Having the perfect tablescape can make or break the space, or gathering, especially during the holidays. Often times we find ourselves so focussed on the essentials – like food, house prep, and wardrobe–that we leave the centerpiece of the evening (our table) to the last minute. These three table settings are guaranteed to help beat the holiday craze and get you prepared to ease into the next decade.
A blank table always feels so lonely. To keep your table happy you want to create a centerpiece you can leave there all season long, and the last thing you want to have to do is move or deconstruct it every single time you sit down to eat. A rule of thumb for us is we want to be able to see our guests while eating. I like to keep it simple and low profile centerpieces are a win all around. Candlesticks, vases with simple greenery, or even just an easy pine garland are go-to favorites for any season. I like to stick with “the rule of threes” when starting any design project. Keeping with an odd number allows you to create a more curated look than something that feels too matchy-matchy.
Casual Dinner Party
Simple layers with height are going to be your friend here. You want to have a tablescape that allows for food placement while still feeling festive for the season. When it comes to table settings, you’ll want to find ways to make your table not only interesting but aesthetically pleasing, and this is the easiest way to do just that. Use two different placemats and two different sets of napkins that all still coordinate together color-wise. From there, you can alternate what placemat goes where and layer them together to create a new look at each place setting. It’s the perfect way to create a beautiful, eye-catching table setting without having it feel too formal.
Formal Dinner Party
Bring in all the layers and keep on adding to it. This tablescape it meant to be used for plated meals because there’s no way you are going to have enough room to house food on the table too! I like to start with a base layer: throw blanket, scarf, table runner. Not only does this give you a great starting layer for texture, but it is the perfect way to protect your table from all the additional layers. Once your base layer is complete, then it’s time to add in your greenery (Pro-tip: I prefer to use multiple types of greens to give added dimension to the table). Next up is garland, ribbon, or lights to add yet another full layer of texture to your tablescape. Now we’re on to height. I like to have at least three different heights throughout my tablescape to allow for interesting perspectives, candlesticks are my go-to favorite here always. Finally, the last thing I add to the center is fun ornaments as they’re the perfect way to bring a pop of color to your table.
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Michael and Danielle Gutelli
Danielle and Michael Gutelli creators and owners of Clark + Aldine, a residential design to build team specializing in home design, customization, and styling. Together with their two little dudes, they are helping people experience life by looking at existing space in a completely new way and offering solutions for a more functional and purposeful space for their clients. On their blog they share content related to home design, decor and styling, DIY tips, and how they manage all the things while prioritizing time with their family, traveling and embracing the everyday moments life brings them! Follow their journey at clarkandaldine.com or on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.