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Table Setting Design Inspiration: Origami

Table Setting Design Inspiration: Origami

Origami Chair and Architecture Inspired Table Setting in Blue and Brown

Décor: a new vase, scatters and curtains. Done.

Not quite.

While some people realise that a lot more goes into décor and interior design than those three things, not everyone may know that most décor and fashion trends actually have their roots in architecture. 

The design elements and principles of colour, form, texture, function etc. run through all the design fields like a golden thread. 

To illustrate this, I have put together a table setting (something most people create at least once a week and rarely consider its design potential) inspired by the Modernist architectural movement. 

The Inspiration

The Original Blue and Cherry Plywood Veneer Origami Chair by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Original Blue and Cherry Plywood Veneer Origami Chair by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Because you came here to read about décor however, I’ll give you the short version.  I’m using architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Origami Chair (1949).  To him, architecture was the middle point of design from which all forms of art, such as fine art, music and drama flow.

He designed the chair for his own home, Taleisin West, based on the same design philosophies he used when designing the house.

The Taleisin West Gardenroom in the US, now a campus for an architectural school

The Taleisin West Gardenroom in the US, now a campus for an architectural school

It was all about geometrical shapes, making natural materials part of the design, harmony and balance.

Despite its noted tendency to tip forward, it was reproduced en masse in the late 1900’s.

The Table Setting

The colour scheme is a no brainer. Blue and brown.

For the actual meal (let’s not forget what’s really important guys) I decided on sushi as it’s also Japanese and, like the art of Origami, it too requires careful folding.   Taking my queue from the white rice and stepping outside of the theme a little, I cheated with some coconut juice as the beverage.  It tastes amazing and repeats the white, which gives the table setting a beautifully pure and fresh feel.

Sushi on wood server for Origami Design Table Setting
Origami inspired table setting with paper straw and coconut milk

I used natural materials as far as possible for the table decor – wood for the bowls, chopsticks, serving board and woven paper pace mats.  The straws and serviettes are made from paper (which used to be wood, remember) and I also folded some origami chairs of my own for placement cards.  Copper was used as serviette rings to indicate the copper trim on the chair’s feet.

Copper serviette ring on blue serviette for an origami inspired table setting
wooden soy sauce bowl, origami chair, coconut and candles in blue and brown for Japanese table setting

Because most of the elements are made from the same basic material, I needed a little bit of texture and again stepped out of the box by adding an actual coconut this time. Repeats the coconut element and adds texture for days!

In terms of form, most of the objects are angular and geometric with straight lines to replicate the shapes in the chair – a theme I even repeated in the angular nature of the glass.  The round soy sauce bowls and candles are considered balance. 

Simplicity and Harmony with Nature

All of the objects on the table serve a purpose – both practically and as a design element.  

For this reason, there are no candle holders, table cloths of even plates.  All the elements are appreciated for what they are in and of themselves, but also form part of a whole. 

Table Setting inspired by origami chair and architecture
While this type of table setting may not quite be your cup of tea, the same thinking can be applied to any theme and design form. Let me know if you have any themes you’d like to see on tables or in rooms!
Full Design Project:  African Colonial Lounge

Full Design Project: African Colonial Lounge

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Full Design Project: Plato Communications