What is “neutrals plus”? Actually, we just made up that term while reviewing what tables we’ve styled using palettes of neutrals. We realized that neutrals like ivory, cream, beige, sand, brown, and white work best when set off against at least one or two accent colors. Just a touch here and there, and the whole setting comes alive!
So if you’re dreaming of a muted, monochromatic look for your wedding tables, you can actually sneak in a hint of color amidst all the neutrals—and see the difference. Would you like some ideas? We’re happy to oblige!
Palette: Bottle Green + Orange + Beige + Ochre + Brown
Imagine this same table in all neutrals of beige table cloth, ivory napkins, and white plates and candles. Green wine bottles and gourds also lent some verdant hues to the scene. Pretty, but perhaps a tad boring, right? Notice, then, how that striped runner topped with orange, rust, and brown elements down the length of the table warms up the setting instantly! Plus a touch of ochre via the leaf place cards.
How you can do the same: With tangerine being 2012’s color of the year, don’t be timid about bringing in touches of hot orange to your tables. You could give an all-neutral setting a vibrant pop of color in a jiffy, via a centerpiece of orange calla lilies, orchids, zinnias, pansies, or tulips. See more of this rustic fall table.
Palette: Mustard Yellow + Straw + Green + Red + Burgundy
Neutrals can also often be “naturals.” These are organic colors you find in materials like straw, wood, cork, and the like. While these bring a definite eco-chic charm to your party tables, we suggest perking them up with a little punch of color. Burgundy and/or red perhaps! For this tapas party setting, we used glasses of burgundy-colored wine and loose red rose petals to do just that.
How you can do the same: Red or wine-colored accents can be such fun to decorate with! Even tiny touches can make a pretty impact, like cherries, strawberries, or red grapes in glass candy dishes; faux ruby brooches as napkin trimmings; or a single red rose bud at each place setting.
Palette: Wood Brown + Leafy Green + Sand + Orange + Brown
This neutrals-plus palette is perhaps the easiest to pull off. Just bring in your available garden greenery and you’re all set! Here, we used a variety of tropical leaves to complement the beach-themed table, and to fill the centerpieces (yes, those are actual coconuts!). The perfect burst of freshness amidst the beige, white, and brown of the place settings, sea shell accents, table cloth, and straw pompoms.
How you can do the same: As mentioned above, simply look around your own garden or a nearby woodsy area to select greenery to dress up your tables. This came neutrals-plus-green approach would work perfectly for a wedding with a rustic farm setting, an enchanted woodland ambiance, or an eco-friendly theme.
Palette: Champagne, Pale Pink, Gold, Silver, and Pale Green
A fourth palette option that can be truly captivating is one featuring neutrals plus metallics! This would include gold, silver, copper, or bronze. From our example of an Arabian Nights-inspired table, you can see how a neutral setting of cream, ivory, and soft peach can turn magical with candle glow reflected in glittery gold beading and embroidery, gold-edged tea glasses, and an ornate silver teapot!
How you can do the same: Many table ornaments are already made of metallic materials: silverware, candlesticks, serving trays, napkin rings, and the like. So by simply including these in your styling plan, along with lots of candles, you can readily transform a neutral setting into something quite glitzy and glamorous!