Simply Celebrate Life!
If you don’t want to dress your Holiday table in the traditional Red and Green, check out this fun idea!
Blue and White? For Christmas? It’s just right!
Blue and White are anything but traditional for the Holidays, but the colors are classic and definitely make me think of Winter.
And while they definitely work on that level, the reality is that it’s your house and your Celebration, so anything goes!
So whether you like my idea of the blue and whites, or whether I’ve reminded you of something you love but maybe rarely or never use, use it as your inspiration and start setting a beautiful table.
Collect What You Love, and Use What You Collect
I love an excuse to go shopping for my latest inspiration, but in this case I was inspired by pieces I already had.
A few years ago, I walked into a store and absolutely fell in love with a Blue and White porcelain tea set. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a real purpose for it, I loved it, so I bought it.
And it didn’t stop there, I continued to buy more as I found pieces I loved and my collection has grown. But what is the fun of a collection that sits uselessly on a dusty shelf, or worse, in a box.
If you have something you love, or something special you are saving for a “special” occasion, it is time to get it out and use it! Even better, use it as inspiration for your next dinner party like I did!
My love of blue and white started when I was registering for my wedding. I loved this Dansk set and was so excited when my husband and I stumbled upon a Dansk outlet on our Honeymoon, and elated when we purchased a full set for me right there on the spot. I realize that everyone does not have the same obsession with all things kitchen as I do, but I happen to know that many of you have wedding gifts or heirloom pieces of beautiful plates, glasses, silver, serving pieces and much more that are still hiding in their boxes or collecting dust on a shelf, being saved for that “special” occasion …
What good is it to have beautiful pieces if you never use them?
I am a firm believer in having what you love, and using what you have. And it doesn’t even have to be for a fancy celebration, it could be Sunday dinner, or the first night the family is all together in awhile, or simply enjoying an evening together with your spouse? One day, I even randomly decided to set the table nicely for no particular reason, and every time I passed by, it made me smile. It was as though there was a hope of a fabulous spontaneous dinner party erupting at any moment, not to mention, it set a festive mood in an otherwise simple dining room.
So today is a special occasion, it is the day you release your inhibitions and bring something you love out into the light of day… or candlelight.
Don’t Worry, You’re Settings Can Be Perfectly Placed
Although I didn’t necessarily want the table to feel stuffy and formal, I did want it to feel elegant and special for a Holiday dinner with our favorite friends. For this effect, I wanted layers and textures, and to add a touch of silver to make it feel more special and more festive.
So I pulled out my inspirational pieces and took inventory of what I already had, thinking I would need to add so much more. As is usually the case, we already have much of what we need.
If you do need some additional pieces, consider versatility when you are shopping. For instance, if you have a set in your favorite solid color, it’s easy to add pattern and interest by simply getting a contrasting salad plate in a different pattern, color, or shape and don’t be afraid to mix and match favorite pieces.
Of course, there are specific and varied rules about how to formally set a dining table. I will get into all of that in more detail in our Etiquette Made Easy section. But here is a simple breakdown of how I set this more formal table. I started each place setting with a silver charger. Chargers are a great way to bring in more color or texture to any place setting, not to mention enhance the scale and make it more elegant. I then layered a dinner plate with a salad plate and a bowl for lot’s of layers and levels of color.
Simple rules for setting silverware. The knife is placed to the right of the plate with the blade facing inward towards the plate, and the spoon is set outside of that. The easiest way for me to remember is that I use my right hand to cut (if you’re right handed of course). The dinner fork is placed on the left closest to the plate, with the salad fork on the far left. Basically, we work from the outside in, so remember that you would have a salad course first, which would place the salad fork on the outside of the dinner fork. I placed my water glass directly above my knife and spoon, and a beautiful blue goblet up and to the left of that. Since I was inspired by my tea set, I included a cup and saucer to the right above my forks, for after dinner with my dessert course.
You can minimize or maximize your places settings to your meal, your comfort level, and even your supplies on hand.
The main idea is not to stress about the details, and just have fun setting a table that is beautiful to you!
Love is in the Details!
Love really is in the details. I’ve always believed that. Here are some more details that I added to make my table special. I used a beautiful dark blue textured tablecloth to set my foundation and really make the pieces pop!
Instead of fussing over a centerpiece, I used more of my inspiration pieces, a tea pot, a coffee pot, and a beautiful tiered cake stand that is just waiting to be filled with our upcoming dessert course.
At each place, I also set a simple white glass votive candle. And above each knife I placed a single silver ornament that spelled out a different holiday word: Jingle, Merry, Celebrate, Peace … To help set the mood in the room even more for our Holiday dinner, I adorned silver candlesticks with glittering silver ornaments in the hutch behind the table. And I even set up a tall, skinny Christmas tree in the corner of the room, that I decorated with blue and white lights and blue, white, and silver ornaments.
The colors may be cool, but the room was warm and inviting, and I found myself at a dinner surrounded by things that make me happy.
But more importantly the elegant table set the mood to show some of my favorite people how truly special they are to me, and isn’t that really what it’s all about?