Solutions: Think layers when designing table settings

Jeanine Matlow

You don’t have to load up your table to make a statement when entertaining, especially during the more carefree summer months. Just take the lead of Staci Meyers, principal of S|A|M Interiors in Bloomfield Hills, who created a simple vignette at the annual Table Tops Luncheon for Variety, The Children’s Charity, held at the Pine Lake Country Club in West Bloomfield.

Her use of abstract mixed metals paired with organic moss and succulents, along with the crisp contrast of the white chairs against a black tablecloth, set the tone for the straightforward table.

Square plates reiterate the simplicity, says Meyers, “It’s more of a modern take on a tablescape.” Silverware consisted of alternating rose gold and brass mixed with silver.

This arrangement works equally well in an outdoor environment. “It’s all about layering texture with metals,” she says. “If you do take it outside, you can easily add tea lights or votives. Inside, you can do the same thing to add drama.”

For the fuss-free centerpiece, Meyers filled a terrarium with succulents and river rock. She ended up liking it so much that she went home and made two more.

“Terrariums are becoming more and more popular,” she says. “And the nice thing about succulents is that they’re small and they don’t need a lot of maintenance.”

She also planted succulents inside decorative boxes made from metal.

Other unique features included a metalscape made from a series of orbs and a small garden Buddha that rested on a shelf.

“I flipped metal dishes upside down for the terrarium and other elements. They almost had a geometric shape to them too,” says Meyers.

Chairs with an abstract geometric pattern were rented from Display Group in Detroit. “If you repeat certain elements, either big or small or subtle, they pull everything together,” she says.

Rather than go with standard drinking glasses, she chose a style from IKEA with a bit of a gold tint in the upper portion and a clear glass stem. “They reflect the color of the metals,” says Meyers, who enjoys mixing high-end items with more affordable finds.

One budget-friendly trick was to turn the lid from a jewelry box upside down and fill it with moss before placing it inside a metal orb.

“My tablescape isn’t very tall, so you can still see across it and have a conversation,” she says.

When it comes to table settings, Meyers believes less is more. “It’s the same with jewelry,” she says. “You’re supposed to put on what you think you should wear and then remove one piece.”

This philosophy leaves enough space for the meal. “Otherwise, you don’t have room for food or drinks,” she says. “It has to be functional and you want things to clean up at the end. It’s all about simplicity.”

Meyers has good reason to favor an understated approach. “I’m a mom with twins,” she says. “I don’t have time for all the formality.”

For information, contact Staci Meyers at 248-390-4286 or go to

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at