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If your mornings have started to blend together in a blur of emails and coffee, it’s time to slow down a little—and the solution is as simple as setting the table. We found plenty of inspiration for the seemingly mundane task in a new Zara Home Instagram series titled “Home Guests.” This week, it features none other than stylist (and still-life enthusiast) Colin King, who shares his top tips for making your breakfast spread feel that much more special every day. 

Turns out, you can get a restaurant-level tablescape in the comfort of your kitchen—and you don’t have to break the bank to do it. That candlestick on your mantel? It’s a perfect centerpiece. The wood bowl in your entry? Use it as a fruit basket. Here are King’s five steps to pulling together a tabletop like a pro (and our own shopping suggestions should you want to treat yourself to something new).

Start From the Middle

Beginning with a medley of little accessories in the center—think: sugar bowls and salt shakers—work your way out. To create a clear focal point, you can even group everything together on a sleek marble platter. 

Bring in Edible Props

King threw a few pears into a wood fruit bowl for a natural touch (and an easy-to-reach snack). It’s a no-brainer way to incorporate both seasonality and color into your table: Try lemons and oranges in the summer for a warm accent. 

Keep the Essentials Neutral

Next comes the main event: Plates and napkins may take up the bulk of the surface, but King made sure to pick dinnerware in clean whites to keep the focus on the food. Which, let’s be honest, is really the star of any setting. 

Incorporate Some Height

A water carafe and elegant white taper candle stagger the landscape, making it more interesting to look at because not everything is flat on the table. Plus early-morning hydration is key; it can’t hurt to have a prominent reminder to get your first glass of the day in. 

Pepper in the Finishing Touches

Some sculptural glassware here, a coffeepot there—the variety is what makes King’s simple breakfast table look so elevated. Finally, as you would with any vignette, pop in a floral element. A tiny bud vase is a golden opportunity to show off the fruits of your balcony garden, right? 

It’s hammer time: Follow @reno_notebook for easy rental updates, clever DIYs, and tips to nail your next project.

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