Feels Like Home: Kirthanaa Naidu
We caught up with Tablescape stylist , Kirthanaa Naidu. She shares the inspiration behind her Malaysian supper clubs and her top tips for styling the perfect table.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am from Malaysia but moved to the UK when I was 12 years old with my sisters. I am now based in London, where I currently work in Education and Events at Amnesty International. I have a real passion for food, which I wanted to share with people through supperclubs – however, I have had to hold off on this and instead work as a freelance recipe developer, food stylist, and tablescape designer in the meantime.
Describe your style in three words
Colourful, eclectic, harmonious
How did you fall in love with the art of the tablescape?
I’ve always enjoyed setting a table, but I grew to love it more during lockdown as it made weekends and meals feel special. I then started posting some of my table on Instagram where people seemed to enjoy them.
Above image features our large raffia placemats and tea lights
Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
I would love to invite some of the people I have connected with through Instagram over lockdown to dinner. So many people have been supportive of what I do, so I would love to show my appreciation and get to know them properly too.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I'd say I have a fairly eclectic style, where I try to incorporate as many things I have around the house into the tablescape. Whether that's using cups or jars for flower vases, or fruit for candle holders - I try to look around and experiment with what I have.
Could you tell us more about your Malaysian Supper Clubs?
The idea for my supperclubs very much derives from my upbringing in Malaysia where there is such an incredible tradition and culture around food, which I have carried with me to the UK. I want my guests to feel like they are comfortable and at home, so the style of food will be sharing plates, with 10 to 12 different dishes served during the evening. A key part of the supperclub will, of course, be the tablescape which will include fresh flowers, candles, and other decorations. I can’t wait to start hosting supperclubs later in the year – to bring people together, to meet wonderful people, and to share my love of food with them.
Image of Kirthanaa's popular Pandaan Cheesecake
What is your go to recipe for a dinner party?
I love to make Malaysian food for a dinner party as everything can be made in advance. Especially a chicken rendang, a dish with so much flavour and always tastes better when eaten the day after you first make it
What are your top table styling tips?
Fresh seasonal flowers and candles are both a must! Fresh flowers add a brilliant colour to the table, and I often base the colour scheme on whatever seasonal flowers I can get my hands on. Buying flowers that are in season also ensures that I can reduce my carbon footprint, as otherwise they are flown in to the UK from all over the world! Although, of course, sometimes its not always possible to get flowers in season, especially in winter.
Work with what you’ve got at home, use old jam jars to create a floral centrepiece. Make the most of flowers and foliage from your garden, if you have one. otherwise supermarket flowers always does the job.
If you’d like to get creative with your tablecloth, I’d recommend buying some fabric you like the look of and hem it with some hem tape and an iron. Its a cheaper way to change up your tablescape and it’s more sustainable as you can buy dead stock.
What rituals or routines make you feel at home ?
I am a bit of a clean freak, so in all honesty any routine to feel comfortable starts with cleaning! I have a really comfortable sofa, so I love to relax there, light some candles and get into a good TV series.
Girl, Woman, Other
The gurls talk
Growing up with Galdem
Honey and Co: The Food Talks
Come for supper
Instagram pages to follow