There’s nothing like sitting down to a beautifully set and decorated table to create ambiance, elegance and drama.
This holiday season, set the mood for your food with tablescaping. Use colorful linens and dishes, festive centerpieces and decorations to wow family and friends as they gather for a meal. For many celebrating winter holidays, it might be the first time in years that they are seeing friends and family because of the coronavirus. And for those who are still parted from loved ones, taking time to create a special look on the table can boost spirits.
“Creating the perfect tablescape is imperative this year,” says Tracy Morris, a Washington, D.C.–based interior designer. “The table is the heart of the home. We need … a beautiful space to gather.”
Create a pleasing table setting
Cvetelina Petrov, 52, of Orlando, Florida, loves to create festive spaces in her home for the holidays — no tabletop is safe. She decorates kitchen counters, side tables, coffee tables and her dining table, especially on Christmas Eve.
Petrov, who grew up in Bulgaria, serves traditional Bulgarian vegetarian dishes and covers the table with a red tablecloth featuring a traditional Slavic design. She uses a large, folksy Bulgarian pottery bowl as a centerpiece. She then arranges napkins, dinner plates, silverware and pine cones in a starburst that radiates from the center.
Petrov admits that when she lived in Bulgaria, she rarely used Bulgarian tableware. Now, the pottery provides a connection to her country. “These things are more special now. We don’t have family here, so that’s the way I feel close to my family,” she said. “Whatever they gave me over there, as a present, even if it’s worth only a dollar, I bring here and I cherish.”
To create a beautiful table setting, you don't need to go out and buy decorations, says Morris, who encourages her clients to harvest tablescaping decor in their yards or from their homes.
"Take a look at the trees, the evergreens and the hollies,” Morris says. “I go around and clip everything.” She arranges the evergreens in little vases and places them around the house in mini sprays, creating a festive winter atmosphere perfect for marking Christmas.
"You can do the same for your table,” she said. “If you have antique glasses, maybe a highball, take five of those and fill them with beautiful sprays and put them down the center of your table."
Morris’ go-to table decorating staple is an antique champagne bucket. “I fill that champagne bucket with all the greens,” she says. “It smells fantastic.”