“This is how i imagine the table would like if I had a lunch with Barbara Barry,” says Michelle Shang, the Art Director of Moie. Barry is an award-winning designer and internationally known for her streamlined interiors and elegant home furnishings. Her designs speak luxury, comfort and ease. Her collection, Barbara Barry Realized by Henredon can be found at Moie, Pacific Place Jakarta. “She is from California so the concept was a California summer lunch for six people. The table setting was suitable for a housewife who wants to invite her close friends and enjoy each other’s company.”
Michelle avoided something formal and pretentious, so she created the setting in a homey atmosphere. “I want the guests to feel like they’re at their own home. if you see this setting, you feel like you just want to sit and eat,” explains Michelle. In that sense, she didn’t use a tablecloth or a placemat. Instead she arranged all the tableware right onto a Bowmont dining table. Limoges porcelain from Barbara Barry ‘Illusion’ collection for Haviland was used for this setting. All the pieces are adorned with 18K gold and feature a combination of harmonious circles, scallops, and arches discreetly combined in elegant tones. “Artichoke green and espresso were the dominant colours so I chose the ‘Illusion’ in chocolate and endive,” she adds. To complete the whole set, she chose a classic silver cutlery from Christofle.
“The colours of summer are usually strong, but these ones are soft and gentle,” says Michelle, referring to the tableware she used. “It was because I want guests to focus on the food. Soft and gentle are Barry’s signature style. Her design is very American yet timeless and elegant,” she continues. Talking about the centrepiece, she says this setting didn’t have one. She put a large artificial cherry blossom flower arrangement in the centre because it gave a striking yet light and beautiful feeling to the set. “I am aware that cherry blossom is usually suitable for spring. But I like the way it softened the whole look. The artificial cherry blossom flowers were from Diane James for Barbara Barry.”
Michelle says that there are no set rules to make a perfect table setting. “The most important thing is how to make your guests feel special and honoured. That’s why I am always using a place card on my table setting. A personal touch like this is a must to make the guests feel respected,” she says. In that spirit, Michelle put a place card complete with a wax seal on each plate along with the menu card in front of it. To make them look more personal, they were beautifully hand-written by the professional calligrapher, Veronica Halim. “I didn’t use a place card holder because it would be too formal. I also put a small turnip on each plate to give a sense of natural look.”
“Do not put your guests beside somebody they do not know,” she adds. “More personal touch, the better. Serve them by yourself and send them the invitation. And for this table setting, because it was for the summer, some citrus scented candles would be a perfect addition. Complete this setting with a summer-theme dishes like shaved pears with arugula salad, lemongrass ice tea or homemade pastry. They would be great.”