In 2020, when Kirthanaa Naidu was furloughed from her events job in the charity sector, the foodie followed her passion for cooking and wound up becoming Instagram’s favourite tablescaping stylist. Fast-forward and she has over 30,000 followers, one viral Pandan Cheesecake recipe, and has hosted countless supper clubs for the fashion and foodie crowd. We sat down with the stylist to chat moodboards, margaritas and Moroccan glassware.
Which fail-safe recipe do you turn to when hosting?
“Panna cotta is the perfect pudding for dinner parties. It’s incredibly easy to make, can be prepared within 10 minutes and left to rest in the fridge until ready to serve. I love a classic, cooked with good quality vanilla, a touch of salt and served with a homemade berry coulis.”
And your cocktail of choice?
“Always something sour, so I’ll have to go with a margarita with tajin on the rim - it packs a punch with a combination of chilli and lime. I serve mine in a tumbler with some ice.”
Which independent brands caught your eye when styling our spring tablescapes?
“I love the texture of Projektityyny’s Leinikki Gingham Embroidered Tablecloth. The way it falls is so natural - don’t bother ironing it, as it adds to that lived-in, country home look. The frills frame the table beautifully, too. A good tablecloth is essential to an impactful tablescape; I look at the colour and print and build everything else out from there.
The White Ruffled Plates from Just So Interiors are a lovely statement piece that will elevate any table. I also use Le Verre Beldi’s Recycled Moroccan Glasses for my supper club tables. They are affordable but unique in shape - a great staple glassware to have, especially for those margaritas!”
Read on to hear Kirthanaa’s 4 tips for creating the perfect tablescape at home.
“If you have time, it’s always useful to create a mood board. Combine pictures of the items you already have at home with screenshots of items you’re thinking of investing in to see how everything for your tablescape will come together.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match: establish your colour palette and then draw in items that compliment your main theme. My inspiration is mostly taken from the current season or the mood I’m in, so everything from the colours to the food and flowers is reflective of what I’m feeling at the time.”
“I love buying flowers seasonally. I try to buy British flowers as much as possible, which is much easier to do in spring and summer. Chat to your local florist to learn about what’s in season, and combine a few special stems from them with a bunch of supermarket flowers to create an affordable but luxurious mix.
Everyone loves mimosa at this time of year as it’s so bright and fun. Yellow to me feels very spring fresh, signalling a change of weather. It doesn’t need much styling, either - you can just pop it in a jug with water.”
“To add more depth to your table setting, layer up crockery and place your napkin in between your pieces," Kirthanaa notes. "It not only helps break up the colour of your ceramics, but it shows off your statement napkins and creates some interest for guests. Add another layer with a noteworthy placemat too."
"Don’t be afraid to play around with layers of prints, either - big and small checks paired together, for example. If it’s a different colour, tone or size, it always ends up working out.”
"If you’re doing a traditional tea table, make sure that the cake stand isn't too tall. It can obstruct the eye line or conversational flow of your guests," says Kirthanaa. "Plus, it’s much nicer to look down at a pretty decorated cake. I also tend not to use huge vases - only bud vases, or bowls with flower frogs inside."
"If you want to create an elaborate flower arrangement, put it to the side of the table, not in between two people who are trying to speak to each other - remember, tablescapes are created to be used and enjoyed, not just photographed!”