Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you need a theme of red and green. You get enough of that at the mall. This year we want to celebrate with a subdued palette that’s sure to make our magnificent meal pop. To follow our lead, all you’ve got to do is use these quick tips and you’ll set a table that’s classic yet modern, with never a seasonal cliché in sight.
1. Focus on the food. A monochromatic color scheme will help make sure the food pops. The food on a neutral table setting ensures your beautiful pie or special holiday dish is the hero of the meal. If you don't have a dark table, a black or charcoal table runner will make cream or ivory dishware pop.
2. Go easy on the centerpiece. No need for a large ornamental swan ice sculpture at the table this year. A hefty centerpiece adds so much bulk to a table, there’s barely enough space for the food. Make a sleek statement with a simple candelabra —it’ll double as mood lighting—and a couple of glass vases with pine cuttings.
3. Capitalize on the glint of glass. Don’t have heirloom crystal decanters? Hunt some down in thrift stores to add storied style to your table. Have one filled with white wine and another with red on the table—instant glint and glamour.
4. Add some memories. Inject some memories from your Instagram or Facebook with a retro holiday touch. Choose some memorable photos and get them printed on Polaroid film at Sticky9.com and bind 4-5 with twine. Arrange a few of these around the table and watch your guests light up.