As much as I love to travel and eat at restaurants in all of my awesome destinations, there truly is no place like home for me. That applies to dinner as well! My husband Collin is a great chef, and I am pretty capable in the kitchen as well. So, I love nothing more than opening a great bottle of wine, putting on a little music and cooking. What I totally love more than anything is to set a gorgeous table to compliment all of that good stuff happening. Be it for Collin and I or for company, a well dressed table is my favorite kind!
Let me begin this with a very huge thank you to my husband, Collin Pierson for taking these photos for me. He is a pretty darned talented photographer and a patient husband for putting up with his wife who always needs social media content! LOL. (shameless plug, see more of his work here)
To set a great table in my home, there are a few simple steps that I like to follow (loosely), and wanted to share them with you today. First, I like to decide what my table needs to look and feel like. That typically starts with a linen or placemat selection for me because in my family we are avid table linen collectors! Placemats are equally as welcome, especially for a less formal setting. My mother and grandmother both have entire dressers full of linens collected over the years, and I love using those whenever possible. Adding something personal to a table setting in my home really makes me feel like dinner is personal and welcoming. It also adds to conversation which is a fun side effect!
Typically what influences this all important decision ranges on wether or not there is a holiday happening, or perhaps a certain cuisine that I am prepping in the kitchen can influence this. Either way, I always start with linen.
I am that woman who must have some kind of floral in my home at all times. I love fresh flowers. For this particular table I was lucky enough to have the talented team at Fragrant Design create two gorgeous arrangements. You will see that I play around with both arrangements and even change some of the details on the table as well.
Now, the Fragrant Design team – let’s talk about them. Roses, ranunculus, orchids and greens are right up my alley and the neutral tones fit in perfectly with the clean look I was hoping to achieve here. The combination of whimsy and sophistication is something that I love. The cool thing about Nadine and her talented team at Fragrant Design is how well they get to know their clients. They really make an effort to bring the essence of their client’s style and personality through into the floral they create. I recently worked a wedding with this team (photos to come soon!) and so enjoyed the process. Funny, talented, knowledgable and stylish. Basically, from in home floral requests, to deliveries – to clients to full service wedding design, this team is so capable of it all. And that makes my life so much easier!
I even snuck a secondary charger under my usual favorite one to add more dimension! I think stacking may be one of my most satisfying and favorite things to do! Isn’t that just so fun? The vase works so perfectly with the design, adding in some additional texture beyond the beauty that the floral is providing, and that green, slowly reaching branch with the delicate orchids gave me life when I saw it!
And now – on to layer my table. True of any table that I am designing be it for a wedding of 350 people or dinner for two 🥰 is my belief that layers are lovely when it comes to tables. I suggest “shopping in your house” if you can! This means look at all of the things that you already have before going out to buy something new. I collect so many things from my travels, my family and just life that I always have some fun little something that can become part of my table.
One thing that I love to keep in my house is a great charger. My go-to is a super neutral one from Sur La Table that goes with just about everything (including my every day china and flatware!). They have a metallic feel and go great with warmer tones as much as they do the cooler tones. I use these chargers on my table during the holidays as well because I love the way the green and red comes together with them. I sourced a similar option in the link above!
When that is completed, I add in my flatware and glassware. I happen to love etched glassware, and anything that reminds my of family dinners from my childhood. From Chicago to Italy, my family has always set a beautiful table, but that meant a mix and match to some things, including glassware! And I truly enjoy doing that.
And seriously, is there anything better than details that delight? How sweet are these napkin rings?
Last, and never least is typically my napkins. I am a sucker for them, and have probably over two dozen! I am so napkin obsessed that my wedding actually included a custom, linen hemstitch napkin with our monogram embroidered on it for each guest! Here, I chose a really simple white napkin with a blue embroidery because I just love the color blue. And because I love napkins, but hate folding them, my go-to is always a napkin ring. These I found recently at pottery barn and loved that little extra touch of welcome that they bring to the table.
Then of course, there is the discussion about salt and pepper shakers. My husband can occasionally grimace because in our travels because I have two obsessions; one is finding the perfect mug and the other is finding the perfect salt and pepper set! Admittedly this habit came directly from my mom who loves to collect salt and pepper shakers. She actually has an entire pantry of holiday dishwater in her house with well over 30 sets of salt and pepper shakers. So really, I am doing pretty ok with my even dozen or so. Right? 😯
There is something so satisfying for me about a well dressed table. Also, this table was the perfect excuse to dress up and wear that skirt from Akira! Ok, I digress. Back on track, and to our beautiful table that we are building. Here is the single MOST important thing to remember about entertaining in your home (in my opinion): You are welcoming people to your inner sanctum to celebrate great food, gorgeous wine and fabulous table settings – not to mention awesome company. So, don’t sweat the details! If the chairs don’t match, or the table is not camera ready for Martha Stewart magazine it really is ok! Enjoy life and loved ones and beautifully mis-matched things!
Or, you know – call your favorite planner to come style your table, I love a good house party. 😉