Japanese Influenced New Year's Table

How about trying something different for your brand new year?

The Japanese celebrate New Year's day like many Americans celebrate Christmas. It's the day for the family to get together and celebrate. We have special foods just for the New Year holiday. Traditionally, women of the house cook special food for the New Year's celebration during the last few days of the year, and store them in layered lacquer boxes like the one used in this setting. Traditionally, all the food is prepared in a way that it can last for a few days without refrigeration.  That gives women a little break from all the cooking in the first 3 days of the new year.

Perhaps you notice more Asian influenced design everywhere these days? I see it often in the design influences in Didriks' collections of tableware. If you are into Asian aesthetics and looking for some ideas for a literally "New" table, then this is a setting for you.

The combination of the color black, red and gold is the key to this setting. The tablecloth is Libeco Polylin in black, which is a very solid black. And who doesn't like Belgian linen on the table? The Chilewich Tuxedo table runner in gold is used for dramatic contrast. Underneath a Rorstrand Swedish Grace cereal bowl and a rice bowl in stone color is a white Revol Time Square tray. In addition to color contrast, the combination of square and round also brings out the Asian influence.

Iittala Tapio sherry glasses are perfect for serving sake or even for the small portions used in Japanese Kaiseki dinner settings. Iiittala Nappula candle holders in black and brass echo the color scheme. You see Revol Basalt slate trays as the base of the modest Satsuma orange centerpiece. The orange with a green leaf is a symbol of the new year (we call it a mikan). I folded pomegranate colored Libeco Home Napoli Vintage napkins in to fan shapes to show this is a special occasion.

The Japanese love tea. In the wooden side tray by Spencer Peterman are a Jars Ceramics Poeme large tea pot in neige with  iittala Origo tumbers in red, and iittala Teema saucers in white and black. Sabre Nature flatware in natural color is used in this photo, but I also recommend the Sabre Bamboo flatware for an even more Asian touch. A small rectangular Simon Pearce Woodbury bowl is used as a vase to imitate a Japanese flower arrangement. Akemashite Omedetou gozaimasu. (Happy New Year)

- Guest Blogger and Table Designer: Toyoko S.