Table Talk

Holiday dinners become feasts for the senses when you take a moment to creatively set your table. It’s not hard – we promise – and the effort will be well worth the oohs and aahs you’ll receive.

While holiday candlesticks, Grandma’s matching china, and the napkin rings you received as a wedding gift are all wonderful, the secret to creating a dining experience this season is to look at all of those things differently.

Here are tips from Art Van Furniture’s merchandising expert Sarah Ambrose.

First, build height in the center of the table and then slowly taper it down the sides, thinking like the sides of a triangle.  Tall vases and candlesticks always work, but you can also use creative things to build height on your table. Use something different like books with a vase stacked on top, a flat rectangular vase on its side, a stack of extra plates, or wrapped boxes which are especially good at Christmas time!

Layer colors. Don’t be afraid to mix two or more sets of china together. Use a charger in one color, a plate in a second color, and a bowl with a third color or pattern. Or roll two napkins in contrasting colors together. If you stick to two or three colors, you create interest. More than that and it can become overwhelming.

Think outside the ring for your napkins. Fold them in a pretty pattern. Or tie them with ribbon that matches your décor. You can also simply place a fresh flower, sprig of ivy, or pine branch atop a folded napkin.  If you are using place cards, consider cutting oversized tags out of cardstock, writing names in scrolled fonts. Attach them to your napkin with string. Or write names on ribbon with fabric paints.

Finally, consider all of the senses when you choose items for your table. Use different textures of placemats and tablecloths. Think about the scent of the candles you are using; will they complement or fight the aroma of your meal? Unscented candles often work best and they’re often available in a variety of different colors. Consider putting your dining room chandelier on a dimmer so you can adjust the level of light. And don’t forget the holiday music!

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