When we put together a table setting, especially one for a holiday, we like it to be seasonal, but veer far from kitsch. We like simplicity and utility, a setting that doesn't require getting out the silver polish or digging around in the attic for the plates with Christmas trees on them. And we like elegance that doesn't come from formality, but from unique pieces of dinnerware that are marked by craftsmanship, quality, and good design. This year's holiday table setting was inspired by the blankets of fresh snow most of us start to hope for this time of year. We veiled the table in white linen from Libeco Home. Libeco's tablecloths have a natural earthiness to them. They're heavy and textured--not the kind of white tablecloth you'd eat on in a restaurant--so they were perfect for a setting that tried to pull the outdoors in.
We set each place with a white Chilewich lattice placemat. These have a little sparkle to them and are porous enough to expose the Libeco linen beneath them, so each place at the table glistened like the bright winter sun bouncing off a fresh blanket of snow. iittala Teema bowls and Jars Vuelta dessert plates picked up the white from the placemats and tablecloth in the clean and modern aesthetic.
Our Kosta Boda Limelight dinner plates doubled as chargers. It's difficult to see in photographs, but these plates are engraved with intricate patterns--like each is full of tiny bubbles on the inside. Instead of letting light pass through them, like a clear plate would, these bounce light around. They literally sparkle the same way fresh snow does. The effect carried into the iittala Ultima highball glasses which stood up like icicles from the white tablecloth. We chose iittala Piano Workshop flatware, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, for its streamlined design and reflective, high polish finish.
Tall iittala Aalto vases and Kivi votives ran down the center of the table, echoing the modern design of the flatware and Teema dinnerware and the general sparkling clarity of the setting. Broadly folded dark grey Libeco Home Napoli Vintage napkins gave the mostly glass & white setting some dark contrast, that set off the patterns in the Kosta Boda plates.