Bonnie and Neil are an independent textile brand based in Melbourne, founded by Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie. Renowned for their vibrant collections celebrating colour and pattern, they offer an extensive range of sought-after collectibles for every room in the home.
From humble beginnings as a small studio dedicated to crafting exquisite cushions and napery, their product lineup has expanded significantly. Today, it includes soft linen bedding, quilted kitchenware, glazed ceramics, handmade glassware, hand-loomed cotton textiles, tufted cotton bathmats, and patterned coir door mats.
While maintaining their commitment to traditional screen-printing techniques, which originated in their Melbourne studio, Bonnie and Neil have also collaborated with skilled artisans worldwide–these collaborations bring their distinctive hand-crafted designs to new heights.
Bonnie and Neil's original designs showcase Bonnie's paintings and hand drawings, creating timeless and captivating homewares. As a result, they have earned a reputation as one of Australia's most beloved independent lifestyle brands.
Bonnie and Neil kindly shared their tips for elevating your tablescape with us –
Establish a colour palette
First things first, choose a general colour palette and get creative! Decide on either a cool (blues, greens, purples) or warm (oranges, reds, yellows, pinks) mood for the table to guide your styling and decor. Mix and match different prints for your setting, aiming for a luxe feel by selecting tablecloths and napery in patterns that complement each other without looking too 'matchy' or overly considered. For instance, during the warmer, entertaining weather, we'll be styling our striking 'Hibiscus Red' tablecloth with bold 'Loop Red and Pink' napkins for maximum impact.
Always, always, always use cloth napkins
Linen or cotton napkins are an absolute must in our books! They provide a simple yet effective way to elevate the dining experience for your guests. Don't worry about ironing them; a relaxed look can make any tablescape appear effortless. Experiment with different napkin styles, such as loose, knotted, folded, or a mixture. Try combining different prints to create an eclectic yet cohesive feel for your table. Consider using our 'Fruit Salad Yellow' or 'Aloha Multi' napkins for some colour or opt for a more neutral look with the 'Double Waves Green' printed on oat linen.
Make it functional
Although large floral arrangements in the centre of the table can be beautiful, they can sometimes hinder guests from chatting across from each other. Instead, play around with different heights and dimensions by adorning the table with ceramics, small vases with simple florals, and staggered candles. Ensure enough space for the meal to be served and the bottles that will gradually fill the table. Our new ceramic range featuring hand-painted patterns, such as the 'Banana Yellow' or 'Leaf Green' mini bowls, can be a playful addition without taking up too much space.
Layer It Up
Add depth and interest to your setting by layering a selection of different tableware elements. Create a fun play of colour and textures by combining a printed tablecloth with quilted placemats, bold napkins, vibrant glassware, and fun cutlery. If dining outdoors, complete the space with some colourful cushions or seat pads. Ensuring a mix of textures and layers is sure to create an instant wow factor and a memorable evening for your guests. Quilted placemats have made a comeback this season, serving as the perfect way to add extra layers in complementing prints such as our 'Clove Golden' or 'Hibiscus Coral.' Top it off with some of our hand-blown 'Dots Pink' glass tumblers or a carafe.
Include a personal touch
To make a tablescape feel more intimate, consider preparing hand-written name cards or personalised menus. This is a gorgeous way to make your table feel more welcoming, and it's these little considerations that leave a memorable impact on your guests long after the night is over. Set the place with our new brushed brass 'Clam Shell' and 'Conch Shell' shaped name holders, the cutest tabletop inclusions that won't go unnoticed.
Whether you're hosting Saturday brunch, a lunch for the extended family, or a candlelit dinner, the key to entertaining in style lies in the art of table setting. Once you have the perfect set of tableware, linen, and accessories – there are endless possibilities. With these tips, you'll embark on a journey towards an elevated experience for both yourself and your guests.
So, curate your Pinterest board, set the mood with your favourite Spotify playlist, and don't forget to pour yourself a spritz to celebrate the occasion. Cheers to an unforgettable gathering!