The table is the heart of the home. It’s the place where everything stops and we can focus on what’s really important. With my family and friends, I’ve found that people always gather around places in the home where they are most comfortable: the kitchen, a cozy den with a fireplace, and ultimately the dining table for dinner. The table is significant because it’s a place that's all about the people you enjoy, great food and great conversation.
Too often, though, the table is neglected. We take weeks inviting guests, days planning a menu, and hours preparing food. However, the tablescape is usually an afterthought or a last-minute, hastily made decision. If a centerpiece is used, it's usually a few flowers from your local grocery store thrown into a vase or worse yet- plastic fruit in a bowl!
I’ve never understood this. We've taken the time and spared no expense to prepare an incredible dinner and paid close attention to every detail including the best ingredients and fine wine. The tablescape should be an extension of all the other elements of your gathering.
I'm sure most of us would not intentionally want to neglect the table but feel we either don’t have the time or the money to deal with it. Here's a few options:
- If time is an issue or you aren't confident with your styling skills, seek help from a friend. Better yet, if one of your guests is good with such things and asks what they can bring- how about a centerpiece?
- If you are concerned about cost, keep it simple. Put out a bowl of fresh eggplant, apples, pears or lemons. You can eat them afterwards so you’ve wasted no money. (I think our grandmothers must have known this as there was always a bowl of seasonal items somewhere in the kitchen.)
- For special occasions, treat yourselves and your guests to a visual feast. Check local directories and search online for centerpiece or tablescape designers. You can often get a custom-made centerpiece at a very reasonable cost- and no added stress for you.
Whatever option works for you, just remember to give your table a little attention. Showcase your cuisine with beautiful, simple accents. Believe me, your guests will notice.
Holiday Table Atlanta is a local business that provides customized centerpieces and arrangements using fresh fruits, flowers and other seasonal items. The business was started by Joe Bleckley, a Johns Creek resident, in time for the upcoming holiday season. Customers can browse through Bleckley’s gallery on his website (www.holidaytableatlanta.com) and then work with him to create a custom-fit piece for their table or home.