TABLESCAPING

Simple ways to turn up the style and charm this season

The sign of a well-set table always seemed to be a vase or vessel of fresh cut flowers, positioned in the center of the table as the focal point.  

We’re still big fans of the classic, especially when they have a personal connection (your mother’s favorite flower, the same tiny white rose buds your daughter had in her wedding, the bouquet your guest kindly offered as they walked in the door).  

But we’re also smitten with the idea that tablescaping is less about one look-at-me moment and more about our guests and their experience with the table, the meal and everyone who is sharing it. Things are more personal and, in many cases, more natural and organic, proudly showcasing yard-to-table finery (even if it is from someone else’s backyard! Did we just say that?).

The point is, we’re using things that make us happy as we prepare to gather and reconnect. And in the interest of creating memorable occasions, we’ve gathered a short list of some of our favorites.  

1) Evergreen  

The well-deserved, fragrant favorite for a reason. Create fragrant, living napkin rings, tuck a tiny branch in a folded napkin, create tiny wreaths for each place setting or hang them with ribbon from the back of each chair. Or try decorating a long swath of the table with an evergreen garland, beautiful in its simplicity or accented with pinecones, berries, ornaments, candlesticks or other natural or shimmery embellishments.

2) Wreaths

It always seems like an act of elegant rebellion to use something in a new way. Hang your wreaths in all the usual places, but use one or more like you would a basket or trivet, delineating an area for clusters of candlesticks, a cake stand or a tray stacked with rustic rolls or  

Rest a punch bowl or pretty pitcher in the center of a wreath on your serving table or counter, surround a charcuterie board or use to create a  huddle of glowing Christmas Village collectibles.

3) Birch

We’ve always loved the quiet and delicate beauty of birch trees. So, we’re happy to see their influence in everything from winter containers to birch patterned wallpaper, candles, even jewelry.

We love the addition of a larger bundle at the center of a table, with live and fragrant greenery, berries, ornaments or branches tucked around it. We’ve also used tiny branch bundles tied with twine or raffia to become mini easels, perfect for name cards.  

And finally, birch discs—essentially a slice of birch trunk—used as chargers or coasters for pitchers, goblets or vases are really wonderful. 

4) Mini Plants  

Mini anything is irresistible. But when it comes to winter and holiday minis, they’re extra adorable. Take mini poinsettias in white, red and pink or tiny cypress, frosty ferns or amaryllis. And don’t forget succulents, which we know are technically tropicals, but trust us when we say they steal the show on a wintery table.

Cluster them, line them up or place one at the 12 o’clock spot of each place setting, perched on top of the plate (or birch disc?) or on a sideboard or serving table like a mini forest or field of flowers. You can perch nametags among their branches or stems, drop them into tiny clay pots and use them as party favors for everyone to take with them at the end of the evening.

5) Tabletop Trees  

If your table is large or long enough, try a series of tiny tabletop trees down the center of the table. Allow your kids to decorate each one with homemade paper ornaments, popcorn or paperchain garlands, or dress them up with tinsel, mini ornaments, tiny battery powered lights and more.

This idea works particularly well for gift, dessert or buffet tables, too.

 

The little things in life seem to bring us such unexpected joy. Please stop in and ask us for more fresh ideas and materials. And we hope you’ll share your joy with friends and family this season.