With Thanksgiving only days away, we reached out to one of our favorite entertaining experts to get her tips for how to properly set the table. While many of us won’t be reuniting with all of our family members this year, why not make the day extra festive for your and your bubble by sprucing up the table? Whether you are Zooming-in with extended family members, or doing an intimate dinner for two with roast chicken instead of the traditional turkey, we asked former Vogue Living editor and interior designer Mieke ten Have to show us how to curate the perfect festive table so we can all try to emulate her skills.
The best tip from ten Have? Create your own DIY tablecloth from upholstery fabrics to introduce fun patterns. Below, more advice and her favorite items from our shop:
How do you set your table for a casual meal vs. a formal dinner?
I’m not a believer in “saving” my good plates, silverware, and glassware for “special” occasions. What is the point of letting things linger unused in the cupboard? In my mind, a formal dinner just requires more plates and more glasses for more courses.
What is your favorite centerpiece to use for entertaining?
It is always low flowers in some beautiful mixed vases that contrast or complement the table setting and candle tapers of course! I like to buy tapers in various colors depending on the color scheme of the plates, linens, and the season. More so than the centerpiece, however, I think a beautiful table is about mixing elements—antique and new, various textures and finishes, and contrasting colors. The most beautiful table have an element of surprise.
Preference on placemat vs. table cloth? Is one more formal than the other?
I am a maximalist, so I love a tablecloth; I normally don’t buy a readymade tablecloth, however. I am often on the lookout for beautiful interior/upholstery fabrics that I then hem to make into a tablecloth. Sometimes the selvedge is nice enough that nothing needs to be done! I love setting a table backdrop with gorgeous fabric. It is the opportunity to experiment with pattern where you might not otherwise.