Designer Snapshot: Thanksgiving Grace

November 21, 2012

By Paula M. Bodah

The turkey may try to steal the show, but an elegantly set table is the true starting point for a festive Thanksgiving. Designer Ann Henderson, whose ideas for outfitting a library were featured in Perspectives in our November/December issue, did a little shopping among the shelves and surfaces of her Keene, New Hampshire, retail boutique, and offers a few suggestions for setting an elegant, welcoming holiday table.

Start with a hand-woven French jacquard tablecloth from Garnier-Thiebaut. “Renaissance Ivoire is a classic, beautiful cloth, very traditional, with a lovely orange border,†Ann says. In a happily modern touch, the cloth has a stain-resistant finish. Add the matching napkins, or mix it up a bit by using plain orange napkins.

Photo courtesy of Garnier-Thiebaut

It’s almost a shame to cover these gorgeous dishes with food. Vietri’s Affresco hand-painted dinnerware evokes classic elegance with its botanical design in soft greens and golds and an orange-peel texture. The perfect companion? Vietri’s gold-trimmed Eternity glassware.

Photo courtesy of Vietri

A close-up of Vietri’s Eternity glass in gold.

The ideal centerpiece is arresting enough to call for a few oohs and aahs, but not so showy as to dominate (or get in the way of face-to-face conversation). Lisa Kahn’s Tracery cachepot from Chelsea House fills the bill perfectly. The seventeen-inch diameter piece with gold tracery rim and gold feet is just seven inches high, so it makes a statement without shouting. Ann likes it in a pale pear hue to go with the Vietri china.

Photo courtesy of Chelsea House

Add a dash of whimsy as a final touch. French ceramic artist Heidi Caillard’s La Pintade guinea hens and quails from Bellevie would be an enchanting addition to your table. Let a trio of speckled guinea hens, ranging from ten inches tall to just six and half inches, nestle here and there among the place settings, or tuck a quail into a pretty nest of moss inside the cachepot above.

Heidi Caillard’s guinea hens. Photos courtesy of Bellevie

Heidi Caillard’s white quail.

With Ann’s suggestions, your holiday table will be as much a feast for the eyes as it will be for the rest of the senses.