By Colleen Riordan
The holidays are a delightful rush of dinner parties and family gatherings. Before you dig out great-grandma’s recipes, create a beautiful tablescape to charm your guests. A stunning centerpiece, table setting and decor will make both the meal and conversation shine.
“This season, there’s a reemergence of shiny metallics,” says Greg Curtiss, lead designer at The Wreath Factory in Menasha. “We are going to see golds and silvers paired with crisp whites or bold jewel tones.” The clean simplicity of a single solid color lets the metals take center stage. Mix gold and silver ornaments of diverse shapes in a glass vessel. Tapered candles in glass holders add height, giving a visual lightness to the setting.
Comfort in Nature
“Natural elements are still going to be a driving force this season. There’s more casualness to design lately,” says Leslie Wilson, owner and interior designer at Bellwether Interior Design in Neenah. Thin wood slices can become unique charger plates. Simple dinnerware, a few tree trimmings and checked gingham bring comfort to the table.
“Foliage, texture and the all-natural look are super hot right now,” says Casee Meach, owner of Branching Out & Co. in Appleton. “You can go to your local florist or your own yard. It gives a really fresh look.” She recommends holiday greens because they dry well, which allows you to set the table several days before a party. Paired with air plants and succulents, this bold greenery provides texture to the tablescape and is low-maintenance for even the blackest of thumbs.
A Personal Touch
Play with your place cards, suggests Curtiss. “A personalized ornament tied around a napkin makes a great gift and tells your guest where to sit.” He also recommends miniature wrapped presents or ceramic animals. The snow-colored sparrows add character and dimension to a formal setting. Mirrors can be unique plate chargers and reflect the light and energy of the room.
The Modern Hunt
The holidays are all about comfort and coziness. Bring that to your tablescape with the soft look of feathers. “It’s on trend to be eclectic,” says Wilson. “You can switch things up without reinventing the wheel. Transition in a few new pieces while using old ones.” Pheasant feathers and pine warm up the sharp, edginess of stripes and geometric patterns on the dinnerware.
“Mix the fancy—like mercury glass—with wood. It kicks it up a notch,” says Rebekah Myers, designer at Branching Out & Co. “It makes your table look a little more elegant without going all glass, all gold, all silver.” A pinecone-shaped candle holder made of driftwood adds an earthiness to the vintage look of mercury glass votive holders. Mix and matched candles bring warmth to any dinner party.