I’ve thrifted a Grandmillennial tablescape for the Spring season and I wanted to shared how I made it happen.
Tablescapes are fun to put together, but thrifted ones can be challenging to curate.
This simple guide will help you identify the 8 items you’ll need for your next celebration. You’ll also find décor suggestions to look out for, and tips to use as you go hunting for your treasures.
Select Your Chinaware
Chinaware is big in grandmillennial décor, and using it in your tablescape is a great way to put it to use.
Before selecting your China, brainstorm a color scheme. Color schemes are a great way to guide your design process, as they will keep you focused on the details that matter.
The most challenging part of this process is sourcing. Therefore, I encourage you to take inventory of what you have. Use your color scheme to determine if you can incorporate any of your existing China into your tablescape.
This is also a great opportunity to incorporate any incomplete sets of China you may own. You can mix and match them to create something fun.
TIP: I take pictures of my China patterns and their stamps and pair that with a spreadsheet to keep count of totals. Patterns like Blue Willow and Indian tree have many iterations of them, so if you're gradually building a thrifted set, you'll know exactly what to look for and how many you need. This will eliminate any guesswork - and remind you of anything you forgot you owned!
Plate stacking is the norm in grandmillennial décor. So, as you source your chinaware, you’ll want to have plates of descending sizes. Three plates for every table setting is the norm, but if your gathering is casual, you can revise as needed.
Source Your Tablecloth
Tablecloths are big in traditional décor. And if you are a design enthusiast, then a tablecloth is a great opportunity to make a big statement.
Some great options to consider for your tablescape include:
- Florals like chintz
- Vintage patterns
- Abstract patterns
- Solid colors
If you want a tablescape that leans more traditional, then the first three options are best.
Abstract patterns on the other hand are best for those who want their tablescapes to have a good balance between vintage and contemporary.
And don’t rule out solid-colored tablecloths either. They are great for layering with table runners or tablecloths that may be too small to cover your table.
If you need some guidance on color, I’d keep an eye out for colors like pink, green, blue, or yellow when you go shopping. These are colors most often used in grandmillennial décor.
Choose Coordinating Drinkware
When selecting drinkware for your tablescape, it’s important to consider the style and theme of your event.
The right drinkware can complement and enhance the overall aesthetic of your design, while also providing a functional element for your guests.
One popular option for grandmillennial style tablscapes is vintage glassware.
Look for pieces with the following characteristics:
- Intricate patterns
- Unique shapes
- Crystal cut
- Etched designs
- Fun colors
And if you can’t find a full set, you can always mix and match different patterns and styles to create a playful and eclectic look.
TIP: Not into the eclectic look? Mix and match crystal or glass drinkware instead. This will trick the eye and the differing glassware will appear to match at first glance.
Alternatively, you may prefer modern glassware for your occasion.
If so, look for pieces with:
- Unusual curves
- Lustrous finishes
- Simple designs
And no matter what type of drinkware you choose, it’s important to make sure it coordinates with the overall color scheme and style of your tablescape.
Choose glasses and cups that complement the colors and patterns of your tablecloth, China, and other decorative items. Remember that the goal is to create a cohesive look that feels intentional.
Add Interest with Accessories
Accessories are not necessary to have a good-looking tablescape. However, if you’d like to capture the grandmillennial style, then here are some additional décor items you’ll want to thrift.
When it comes to accessorizing your table, a centerpiece should be your go-to. And what better way to add a touch of elegance than with a beautiful vase filled with fresh flowers or greenery?
Here are some vase options you can thrift that are sure to fit your tablescape:
Crystal vases are a classic choice for any style because they exude sophistication and add a touch of glamour. And crystal complements any color scheme so you can’t go wrong here.
Ceramic Vases or Pitchers
Ceramic vases and pitchers are perfect for a more casual look. They can add texture and interest to your table if you look for vessels with unique shapes, colors, or patterns. Kitschy ceramics in particular can add a touch of whimsy to your table.
If you want to incorporate metals into your design, brass vases are the way to go. They add warmth and shine to your grandmillennial tablescape and can work with a variety of color schemes. Plus, they are very sturdy and can support heavier floral arrangements.
TIP: Be sure to choose vases that are neither too tall nor too large. Otherwise, your floral arrangement may block your guest's vision.
Candlesticks and Taper Candles
Other accessories you can use to dress up your tablescape are candlesticks and taper candles.
When thrift shopping for candlesticks, there are several options to choose from that will work well with a grandmillennial aesthetic.
You can often find brass candlesticks at secondhand shops. Brass candlesticks can be found in various designs and sizes, and you can easily add variety by mixing several styles. Whether you choose to polish them or not will be up to you.
Crystal will always capture the essence of grandmillennial style. They are a great, sturdy material and they are easy to work with.
Wooden candlesticks bring warmth and texture to your table. You don’t get very many opportunities to incorporate wood into your tablescape, but you can do so with wooden candlesticks.
Now, when it comes to taper candles you have a few options.
If you’ve got a lot of color or pattern going on in your tablescape, then you’ll want to stick to simple candles in neutral colors like white or cream.
But, if you want to add some fun, then taper candles in bright colors or interesting designs will be the way to go.
Placemats are a great way to add interest to a tablescape, including a grandmillennial one. They not only protect your table from scratches and spills but also provide a decorative element to your overall design.
When it comes to choosing placemats, there are several options to hunt for.
Florals in soft colors really capture the grandma-chic aesthetic, while bold florals in rich hues add drama and sophistication. You can choose a single floral design or mix and match different patterns for a more eclectic look.
Another great option are lace and crochet placemats. Lace is delicate and feminine, and adds a touch of elegance to your table. For a bit more texture, you can look for crochet doilies. And you can readily find both lace and crochet placemats at a thrift store.
Woven materials like rattan and jute are durable, easy to clean, and come in various earthy tones. They add texture and interest to your table while keeping a simple and understated style.
So, if you feel like you’ve got enough florals, then you can balance out your table by incorporating woven materials
For a dramatic touch to your grandmillennial tablescape, consider brass or silver chargers. Gold, silver, and bronze finishes can add a nice contrast to more feminine elements like lace and florals.
Whatever type of placemats you choose, make sure they are the right size for your plates and utensils. Too small placemats can look awkward, while too large placemats can overwhelm your table.
TIP: To determine what size placemat or charger will be proportional to your plates, you want to use your largest plate (called the dinner plate) and use its size as a reference point. You want a placemat to be at least 2" larger than your dinner plate on all sides.
Napkins and Napkin Rings
If you find that your tablescape is busy with pattern, then you may want to go with a simple napkin design.
These can be solid colored, or you can keep an eye out for any linens with embroidery or other subtle designs like trim or scalloped edges.
Napkin rings on the other hand can be fun. You have plenty of options here, and for the most part, nearly anything you find may work.
Some materials you can use include:
You can even use unconventional materials like ribbon if you prefer a feminine touch.
Crafting a thrifted tablescape doesn’t need to be complicated. If you search for fun chinaware, glassware, and interesting accessories, tablescaping becomes so much easier.
And now that you know what to look for when shopping for a thrifted grandmillennial tablescape, you will be on your way to successfully creating your own.