Hosting dinner parties is one of our favorite ways to spread cheer throughout the holiday season. From creating the guest list to planning the menu to selecting the right music to suit the mood, every step is an opportunity to be creative, and setting the table truly allows our imaginations to run wild. As TSG co-founder Christy Ford’s table (above) shows, mixing a variety of elements—in this case seeded eucalyptus, decorative stockings, silver julep cups, candy canes, fresh fruit, and more—leads to an inspired and inviting look that will make those sitting down to the table feel welcome and ready to unwind.
Playing with scale, incorporating some sparkle via glass, silver, and gold, and sticking to a color scheme (in this case, orange and green) results in a table that is merry and bright.
You can never go wrong with gilded accents, especially during the holiday season. The six Louis XVI style dining chairs in faded black leather with gold tooling, nailhead trim, and fluted legs, available from New Orleans’s Bremermann Designs; Imperial Glass 24KT gold glassware from San Francisco’s Chairish; and Italian 18th-century gold gilt candlesticks from Baton Rouge’s Fireside Antiques would come together beautifully and mix well with any other elements one might wish to incorporate.
Obviously, having a seat for everyone is a must. Here, Chewie eagerly awaits the arrival of the first course on a cushion that conveniently carries out the table’s color scheme.
A dinner menu designed by a local expert is always a lovely touch, though this time of year calligraphers can be booked solid. Luckily, many offer classes in which the rest of us can get a grasp of the basics. Here in Charlottesville, several TSG HQ team members have taken Jen Maton‘s beginner calligraphy class, and although no one has proven to be as good as the instructor (example of her work featured above) all have come back loving lettering 101 and ready to create a menu in a pinch.
Working in different patterns, tones, and textures creates look that is elegantly eclectic. Christy Ford’s pretty place setting is comprised of mixed china, monogrammed silver flatware, a personalized menu that doubles as a place card, and topped off with a persimmon and a sprig of seeded eucalyptus. Inspired by her version, we went in search of tabletop decor from throughout the TSG network to create a similarly chic tablescape; here are a few of our favorite items:
1. French 19th Century Glass Fish Bowl from Fireside Antiques // 2. Herend “Chinese Bouquet Black Sapphire” dinner plate from The Registry in Nashville // 3. Footed English Sheffield plateau with bevel mirror, c. 1890 from Black Tulip Antiques in Denver // 4. Ivory Hemstitch Napkins from Sophie’s Shoppe in Chattanooga // 5. Ricci Argentieri Rialto five piece place setting from Hutch and Fig in Denver
After the plates have been cleared and all after-dinner drinks have been enjoyed, send everyone off with a candy cane before saying good night.