Once again, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Christmas will soon follow, and in the blink of an eye, it will no longer be 2017. You probably have started getting yourself into the holiday frame of mind in preparation for the next big gathering, particularly if you’re the type that is always thinking ahead. Even if you don’t intend to host a big party this Thanksgiving, you’ll still want to have the perfect table settings for the occasion.
For some people, designing a tabletop is only natural, and all they need to do is dig out some of their holiday décor. To help make your Thanksgiving party slightly more practical, beautiful and fun if not the best, here are five tips for setting up the perfect holiday table.
- Set the tone
You need to have a specific theme for the holiday table, one that complements your home and blends well with the rest of your décor. Think about the mood you’d want to set for your next meal, be it breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Lighting: While candlelight adds charm and romance, overhead lighting allows your guests to see what they are eating better. Your choice will depend partly on the type of food you intend to serve. Although pillars and votive holders are a little bit more casual than taper candles, they are all warm and inviting. Apart from adding glow all around, using candles of varying heights adds dimension.
Tableware: The type of glassware, napkins, plates and cutlery used plays a major role in the overall tone. Although gold-rimmed bone china is delicate, it will be fancier than simple ceramic plates. On the other hand, stemmed glassware is in many cases more elegant and stylish than a ball glass.
- Incorporate suitable shapes and lines
You can increase the level of interest by mixing different shapes. While round plates are often a predictable element, you can mix it up and give the design an unexpected, modern twist by adding some square, hence the importance of rectangular dining tables. You should also pay attention to some of the less obvious lines. For instance, your table runner will undoubtedly create a row while the arch of your taper candles will create a curved line.
While you can create a calming environment with smooth and steady lines, arched lines can give a feeling of elegance. Without lines, you’ll probably create a chaotic feel, especially since your guests will lack a place to rest their eyes. In general, straight is simple, clean, and modern while round seems softer, more romantic, and even more feminine.
- Ensure functionality
It’s important to ensure you have a functional design. As much as you can put a lot of beautiful things on your holiday table, anything that does not serve a purpose is just clutter. To avoid a cluttered table, start by including the items you need the most for a meal, such as plates, glasses, silverware, and napkins. Choose elements that are both functional and decorative. For instance, you can use platters and cutting boards as decorative and serving pieces at the same time. When laying out your holiday table, try to play around with the different patterns and designs. You might just surprise yourself.
If you think centerpieces don’t serve a purpose, think again. Aside from being excellent conversation starters, centerpieces can act as a focal point as well as an anchor point for the table. However, you’ll want to ensure your centerpiece does not disrupt anyone’s view.
- Add interest
Placing stacks of dishes at different heights will keep the eyes roaming, which will most likely add interest. Varying heights can, therefore, add dimension to a table. On the contrary, items placed on the same horizontal plane can make the table rather dull. Even so, every piece included needs to serve a purpose. Additionally, you can fold napkins to add height or use napkin rings to add extra, non-intrusive interest.
- Consider item size
Aside from being a lot easier to move, smaller pieces will almost always leave more room on your table for the food. You wouldn’t want to have the most beautiful holiday table but lack a place to set the food. By utilizing small scale items such as tiny votive holders and little bud vases, you can tweak the table’s setup while passing plates and serving food.
Make sure you consider who your guests will be. While it’s ok to keep the tone formal when it’s an adults only party, you’ll want to incorporate more fun if the guest list includes kids.
Jessica Kane is a writer for Silver Superstore, home of the internet’s best flatware.