Holiday Tabletop Tips from the Pros

High-country designers share their ideas for setting a holiday table you and your guests will remember well into the New Year

Barclay Butera, Barclay Butera Home
Park City, Utah

“Christmas for me, like so many other Americans, is a time of reminiscence; holiday traditions from childhood play such a role in how we celebrate. When I was a child my grandparents owned a holly farm and we would go and gather masses of greenery and berries for my mom. I still love to embellish my holiday table with an abundance of freshly cut holly, as well as multi-level silver hurricanes and crisp white candles surrounded by spicy rose hips. My linen choices vary depending on if I’m in Newport Beach or Los Angeles, but when I’m in Park City, I love a rich, classic plaid. It shows off my beloved Vietri Bellezza dishes, and I complement everything with vintage silver, crystal and mercury-glass goblets.”

PRODUCT PICK: Nickel Rim Glass Hurricanes by Williams-Sonoma Home,
“These simple cylindrical hurricanes trimmed with nickel are the quintessential vessel for festive fillers and crisp white candles. They come in a range of sizes, which allows me to dress the table in various heights with perfect symmetry.” 


Robyn Woodhall, Towne Interiors and Design
Missoula, Montana

“I’m kind of a simple girl when it comes to place settings. My way of making a holiday table special is by adding a sense of history. I love mixing old with new: my grandma’s silver or my mom’s pewter candlesticks mixed with my own simple touches. I prefer natural elements, great linens and lots of candlelight. Sometimes I’ll put votives or flowers in small hurricanes all over the table and send one home with each guest. Small vases are inexpensive and available at every crafts store. Fill them with seasonal flowers, wrap raffia or ribbon around each one and attach a tiny card telling each guest why he or she is special to you.”

PRODUCT PICK: Match Convivio White Butter Dome,
“There is something so timeless and elegant about this collection, and it works with any setting, traditional or modern. ‘Please pass the butter?’ No more. I Iove these individual butter domes!”


Andrea Schumacher, O Interior Design
Denver, Colorado

“The holidays are all about festivities and sparkle. This is the time of year to bring out the fancy tableware. Start with a few of your favorite things. If you don’t have fabulous dishware yet, the Balcons du Guadalquivir china by Hermès is gorgeous for the holidays! If your dishware is ornate, go with a simple but colorful tablecloth, runner and placemat. Then layer, layer, layer. This is the time of year when more is more! Add bowls of ornaments to the table and/or garland, then top off each plate with a small gift."

PRODUCT PICK: Hermès Balcons du Guadalquivir dinnerware, at
“This pattern is just perfect for the holidays. The colors remind me of a candy cane!”


Categories: Entertaining