Sissy Clinton and Lydia Hall, Fifth Season, Little Rock
Create a relaxed holiday tabletop that is as versatile as it is cheery. “Casual with lots of color sets the tone for the fun to follow,” says Clinton. Red polka dot china can be used year-round, square Santa Claus-motif salad plates double as dinner plates, a utensil container holds a bottle of wine, and a footed punch bowl filled with sequined tree ornaments is transformed into a festive centerpiece. Tall white trees can be moved to a buffet during a dinner gathering. And to maintain a casual feel, incorporate traditional red and green plaid linens and natural accents such as greenery, pinecones and woven wood chargers. “But,” says Clinton, “a more formal tablecloth and place cards are also fun for holiday get-togethers, to make guests feel special.”
Old St. Nick by Vietri square salad plates, mugs, sugar and creamer, salt and pepper, wine holder, footed bowl centerpiece; Rosso Vecchio Dot by Vietri chargers, mugs; Reed & Barton Allora flatware; Mary Carol Home Collection chargers; India Overseas plaid placements, napkins; Rose Tree red napkins; RAZ place card holders; Melrose International trees; Renaissance sequined ornaments; all from Fifth Season, Little Rock; 1950s Directoire table available at Marshall Clements, Little Rock
Becky Charton, Table Setters Inc., North Little Rock
Go exotic this holiday season and spice up your tablescape. Begin with statement-making plates like these, inspired by Charton’s favorite faraway destination, India, and then layer on wares in the same color palette—in this case, turquoise, orange and metallics. Try suspending handmade paper cones holding seeded eucalyptus from a light fixture, or gold leafing mangos and oranges to scatter around the table. “It combines India’s traditions of gold leafed candy and holiday fruit giving,” Charton explains. Set out bowls of sugar crystals, and send guests home with authentic party favors such as journals personalized with scrapbook letters and tasseled money cards inserted with thoughtful holiday messages. Striking silver cutlery with carved handles, French 1930s chairs and centerpieces with floating orange roses add elegance to the enchanted setting.
Cutlery, small ivory box, Fabulous Finds Antiques, Little Rock; chargers, glassware, napkins, napkins rings, Pier 1 Imports, locations statewide; gold gilded fruit, gold leaf trees, hanging cones, handcrafted by Lori Wenger of Table Setters Inc.; handmade gift envelopes and silk window panel purchased in India; Horchow punch bowl, horchow.com; journals, ABC Carpet & Home, New York; large ivory boxes, TJ Maxx, locations statewide; mercury glass votives through Table Setters Inc., North Little Rock; Mughal King of Elephant glass plates, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; paper for hanging cones, ART Outfitters, Little Rock; sugar bowls, spoons, Global Table, New York; table runners, Southern Wholesale Florists, Little Rock; 1950s Directoire table available at Marshall Clements, Little Rock
Reggie Marshall and Jim Clements, Marshall Clements, Little Rock
Design your holiday tablescape to resemble a still life painting, combining a mixture of styles from a variety of time periods and focusing on color and texture. “Try to use what you have and reinvent it,” says Marshall. “Don’t be confined to the pantry; look all over the house for items to include.” Rather than focusing on trends, create a traditional holiday color palette by mixing pistachio green chargers and dark green dinner plates, and pairing them with an array of green goblets in various styles. Then inject crimson hues through artistically arranged fruit such as red grapes, watermelon and strawberries. As a final festive touch, cherubs adorn napkin rings and a centerpiece, which is filled with red roses, holly and pittosporum, while candelabras cast a painterly glow for holiday meals.
Aidan Gray small candelabra; Art Deco fluted green glasses; German chargers; English sardine containers; 1700s Baroque tall candelabras; 17th-century carved cherub napkin rings; 1830 Louis XVI chairs; 18th-century French terracotta planter; 19th-century Spode plates; Louis XVI bench with original tapestry; vintage Mexican glasses; Murano champagne glasses; 1950s Directoire table; all from Marshall Clements, Little Rock