When I was little, I was almost always tasked with the job of setting the table, especially around the holidays. Daily dinner table setting was pretty mundane, but Thanksgiving and Christmas was a whole different ball game. My Mom had (and still has) an incredible plate, napkin and table cloth collection and a dish for literally everything you could think of. I was always thrilled when I was able to go into the (normally forbidden) collection and mix and match pieces to put together the table. It felt like a game or puzzle of sorts and I loved it! To finish the table, we’d gather fruit or berries from the kitchen and various pine branches, feathers, pinecones, etc from outside and concoct some sort of centerpiece and place settings (I got a weirdly abnormal amount of joy out of making people place cards and figuring out who was sitting where).
We really don’t host a lot of sit-down dinners (blame those small NYC apartments) but something about the holidays had me dreaming about the tabelscapes I used to create when I was younger and I got the urge to create another one this year. I’ve been going slightly overboard with the cabin/wood/outdoor vibes lately (I blame our trip to Canada), so it should come as no surprise that I wanted to put together a winter woods tablescape. It’s relatively simple to assemble, focusing more on an overall aesthetic as opposed to things like having all matching napkins and silverware. Remember it’s not always about things being perfect, but working with what you’ve got to make them perfectly work together (i.e. how I used two types of neutral-colored linen napkins).Because the decor is made up of mostly woodland gatherings (which, for us city-dwellers, translates into Trader Joe’s gatherings), it’s also relatively affordable. The other pieces I’ve picked up from some of my favorite places like Zara Home (so sad they don’t have a store here in the US yet, but you can order online), World Market and Sur La Table‘s after-chirstmas sale last year (where I scored the tree candles and napkin rings for next to nothing). I mean, I love a good tablescape, but let’s be real, unless you’ve been collecting dishes, napkins and silverware for years (Hi, Mom!) they can be rather expensive to put together. Since this tablescape is more about working with what you’ve got than anything, I hope it helps any of you that might be feeling intimidated by the process or cost of decorating your dinner table for the holidays. For reference, I’ve listed and linked (where available) everything I used at the bottom of this post.
So, now that the table is set, who’s bringing over dinner?
Source List (if original items aren’t available, I’ve listed where they’re from + linked similar)
Wooden Coasters (made by my brother, similar coasters)
Gold-rimmed Glasses (thrifted)
Napkin Rings (from Sur La Table)
Napkins (from Zara home, similar options for natural and gray)
Plates (from Revol)
Candlesticks (wedding gift)
Small Wooden Salt Bowl (Whole Foods)
Pine Tree Candles (Sur La Table)
Bottle Brush Trees (Michaels)
Pine Branches (from our tree)
Berries (from Trader Joe’s and nature)
Pinecones (from nature)
Birch Bark (collected on a hike a few years ago)