The Art Of Dressing A Holiday Table

Posted on | November 19, 2012 | 2 Comments

One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is sitting down to a beautifully dressed table. However, for a host, choosing the perfect table settings can be something of a challenge. For some guidance, we consulted linen expert Debbie Huffman, owner of fine linen boutique, Dolce Dimora, in Greensboro. Debbie had just recently hosted an event in her store and had pictures to also share with us.

Images Courtesy of Dolce Dimora ©

To determine your personal style, Debbie suggests using your home as a starting point. “It’s about the space you live in and the lifestyle you live,” she explains. “If you have a very relaxed, casual home or a smaller dining space with just a breakfast table, you may want to dress your table in a casual way. If you have a more traditional home or a large dining room with a beautiful long table, you may want a more formal dressing.”

The type of meal you plan to serve can also play a part in your table style. “An elaborate meal with lots of courses lends itself to a more formal or traditional dressing, whereas a more casual service can have a more intimate, casual dressing.”

Debbie has found that traditional Thanksgiving table settings have become increasingly popular. “Today people are setting a more elegant, formal Thanksgiving table. They’re sharing food with the people they love, and they want the table to reflect themselves and the special meal they are serving.”

Debbie has also seen some definite trends in table settings this year. “People are opting for an earthier style with neutral colors and natural materials, like we see in Juliska rattan basket weave placemats. Of course, there is always a demand for formal damask fabric tablecloths. When it comes to those, this year we’re seeing a lot of tone-on-tones, blues and chocolate browns. I’m particularly fond of LeJacquard Francais’s elegant cotton weave table linens. They have beautiful seams and patterns.”

When it comes to accessories, china and flatware, Debbie offers some excellent practical tips. “Avoid centerpieces that are too large or bulky, as they take away from the conversation,” she advises. “Candles should be unscented so they don’t interfere with the aromas of the food. If you are setting a large table and don’t have a whole set of the same flatware or china to go around, don’t worry – it’s perfectly acceptable to mix and match. And always try to include something from your garden in your tablescape. Holly, gardenias, acorns and pinecones add a great deal of interest.”

Debbie’s best piece of advice? “Relax and enjoy the meal and the company. After all, that’s really what it’s all about.”

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2 Responses to “The Art Of Dressing A Holiday Table”

  1. Linda Constable
    November 27th, 2012 @ 4:52 PM

    love the “table tops”-definitely one of my most favorite places to set a mood!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Liz Hughes
    November 28th, 2012 @ 8:05 AM

    Thanks for your comment, Linda. As a designer, I am sure that you dress a beautiful table. I would love for you – and any of our readers to send us pictures of their Christmas and holiday tables in the coming weeks. ~ Liz

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