Local designers share three different ways to arrange your table this holiday.
Thanksgiving celebrations center around a savory spread of plentiful food, but another important spread deserves its own recognition: the table setting. We recently spoke to three local designers to get their takes on different themes for your holiday tablescape. Patti Porter at Rusted Chandelier in Kirkwood applied nature-based elements for a rustic design, accentuated by surprising contrasting details. Emily Johnson and Lindsey Jungk at Savvy Surrounding Style in Ladue tackled a modern theme, keeping simplicity at the forefront of their design and finding inspiration in everyday items. Teddy Karl at The Great Cover-Up, also in Ladue, balanced tradition and quirkiness through mismatched items that paired beautifully.
The diversity in these styles coupled with a keen eye for trends equal a bounty of options for you to apply to your own table this Thanksgiving. Whether your dinnerware tells a story, your centerpiece features edible additions or your design choices invite a sense of adventure, these experts will give you insider knowledge to achieve a look that’s sure to be as tasty as the food served.
Reflective of the wild outdoors, a rustic tablescape encourages your mind to get creative. Textures play a key role, mixing soft with sharp and smooth with hard. Patti Porter of Rusted Chandelier imagined a Thanksgiving tablescape filled to the brim with natural elements. “I chose to mix a little of the unexpected with harvest time,” Porter says. “You expect rawhide, as seen in the placemats, but the ghost chairs bring that element in, as well.” She tied in the opposing pieces with shimmering trays and utensils. “I like to mix gold and silver with different woods to give the table a unique look.”
Between giant acorns, pine cones and a pair of oversize golden candlesticks, topped with fir and beech-inspired candles, the magical ambiance makes you feel as if you dived into the world of Alice in Wonderland. Above it all dangled an eye-catching chandelier made of twigs and branches. Painted a stark white, this unique handmade light fixture also comes in a two-tiered version and can be painted in any Benjamin Moore color – or let it shine au naturel without a finish. The chandelier also covertly hides a light switch as a branch and provides overhead lighting with a center bulb. Get playful this Thanksgiving with a rustic canvas, ready for you to get crafty, make your mark and go wild.
Rusted Chandelier, 118 N. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, 314-821-7881, rustedchandelier.com
A Modern Mood
Minimalism marked the modern design of this holiday tablescape. Dressing up a simple wooden tabletop with elegant elements and industrial sleekness made for a bold statement. Designers Emily Johnson and Lindsey Jungk of Savvy Surrounding Style collaborated to create the metallic tabletop. “We kept the spread nice and basic, with simple pieces and earthy elements,” Johnson says. The duo spray-painted a hemp table runner and authentic eucalyptus leaves in gold to accent the gold-trimmed candle and hurricane holders. “We chose a monochromatic color scheme, with white and gold, and added merlot flowers for a punch of color,” she says. The white pumpkins tied in with both the natural décor and some of the sleeker pieces.
The mosaic platter also contained chunks of chocolate, begging to be snapped up and eaten. The jagged pieces balanced the velvety texture of the crimson flower heads. “The metallic chairs play off an industrial base in a contemporary setting,” Johnson says. “We wanted something functional, where you can see across the table and have room to set down tea. We also wanted something with interesting juxtaposition.” To achieve a similar style, choose one or two colors as a base for your design and build from there. Think of unconventional details that prove at once to be purposeful and eclectic.
Savvy Surrounding Style, 9753 Clayton Road, Ladue, 314-432-7289, savvyladue.com
A Traditional Feast
A historical holiday, Thanksgiving often goes hand in hand with traditional tablescapes. Designer Teddy Karl of The Great Cover-Up delivered a fresh take on the conventional spread, creating a feast for the eyes. Karl drew heavily on the cornucopia centerpiece for inspiration, pulling from its plum and orange colors. The formal setting focused on family with a round table and dishware that made for an excellent conversation starter. “I love the Spode dinnerware in Woodland,” Karl says. “Every plate and serving dish has a different animal on it. Sometimes, in my family, we give a prize to whoever has the turkey.”
The crystal glasses and silverware followed suit with mismatched patterns and similar styles, pulled from various collections to complete a new set. “Mixed-and-matched set ware makes for more texture and interest,” Karl says. “Collecting it can be fun – the thrill of the hunt, if you will.” Karl described a sterling silver serving spoon bedecked in berries that he found in an antique shop while on vacation. Like a true treasure hunter, he takes discarded pieces, sometimes covered in dust and grime, and restores them to their former glory. Every piece ties together, such as an embroidered tablecloth that matches finely etched glasses. If a traditional spread is your go-to this Thanksgiving, focus on the fruits of fall harvest to provide a perfect launching point.
The Great Cover-Up, 9708 Clayton Road, Ladue, 314-995-5701, greatcoverupdesign.com