Set the Table
There is something magical about falling leaves and that bite in the air that has me picturing myself throwing parties, taking hay rides, and sipping apple cider. And then reality hits. I have a toddler and work for a living and who’s got the time? I keep these low-cost essentials on hand to I can throw together a fun holiday table in no time.
Linen: I have a collection of linen napkins on hand. It’s okay to leave them un-ironed. White or cream are great. I’ve also chosen colors that fit with my home décor to add to the collection. I keep 12 of each on hand.
Charger Plates: A wonderful invention! Extremely inexpensive, they come in any color you can imagine, and they elevate any table setting. I have a collection of gold, silver and white lace. I recommend having two sets so you can give variety and choose what fits your style.
China: A wise chef once told me “buy everything in white.” Well, I’m a little bit too eclectic for that, but it’s great advice. I have an assortment of white china and collected vintage china. Depending on my mood, I choose one or the other. The failsafe is to buy china in white and no matter how many guests you’re having, your table feels uniform.
Flowers and produce: Think seasonal. Every fall, I buy pumpkins, squash, and produce that I know I’ll eat and I can also use on my table. I also buy wrapped bouquets about once every ten days. They are pre-arranged, so all you have to do is buy, clip, and put them a vase. You look like you know what you’re doing and end up with a beautiful centerpiece.
Glassware: I am a fan of simple clear glass. Whether it is all the same set, or mismatched, if you keep clear glassware on hand you’ll achieve a streamlined look. It’s a nice touch to have a water and wine glass at each setting—your table will feel more welcoming.
Hobnail jars: Nubby-sided hobnail jars are another inexpensive craft store buy. I use them for my floral arrangements or centerpieces. They are easy to clean and look great on any table.
Candles: Whether you prefer tapered, tea-lights, or pedestals, candles warm up any gathering and create great ambiance. I love all candles and always keep an assortment in my closet. Add candles to your dinner table to complete the look and guests will appreciate the extra steps you’ve taken to create a warm, inviting holiday table.