It’s coming up on holiday season which means time to source out the perfect turkey recipe, practice up on your bartending skills and dig out the fall decor. It’s also time to put the patio furniture away and host some cozy Sunday suppers and holiday gatherings indoors. Whether it’s a fancy night or not, there will most likely be a meal involved so I thought I would show off two ways to use a few simple style ingredients to set the stage for the evening.
I am slowly collecting quite an arsenal of serve ware that allow for a ton of mixing and matching. This means creating different looks without having to buy five sets of dishes just to keep things interesting. A few styles of placemat, a couple sets of nice napkins and a basic white dinner plate are a generous start to be able to set both casual and formal place settings. First up is my take on a formal look. Then I’m challenging myself to restyle it while reusing as many of the same pieces as possible. So here we go. One table, two ways.
My family is pretty traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas meal rituals. I have been trusted with hosting duties a total of twice over the past three years with the stipulation that the meal itself remained the same as always. Oh, and my dad will still do the gravy no matter what. I am not yet trusted with the gravy. My favourite part of dinners at our home, besides the fact that I don’t have to put on real shoes or a coat, is setting the table. I love planning the table, from linens to the dishes to the florals and place settings. I usually start a few days in advance pulling out the basics and making sure that nothing needs replacing or ironing. From there, I add in something seasonal. This usually ends up being a DIY but could also be a pretty place card or floral arrangement. For this shoot, I painted out some faux-pumpkins from the craft store to use as a focal point on each plate. Finally, I fill in using plain white dishes as a base. When it comes to a formal look, symmetry in the layers will help create impact and will clean up all the elements you need for a multi-course meal. These antique salad plates and a faux snakeskin chargers add both contrast and graphic layers to the look.
Now, not all occasions require this level of formality. I think it would feel quite strange to show up for family dinner on a random Sunday and feel under dressed for the seven pieces of polished flatware flanking each dinner plate. As I mentioned before, I wanted to test myself to see if I could keep most of the elements the same while still achieving a distinctly different look than above. I would have normally removed the table runner but I decided to layer instead. The natural texture of the placemats immediately takes things down a notch with their irregular edges and chunky texture. I switched out the antique salad plates from the first look and added in some pattern with this set from Oh Joy’s spring Target collection. I love that each one in this set of four is a different colour which adds a little character and playfulness. Lastly, I simplified the flatware and number of plates. Most of our more casual meals involve finger foods, stews or pasta dishes served family-style so not much is required in terms of cutlery or dishes…Just the way I like it! I usually put a mason jar with some extra spoons, forks and napkins on the table somewhere in case someone needs it, but for the most part they don’t get touched.
So there you have it. One table, two styles, little effort. I would love to know what you think and if you have any favourite tips for keeping your table fresh over the holidays. If you’re looking for any of the items shown above, follow along on Instagram where each look is tagged and linked. Happy styling!