Setting the Stage

Pin this, pin that. Like this, like that. I curate my Pinterest board and Instagram likes similar to a designer about to launch a new collection. The images have to inspire, have to spark. Entertaining photos make up a majority of the pie. Having my own home (or 60 square meters of space) means I have my own playground, my own canvas. It means I can decorate, entertain, create without abandon. I search and search for pretty things, dainty things, fun things to fill the table with. It still gets to me where stylists get all those stuff (a tree stump? glittered tablecloths? lavender sprigs?) but I guess what I find will do for now. 

And then I tablescape. Or at least attempt to. The theme has always been subtle elegance so yes to those marbled coasters, to laced placemats, to those gold wine glass tags, to that marbled candleholder. When I finish, I stand back, pleased. I take a photo. There's nothing wrong with beauty.

I move into the kitchen to boil the pasta, cook the shrimp, prepare the dessert batter. Then the guests arrive: dear family, dear friends. It feels cosy, like home, they say. One course comes, it goes, then another course comes. For the main meal, I finally sit down, among the company and lose myself in weaves and weaves of conversation. In laughs, in stories, in secrets, in songs. 

Domesticity is empty without people to love, without people to serve. We decorate to make them feel at home. We cook to fill their hearts. We converse to make memories. After the tablescaping and the cooking, the stage is set, ready to be used. And then, when the loved ones sit down 'round the table, when we say, 'Please pass this, pass that,' when we ask 'How are you?' and have the rest of the evening to really listen to their answers, the stage is alive.

And it becomes more beautiful than when it was empty.


"Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull. Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a man can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or indulge in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of rules and set tasks.” - G.K. Chesterton