Laughter, joy, happiness — ’tis the season for family and friends to come together around the table, celebrating all the warmth of the holidays. Really want to wow your guests at your next gathering? It’s as easy as mixing Christmas past with Christmas present.
“The holidays are the best time to use the patterns you love, whether that’s your everyday pattern, a family heirloom, a Christmas favorite or all of the above,” says Keith Winkler, product marketing manager for dinnerware retailer Replacements, Ltd. “Take time to pull out the platter you inherited from your grandmother, or look for a way to blend in Aunt Rose’s vintage teapot. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re planning a casual dinner or a glitzy party, using heirloom patterns is more than a great conversation starter with your guests — these pieces bring tradition and family to your table.”
The festive art of mixing and matching
Perhaps you’ve read the buzz about the hot tabletop trend designers refer to as “mixing and matching.” Turns out, it goes beyond trendy. It’s pretty much an art.
“Mixing and matching is a way to bring all your favorites together to create a gorgeous table,” says designer Julie Robbins. “If you’re going to create a beautiful, festive look, be brave and bold; step away from using all the same colors and patterns and dare to blend all types of designs to create sparkle and magic. One of the easiest ways to start is by taking one of your favorite patterns and giving it holiday flair.”
We asked Robbins to share her inspiration in creating one of Replacements’ main displays for the holiday season.
“I really wanted to capture the spirit of the season by building on an everyday pattern I really love, so I started with Constance by Bernardaud,” Robbins says. “It’s a beautiful green, yet it’s also a cool, neutral pattern that refreshes everything you mix with it. I paired it with Grenadiers, a holiday favorite also by Bernardaud, which is a crisp, clean Christmas pattern but at the same time very festive and whimsical with toy soldiers around the edge. And to tie it all together, I mixed in a gold-trimmed ruby charger as the base to anchor the setting in traditional seasonal colors.”
If you’re still uncertain how to create the look you want for holidays, Robbins suggests starting with a neutral colored dinner plate, then layering a Christmas-themed salad plate in a floral, plaid or graphic motif. You can even serve a different course with each pattern. And don’t feel like you have to stick with traditional holiday colors — pairing cool blues with silver creates a lovely icy effect you can use throughout winter.
Add a dash of sparkle
While mixing and matching patterns captures seasonal spirit, sparkle adds a burst of magic and elegance. Robbins suggests incorporating metallic finishes, whether that means using platinum or gold trimmed crystal, or perhaps ornate flatware and serving pieces.
“Using both silver and gold pieces on your table not only evokes the traditional spirit of holidays, these metals reflect light, creating a glamorous twist,” adds Robbins. “Vintage silver is very popular this year, but rather than polishing it shiny bright, leave some patina to keep the heirloom quality of the pattern.”
Another way to create sparkle: consider an eclectic mix of candles on your table. By combining crystal and silver votives, candlesticks or an odd candelabra, you can create a centerpiece that looks beautiful during the day and adds a warm glow to a winter night.