Let me start by saying this: Put me in a room and, in all likelihood, I will be the least crafty person in that room. And by crafty, I don’t mean slick or clever or sly, though that applies too. No, I mean Martha Stewart, Ina Garten, Katie Brown kind of crafty. My talent for finding innovative ways to use ordinary things does not extend beyond the usual MacGyver kind of application. Give me a handful of eucalyptus branches and I’m more likely to whittle them into arrowheads or door shims than arrange them in a pretty slender vase on a foyer table.
This week, I hope to bring together those like me with those of you who actually own slender vases and foyer tables. Although we’ll be talking about something that isn’t quite part of the meal, a well-presented table can still play a big role in bringing it all together. So our Kitchen Talk question this week is:
Do you have any tips to share for setting a beautiful table?
The holidays are coming up and I know we could all use some new ideas for making our beloved guests extra special even before the food emerges from kitchen and onto the dinner table.
As mentioned earlier, I have close to zero talent for setting a nice table, so my tips will be very basic. I like using chargers because I think they frame the plate nicely, and they help save space around the table when used in lieu of placemats. I also think pretty cloth napkins with a simple napkin holder are always a nice touch, along with cute place cards.
Nanci likes to go out into the garden and trim some branches with bright red berries and dark green foliage, or whatever is in season. Then she pops them into a nice vase.
Betsy shares, “Our mom used to bring in leaves from our magnolia tree, and arrange them around pretty white candles. Loved that!” She also likes doing a bunch of different colors and/or patterns of cloth napkins. Betsy loves color!
Ree loves color, too, and she prefers to rebel against all the earth tones associated with Thanksgiving and throw in purples, blues, and even bright pinks. “All the Thanksgiving food is very brown and, well, food-colored. Blues and purples are unexpected contrasts!”
How about you? What are your neat little tricks for making your table look extra special? Come share! We’d love to hear your ideas.