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Home / Trends & Styles / Neutral Table Settings for the Holidays

Do you aspire to be that superhero hostess who can pull off the perfect gathering in your home?  The menu must include the comfort foods from your grandmother’s kitchen, and also offer healthy choices for those diehard millenial foodies.  Appetizers and desserts require thoughtful presentation and timing, and seating should be comfortable and conversational.  Add in planning and shopping for a show-stopping table setting with seasonal décor, and you will need to take an entire week of vacation time to pull it all off!

While much of the planning and prep will require days and weeks of shopping and organizing, you can put a check next to “table setting” on your list for the rest of the year, by keeping it simple with these tips that will be sure to impress.

Start with Neutrals
Pick a neutral color pallet for the more expensive necessities, such as table runners, cloth napkins, chargers and plates.  Go with earthy basics such as shades of brown, gray, beige, or whites.  Even easier, mix them all together in layers to avoid shopping for so many matching elements.  This neutral foundation can remain in place all year round as you add a couple of seasonal specific colors and details to the table.

The Star of the Show
No, it’s not the main course, or the fabulous centerpiece, or even that decadent dessert that  you save for a big reveal encore.  The napkin ring, or the way the napkin is presented, can be just the detail that brings it all together and unmistakedly defines which season or occasion you are celebrating.  Fancy and store bought, handmade, or even crafted by your children, this little gem sets the tone for your entire table.  A neutral cloth napkin will suffice throughout the year, with a simple change in the presentation, using twine, ribbon, or a ring with a charm accessory you can make yourself.  Use a high quality paper napkin in a vibrant color for very large crowds or more colorful celebrations.

Seasonal Tweaks for Big Impact
For a fall table, a trip to your favorite home décor store will probably turn up a couple of napkin ring options with a traditional leaf motif or something woodsy.  Be aware that retailers only give fall décor a tiny window for sales and then they are booted out to make room for Christmas, usually long before Halloween.  If online options aren’t working out for you and you have missed that retailer window, take a look in the Christmas ornaments at the discount stores.  You might be surprised what you can find for your fall table.  Create your own napkin accessory with tiny acorns or pine cones intended for miniature Christmas trees.  Use similar items to fill a jar, scatter on the table runner, or encircle a candle.

Save your pine cones!  Add holly berries to them and tie on with simple twine or just insert to your everyday neutral napkin rings.  Now you have a pop of color for Christmas to coordinate with your holiday dishes and centerpieces.  Invest in a set of gold or silver charger plates for a layer of festive bling between your neutral placemat layers.

If you are a hostess for all holidays, simply change out your napkin color to switch up the theme for Valentines Day and St. Patrick’s Day.  Moving into the spring months, use a fresh flower centerpiece for inspiration for creative color combinations.  Lavender and dark blue shades make a stunning combination for Easter or Mothers Day brunches.  Summer brings opportunity for fresh or silk sunny daisies and sunflowers, as well as blue hydrangeas and red geraniums for those fun patriotic holiday cookouts.

All of these variations will work seamlessly with your neutral foundation for less stress and less expense, and will be the special touch your guests will appreciate.  Add a simple favor to each place setting that will double as a place card and will be a memorable personal touch for each guest.
Before the Details
As important as each of these table décor details are, there are a few other high visibility interior elements of your home you may want to neutralize before playing super hero hostess.  Your furniture, paint and flooring can all interrupt the flow of your seasonal décor changes.  You may want to consider a few changes before diving into a seasonal gathering.

Choose earthy, neutral fabrics for large furniture and change out pillows and accessories to reflect the colors of the season.  The same goes for paint on walls in the gathering areas.  Just imagine how the orange hues of fall and the deep reds and greens at Christmas might look with that very specific lavender or blue you are in love with.  Save those favorite color themes for bedrooms, offices and man caves.  Don’t be afraid to mix dark and light for contrast, greys and browns for interest, but also go neutral with your area rugs.  Your Christmas album photos will look like you had a grand plan for the whole design!

Recent flooring trends have brought countless collections that offer broad ranges of neutral color options, in hardwood, luxury vinyl tile and plank, waterproof, laminate and even vinyl sheet.  So, if you are looking for an excuse to rip out that blue or green carpet, explore all of these hard surface flooring types at Twenty & Oak for an updated look that will be durable for your gatherings and work with all of your seasonal décor.

Now that you have some help with neutralizing your décor, you are ready to tackle the details for hosting for all seasons.  You will be sure to impress your guests with thoughtful and comfortable surroundings and they will be as eager to return as you will be eager to welcome them into your home throught the year.

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