Today, Liz is opening the doors to the beautiful T+T showroom, which gives us major workplace envy while simultaneously inspiring our next after-work event. Take a tour in the slideshow and learn more about the cool company below:
Hi Liz! Tell us, what sparked the idea for Table + Teaspoon?
I started a cooking blog as a creative outlet while studying for the bar exam in 2009. Fast-forward to a few years later, I made the decision to leave the law to turn my blog into a catering, events, and interior design firm. Through various projects for both clients and myself, I recognized the need for a company that would take the hassle out of setting the table and make entertaining accessible to everyone. Inspiration hit me as I was picking up yet another order from an enormous party rental warehouse in South San Francisco when I asked myself, “In a city where you can order literally anything on-demand – flowers, dresses, tuxes, meals, chefs, groceries, cocktails, servers, sommeliers – why can’t you similarly order your tablescape?” Thus the idea for a “Rent the Runway for tablesettings” was born. Table + Teaspoon is designed for those who want a sophisticated tablescape, but don’t want to hire an event planner or DIY. Customers enter the date of their party and choose from six fully designed settings, each including an oversized luxury textile runner, dual-sided napkins, dinner plate, salad plate, wine glass, water glass, place card, menu card, paper straw, taper candles and candlesticks. We send everything in an easy to unpack box right to the customer’s door with step-by-step instructions for setting the perfect table. After the party, everything is repacked and sent away. No need to wash anything, we take care of the cleaning!
Your showroom is beautiful. What can you tell us about it?
The Table + Teaspoon showroom is located in a former art gallery on legendary Market Street, the main thoroughfare for the financial district in San Francisco. When I began looking for a location, I knew that I needed enough room for product storage, order fulfillment, sanitization, office space, and ideally a showroom area for table setting options with a visible storefront (tall order, I know!). Surprisingly, even though I was working with a handful of commercial realtors, I found the space myself on Craigslist. Our building is nestled between fellow creative businesses, which we love. On one side we have an antiques store, and on the other, a conglomerate atelier of artists, fashion designers, ceramicists, and photographers. Right across the street is the infamous Zuni Cafe – whose Roast Chicken with Bread Salad recipe has been featured everywhere from The New York Times to Smitten Kitchen and Barefoot Contessa. Twitter and Uber are both headquartered two blocks down the road. Needless to say, the neighborhood couldn’t be more perfect for a creative startup.
What was your inspiration for the design of the showroom?
The unfinished concrete floors, exposed wood rafters, and 30-foot ceilings provided a foundation beyond my wildest dreams. To enhance the already gorgeous space, I searched for images of offices for the companies that I frequented. Net-a-Porter’s minimalist white office, decorated solely with dozens of chandeliers strung above white desks is a favorite of mine. I am also smitten with the enormous living wall at Airbnb’s headquarters. In my interior design projects, I’ve often used matte black paint on walls and brass hardware. I pulled all of these elements together to create an elegant, contemporary space in classic colors and textures reflective of the Table + Teaspoon branding.
The first changes I made were adding three crystal chandeliers down the center of the showroom, re-carpeting the staircase with a contemporary pattern, painting the stainless steel stair railing a dark bronze, and a 12’ x 8’ living wall installation. For the “showroom” part of the space, my amazing contractor created six miniature dining tables to display each of the settings. To finish the dining room feel, I found six different mirrors to hang above each table. After that, I separated the office area by painting the middle of the showroom black and placing three desks against the wall with matching brass gumball lamps, black and gold artwork I created myself, and Tolix chairs with lambskins over the seats. For the meeting space, I created a lush seating area with a tufted cream sofa, black velvet Louis chairs, striped pillows, alpaca throws, and a lucite coffee table over a chestnut cowhide rug. No showroom would be complete without a full bar, and I found a vintage bar cart from 1stdibs, neon high balls from CB2, and champagne coups from a local thrift store. Two bookshelves from the 1960’s, refreshed with a coat of black shellac, flank the cart. For a little whimsy and a pop of color, I painted the powder room hot pink, wallpapered a focal wall in banana leaf, and installed an antique gold chandelier with pale pink shades.
What can guests expect when visiting the showroom?
I want people to feel both comfortable and inspired in the showroom. There’s nothing I love more than sharing Table + Teaspoon with friends, family, and customers. In addition to regular tabletop reservation appointments and design consultations, I throw several events in the space. This fall, I co-hosted a glamorous “Dress You + Your Table for the Holidays” party with Stella & Dot, and in the spring I’m doing a big dinner celebrating thirty of the phenomenal Silicon Valley female founders I’ve met.
We have to ask… do you have a favorite setting?
I know you’re not supposed to play favorites, but I must admit that The Monroe is my go-to setting. Banana leaf, cotton candy pink, and black and white cabana stripe combine to create an insanely chic aesthetic. Tastemakers have moved the banana leaf pattern from an accent to a neutral in decor, which makes our runner perfectly on-point this season. And who doesn’t love that gold flatware? I think The Monroe is ideal for everything from a bachelorette party in wine country to a poolside barbeque in your backyard.
Learn more about Table + Teaspoon here.