?

I don’t think it’s at all important to put the cutlery and everything in the right place. You can set the table however you think best. It’s about creating a feeling, not following rules. I rarely think about things like that, I just set the table so it looks nice.

Do you put the pots on the table or serve on plates?

I like to put things on the table and hardly ever serve food on plates. That’s not the sort of food I cook. I would rather have nice pots than a nice set of plates. It’s less formal with pots and you can serve directly from them.


Any practical tips?

It’s good if you’re prepared in the kitchen and have chopped, peeled and cleaned up in good time. This saves you from doing it when your guests arrive. Then you can look after your guests instead of cooking. Perhaps I’m a bit damaged from my time as a cook, but I think the kitchen should be clean.

Have you got any tips for decorations?

It can be really nice to add living material, such as flower arrangements and twigs. However, although flower arrangements can be nice, they can easily take over the table. It is therefore best to go for small vases with a few sprigs. Personally, I think less is more. Instead of using common napkins, you can use nice white tea towels. Candles are also wonderful and I always use a lot of them. I always try to create a feeling when I set the table and I think that you can create different feelings depending on what food you cook. Let the table setting complete the feeling of the food and really enter into that world – for example French or Asian.

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