There’s something inherently special about having friends and family in your home over the holidays, and feeding them only amplifies all those warm and cozy feelings. You don’t just want to create dinner, though — you want to create memories. An unconventional winter tablescape will make a lasting impression your loved ones are sure to wax nostalgic about later.
In fact, it’s precisely that sort of nostalgia that inspired To Have + To Host’s Lory Parson to put together what she calls a “Vermont winter forest table.”
“When I was 25 years old, my grandmother gifted me her set of vintage Limoges china, given to her by her mother,” Parson explained. “I really had no appreciation at the time for this heirloom — I figured it would be something I would give to my own children someday but wasn’t sure if I’d ever use it.”
However, all that changed when Parson pulled the set out of storage and felt that familiar tug of nostalgia on her heartstrings.
Staring at the vintage china, “the memories came flooding back” to her. “I remembered how pretty it was — delicate and dainty, with aqua and gold intertwined in an intricate pattern with a scalloped edge,” Parson wrote on her site.
It was then and there she decided she wanted to honor the old by making it new enough for her present-day Christmas table. To do so, Parson knew she’d have to find contemporary touches that would complement her grandmother’s set without diminishing what makes them so special in the first place.
So, she started with the place settings themselves, managing to find modern plates from dinnerware designer Anna Weatherley to layer with her vintage set. (“Layers upon layers of plates is one of my favorite tricks for creating depth and elegance to a place setting,” she revealed.)
Parson continued the artful mixing with the table’s glasses, pairing heirloom crystal with store-bought glasses — a look she describes as “Waterford meets Target.”
When Parson turned her attention to the centerpiece, she wanted something timeless and modern in equal measure, making her collection of Simon Pearce hand-blown glass evergreen trees a no-brainer. By using a variety of sizes and different finishes, she captured the breathtaking beauty of an enchanted winter forest in Vermont.
Bonus? Because Pearce’s methodology is rooted in centuries-old Georgian glassmaking techniques, no two pieces of this lead-free crystal “pottery” are the same. They’re handcrafted and made with custom molds, so each one truly is a one-of-a-kind heirloom.
In keeping with the tablescape’s wintry arboreal vibe, Parson placed faux evergreen plants in silver mercury planters from Pottery Barn alongside her Simon Pearce pieces. “I added some real eucalyptus leaves and greenery to them for added fullness,” she noted of the clever way she kept the look of the arrangements lively and organic. And, finally, thoughtful details like tiny glass tree ornaments from Simon Pearce atop the place settings completed the elegant look.
Now all this stunning white, green, icy blue and gold tablescape needs is a family full of happy faces reveling in each other’s company and the grace of the season.
For all of the details on Parson’s tablescape — including where you can purchase the pieces Parson used — check out the full post on her blog.