One of the things I enjoy the most when entertaining on the holiday season, or just in my everyday family life, is taking the time to do a proper table setting. I find this task an opportunity to awaken my creativity and to use everything I have at hand, from that exquisite china that used to belong to my grandma, to those incredibly beautiful crafts from around the world.
You see, the secret to doing “eclectic decor” is mixing everything with good taste; harmonizing handmade crafts with more classic elements like Baccarat crystal, a fine porcelain china, and a Tiffany candleholder and not getting cold feet only because they are not a traditional match.
A beautiful table setting is the ultimate touch after cooking a delicious meal to share with family or friends on the holiday season. And what makes it really special is the pleasure to do it beautifully so your guests delight not only in the food but also in the general layout and the serving ritual around it.
A table can be decorated in neutral or bright tones, the tablecloth can be luxurious or crafty, you can even display a table runner and matching placemats. No matter the style, using every item properly and adding your personal special touch is the definite secret to achieving a home décor magazine look! You can do it!
For your holiday season dinner parties, I’m going to suggest several table setting options. Given that everything will depend on the kind of meal you’re going to serve that day, we’re going to use pieces that on their own you’d never think of combining but, together, work in perfect harmony. So here’s my first idea…
Sober and stylish holiday season table
This is an elegant and sober style, where we combine a brocade table runner with Swarovski crystal tassels, a silver centerpiece with exotic flowers and some crystal chandeliers that I like to add to the table because they bring a certain warmth to the ambiance and take the décor for Thanksgiving to a whole new level. The silver charger plates are a chic touch that you can match with any china set you have. I also used eco-friendly cotton handwoven placemats in ivory.
To serve all the different dishes, I used some beautiful pieces like a handmade platter and a salad bowl with real dried flowers for this table setting. And last but not least, if you want to add some color and a personal touch, you can make little place cards with the name of each guest, and place them over some colorful hand painted calabash fruits, with pewter leaves. You’ll see it will be a success!
Elegant and colorful
As a second table setting option, I used the same table runner and chandeliers, but achieved a more joyful effect on the table, while still being stylish. I did this by mixing Baccarat fine crystalware, and sober white tableware with artisanal wooden pieces like charger plates and serving trays, hand-painted with tropical fruits and jungle leaves motifs.
It’s important to remember that when setting an elegant table, we should never use paper napkins. It’s best to use cloth dinner napkins that you can arrange in beautiful wooden hand-painted napkin rings that match the hand-painted pumpkin placemats. In you’re going for a more informal style, just skip the chandeliers and you’ll have a homier look.
A joyful garden
This third table setting option is for those who want to make a colorful garden out of their Thanksgiving dinner. Here the most common glassware, tableware, and flatware come to life by mixing them with a combination of colorful artisanal pieces like placemats, a table runner, charger plates, napkin rings and serving trays, in an array of colors that bring out the best out of the most simple everyday things.
This table setting achieves a perfect harmony for those families that are less formal but still enjoy a beautiful dinner table.
Additional table setting tips
Here, some more fast tips that can be very helpful when setting a table for a special occasion:
- Never place decorative elements that prevent the diners to see each other from across the table.
- If you use flowers in your table setting décor, be careful not to choose blooms with a strong scent.
- If you use candles, they must alway be lit and not have any scent.
- The distance between the charger plates should be exactly the same from each other, and about one or two centimeters from the edge of the table.
- When you place the flatware, remember that spoons and knives always go on the right-hand side, and forks on the left.
- Arrange the crystalware from the tallest glass on the innermost side of the table to the lowest one closer to the diner’s reach.
I hope this inspires you and helps you set a lovely table for Thanksgiving.
More table setting tips here.