With all of the other elements at play while planning your holiday
dinner at home, design and display can often go forgotten until the
moment you begin to set the table.
Just a bit of planning ahead can save you from last minute wasteful purchases, like out-of-season cut flowers shipped from across the globe or man-made one-use decorations that quickly become clutter and waste.
1. Utilize Collections
As you are generating recycling from daily life, soak off the labels of your glass and start collecting. I often use this process to treat myself to a few more interesting bottles of wine or oils based on the lovely silhouette or tint of the glass alone.
Set your table and create a wandering cluster of bottles down the center. Utilize your small jars as votive holders and your tall bottles as vases for seasonal stems, herbs or branches. One or two may not be very impactful but once you’ve created an abundant row featuring 20-30 bottles, the repetition and variety will make a impressive presentation.
The possibilities for adding your personal aesthetic to this bottle display is limitless – my personal favorite being giving each bottle a dip in bold metallic paint or a wrap in a simple pop-color bow.
2. Utilize Your Groceries
If you are someone with a great space in your home to entertain, you probably find yourself doing it often! Make a special trip to your local greenmarket and collect your fruits and vegetables in anticipation of a long week of entertaining. There is no reason that, with the right styling, tomorrow’s dinner can’t be tonight’s centerpiece!
Select your root veggies like beets and carrots with their bountiful greens uncut, make note to grab squash and pumpkin with unique hues and markings, and snag a few apples in the loveliest shades of green and red. Be conscious to include a good variety of shapes, sizes and colors; although, a well-rounded menu should take care of that for you!
Adding a bit of seasonal floral or greenery will add fragrance and texture and be the perfect finishing touch to your arrangement.
Let your table dictate your bowl or basket. One beautiful option would be to create a base of leafy greens on a pastry stand and pile high your most remarkable selections into a statement sculptural centerpiece.
If you have a larger table, consider using a vintage wooden crate and carefully arranging your fruits and vegetables in a thoughtful composition. Add in sprigs of herbs or small stems of preserved floral. Dried chili peppers add a wonderful texture and pop of color.
3. Utilize What’s In Your Closet
The waste in laundering table linens, placemats and napkins, as well tossing out menus, place cards and disposable décor can add up quickly. Consider eliminating some of those elements by arranging a simple roll of recycled paper down the center of your table.
Employ your handwriting and a personal message to make typography your focal point. Label each menu item by writing it out just next to the foods vessel. Draw each guest a custom placemat or use a stamp or paintbrush to make a custom pattern.