“Wonderful word…’enough.'” -Charles Dickens
Last month featured a DIY centerpiece for my family’s Thanksgiving holiday. Even though Christmas has come and gone (too quickly, in my opinion), I still wanted to share some tips on how to transform your table from one holiday, to the next. With just a few simple adjustments, a table setting will quickly go from one special occasion to another, and can easily be toned down for every day use and gatherings.
Tip One: Always gather the ingredients.
Whether I’m following a recipe or tweaking a DIY, I always begin by laying out my “ingredients.” Doing this with a project gives me an overview of what I have and where my project is going; with a recipe, this helps me understand how a dish is composed. The more I do, the more I begin to recognize patterns of consistency, the more I don’t need the recipes anymore.
This doesn’t work for everyone; others may like to be more spontaneous and just see where their creativity takes them. I feel the same way, I just like to have a specific starting point.
For this project, I used the same burlap runner and candles from Thanksgiving. I went back to Michaels on the last possible day of the Holiday sales (everything was at least 60% off!), and found two frosted evergreen garlands, a few floral bouquets, and wire cranberry garlands to wrap around the base of the candles.
Tip Two: Treat faux florals like you would fresh.
Fresh floral garlands are beautiful to drape along the center of your table. With so many allergies in my family, I chose faux florals again, but if you treat faux florals just like fresh, your guests will do a double take.
Similar to our Thanksgiving setting, I used the wire cranberry dusted garland as an anchor for the candles and some of the floral stems. This centerpiece was not quite as “secure” as the Thanksgiving setting, simply because I wanted this one to flow a bit more down the entire length of the table.
Once the candles were in place, I used the floral stems to cover the areas between the candles and accent the evergreen needles. The leaves peeked out of the needles, drew our eyes along the length of the centerpiece, and led our gazes to each other as we gathered around the table the next day.
Tip Three: Tie the centerpiece into the rest of the table setting.
I knew we would be using these beautiful Holiday plates, red napkins, and tan chargers. So, I chose a garland and florals that complimented the evergreen and cranberry design on the plates. I used the same branch-like napkin rings from Thanksgiving to secure the napkins and dotted each of them with a sprig of red berries. Finally, I attached a little burlap tag on each ring and tied a bow, just like the gifts we hoped to open on Christmas Day.
So, how do we tone down a special occasion setting to something for every day use?
I would start by thinking about what will compliment your dishes the most. It’s like the common denominator in math class. Are there several colors or tones that appear consistently in your dishes? For example, if you use a lot of plain dishes, match your table setting to the color scheme in the rest of the room. If you have a lot of multicolored or random dishes, set your table with neutral tones that will match everything, everyday.
A neutral theme generally compliments everything. However, even with neutrals, watch those combinations. The old rule holds true, never put certain blacks and browns (or whites, creams, and grays) together.
Tone and texture are very important. Every color, whether neutral or not, has many shades and tones. Some shades have cool tones, some shades have warm tones. Mixing tones and textures can add dimension, but too much will make your scheme too busy and distracting.
In the future, I’ll discuss color, tone, and texture more in posts about room decor. For now, here are a couple links to get your creative color vibes going!