Creating an elevated table setting this holiday season
Gathering around the table this holiday season will undoubtedly have a more intimate feeling. Celebrate simply this year by creating an elevated and memorable dining experience that focuses on the simple joys of sharing a meal with family. One easy way to do so is to look no further than the items you already have in your home- pieces that tell a story of your family’s history and the time you share.
With more of us working from home, the dining room may have become a catch-all for everything, from work clutter to remnants from the virtual classroom, mail, and packages. However, tidying up your space in time for a special meal will enhance the atmosphere and allow you to focus on the dining experience.
2. Create an ambiance
When we go out to eat at a restaurant, many elements set the tone— the right music, excellent décor, mood lighting — all of these elements, by design, are thoughtfully curated to elevate our experience and be a feast for all of our senses. Bring that feeling into your dining room by incorporating notes of warmth to your table with candles and oil lamps, allowing you to dim the overhead lights. Layer in soft touches— like cloth napkins or tea towels, table runners, chargers, or cloth placemats to help make it feel cozy and separate from the everyday. Select your favorite album to set the mood and drink in the aroma of fresh herbs, flowers, or pine from your centerpiece.
Simple and Sustainable: To create this sustainable harvest look, we choose to draw elements and colors from the cherry tabletop’s beauty- caramel, toffee, and honey. The place settings included a simple white dinner plate, caramel salad plates resting atop rattan chargers. Using copper flatware, we pulled on the tones of the wood’s rich patina. A simple and sustainable centerpiece includes gourds and fresh herbs from a local greenhouse resting upon an oatmeal flecked woolen-runner.
3. Choose a color scheme
When choosing a scheme, be sure to play on your desired color’s different tones and moods. Inspiration comes in many forms- wood-species, china patterns, the flowers’ color in your centerpiece, or a piece of art on the wall. Choose a color you want to help set the scene. Is it a celebration of fall or the harvest, pops of holiday color, or clean and minimal with muted greys and blues?
Clean and Contemporary: Golden-lined linen placemats help to define the setting against the rich walnut tabletop. Wrought-iron silverware create a visual contrast against the clean white dinner and salad plates. Crisp, white linen napkins finished with black ribbon and a succulent tie to the sustainable centerpiece —crafted of succulents, air plants, and Dusty Miller.
4. Create a Centerpiece
A centerpiece is a beautiful way to bring natural beauty to the table. Choose a centerpiece or make one that is relatively low to the table- the entire reason we all gather together is to connect. Tall centerpieces obstruct our view and make it challenging to have a conversation with those across from us. For families with children, a tabletop can be as easy as going on a scavenger hunt, mindfully collecting things we find along the way, and teaching our young ones the beauty of the landscape where they live. If you are using fresh herbs in your cooking, consider buying the whole plant that can be potted in terra-cotta to create a sustainable centerpiece— infusing your table with the textural aromas that started the meal.
Elevated Heirloom: Red tea-towels take the place of a full tablecloth to allow the rich quality of the heirloom table to shine. Vintage red, green, and gold holiday dinner and salad plates stacked on top of one another create a clean yet textural setting. Linen napkins, cut glass stemware, candlesticks, and freshly polished silver relay a story of holidays past. The traditional centerpiece is made of evergreens, boxwood, rosehips, and alstroemeria.
5. Dust off the family heirlooms
The holidays are a special occasion that harkens to family traditions, unique gifts, and loved ones’ memories. To rekindle the gatherings of holidays past, it’s time to polish the box of silver. Traditional cut glass stemware, vintage china, candlesticks, linen napkins, and perhaps even the dining table and chairs that have been used for generations make it feel just like home.
The beginnings of an elevated place setting begin with a beautiful and sustainably made hardwood table. We offer several styles and configurations, from our drop-leaf Studio table, perfect for two, to our Georgetown or Wishbone extension tables that extend to accommodate ten to twelve. When we sit down to the table this holiday season, let the memories of connection, past, and present, create a meaningful and memorable dining experience.