As you may have gathered from my previous columns, creating tablescapes for my guests is one of the simple pleasures of my life, especially during the holidays. But I’m not someone who clings rigidly to tradition; I don’t trot the same type of table settings or seasonal accents from year to year. For me, tradition is the observance of the holiday, not the style in which it is honored. Whether I’m modifying a favorite frame or coming up with an entirely new idea, the goal is simply to please the eye.
The Christmas table decor in my Manhattan apartment, which I wrote about in a previous post, was inspired by glittering artificial branches I spotted in New York’s Flower District. Yet when I spend Christmas in Westbury, my home in Colorado, a posh town theme just doesn’t suit the location. Nor would it be appropriate for me to celebrate the holidays at Weatherstone, at my home in Connecticut, or at Chisholm House in Charleston, South Carolina. Each location requires a different approach. Colorado calls for decorations that complement an icy world of mountains and forests, where deer, elk and other creatures roam beneath pines weighted with pure white snow. Westbury in Winter always evokes a stanza from Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”:
The woods are beautiful, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
When crafting a tablescape, sense of place is important: country versus city, rustic versus modern, even north versus south. Expressing another aspect of your personality helps keep the creative juices flowing and prevents her style from becoming stale. I’m not suggesting buying all new items with every table you decorate. Simply rework what you already have, asking yourself, “How can I take something I love and present it in a new way?” »
I hope the forest themed table shown here will inspire you to create your own beautiful table. And wherever you spend Christmas this year, I wish you a fun, happy and peaceful holiday season.