Design. Create. Decorate.

Design. Create. Decorate.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Setting the Holiday Table

Welcome to Quince Cottage!
It's getting pretty close to Christmas, and we've figured out the menu. How about you? Once the food questions were decided, we turned our attention to setting the table.
We like things to be easy whenever possible and yet, we get bored when things always look the same. Here's a little tutorial meant to inspire you. We didn't spend hours layering china patterns, creating elaborate centerpieces, or hand-writing place cards. These looks are simple and practical, but offer variety, with very little effort. Also, none of the china, glassware, or napkins are specifically Christmas. We don't know about you, but our storage space is limited, and we like our tableware to work for more than one occasion.
Start with your basic centerpiece concept, whatever that might be. This year we decided to include some of our favorite things: milk glass, pine cones, mercury glass and pompoms! In all the tablescapes below there's a faux fur runner and three compotes filled with either the pine cones or the pompoms.

Look #1. we went with a natural and neutral theme, using taupe gingham place mats, beige/white damask napkins and white china plates and milk glass tumblers.

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet

Look #2. Here we incorporated cheery red with a tablecloth, napkins, and Bohemian crystal glassware. The plates stayed the same.

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
Here's a closer look at some of those snowmen. Aren't they cute?

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
Look #3 is basically the same but we fancied up the napkins a tiny bit by tying a glass pine cone ornament on with twine.

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
Look #4. Here we used brown transferware plates and a colorful plaid napkin. That's a lot of pattern, so we simplified the glassware to clear crystal tumblers.

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet

Look #5. By the way, it's perfectly okay to mix plaids, stripes, ginghams and other prints. Just be sure there's something uniting them - in this case, the color red. White plates again, a pine cone "garnish" and the crystal juice glasses. This would be a fun breakfast setting, wouldn't it?

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
Look #6. Back to the red glassware, and a napkin ring with Russian khokhloma painting.

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
Look #7 This one is quite playful, isn't it? Normally we use our jadeite in the summer, but we thought it looked cool with this plaid napkin, a vintage Shiny Bright ornament, and a mason jar mug.

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
All these place settings were the work of about three minutes each, and the combinations are practically endless. Stealing decorative items from other vignettes or Mother Nature is highly recommended. We used to have a book on artsy napkin-folding and if you have the time and interest, by all means impress your guests with your skills.
Which look is your favorite? 
Daisy provided moral support, or maybe she was just hoping a meal was about to be served in the dining room.

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
Quince Cottage Style mixes old and new, rustic and opulent.
Our goal is to make our new subdivision house look inviting, beautiful, 
and as though it wasn't born yesterday!


  1. Probably doesn't surprise you at all the look #3 is my favorite. That jadeite option is running a pretty close second....except I don't have jadeite, hmmmm. Love how you showed so many looks with just a few simple changes!

    1. What? No jadeite? Time to start another collection! Mine is a mix of old and new - I was lucky enough to work with someone who brought me a cardboard box full of her vintage stuff because she didn't want it...