It’s the holiday season, everyone! For many, this is the time of year when we find our homes filled with family and friends. Our loved ones gather around our dinner tables to enjoy a meal that is only trumped by the happiness of being reunited with those we might have not seen for 11 months. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, there is more reason now than ever for many to start considering not only what they intend on cooking but also how they intend to present the food to all of their guests. Here enters the tablescape.
Tablescapes are fun. They are your opportunity to give the food that you make a decorative frame within which to rest. And we don’t have to go crazy putting it all together.
Here are 5 easy tips to aid you in having a dining table that you can easily embellish whenever you host a gathering in your home.
- Have at least 2 runners — one for holiday season and one for after. A runner is that decorative cloth that spans the length of your table. There are endless options for runner patterns. The trick here is to have at least 2 that represent the different times of year. In my home, I have a runner that ties into the colors that decorate my Christmas tree. The colors are more earthy and bring forth the feeling of Fall. After winter, my second runner is put on the table. It is bright and echoes the colors that come along with the warmer weather of Spring. You can purchase more, but 2 is all you need.
- Have at least 2 sets of cloth napkins and rings that coordinate with your runners. Much like the use of the runners, cloth napkins and the rings that hold them are as decorative as they are useful. And if you shop around, you can find them for pretty cheap (under $5). This will add a bit of flair to your tablescape and can be reused over and over again.
- Invest in chargers. Chargers are what sit under the plates from which you and your guests eat. They take the place of cloth placemats and elevate every tablescape in which they are present. Chargers, much like napkin rings, can be found at low prices (under $20 per charger) and are an incredible addition of elegance to your dining experience. Make sure the chargers can go with both sets of runners and napkins, as you will want to use them all year round.
- When considering table decorations, less is more. I’ve seen tablescapes that are flat-out CLUTTERED. Dozens of candle holders, big baskets of pine cones, gourds, bouquets of flowers that you can’t see past, and the list goes on. While some decoration is nice, you want to ask yourself how much of it is useful. I find that the more I have on my table, the more I have to clear it before I bring out all of the food I’ve cooked, which brings me to my final tip.
- Let the meal be the centerpiece. Think about how much time and effort you put into cooking the courses you ultimately serve to your guests. There is love put into the food that you make, and it is that love that will shine so much brighter than any decoration you will find in a store.
With these tips, you will have a tablescape that will appear holiday-worthy within minutes. You will get use of every item all year round, making the money you spend on purchasing them more than worth it. It is this kind of presentation that elevates your ability to host gatherings in your home and it gives the food you make the backdrop that it deserves.