Stylish Centerpieces, Beautifully Simple

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Style mavens have a lot to say about fashion this fall, but they’re all rather silent on fashions for holiday tablescapes.

I grew up admiring the holiday tables of my own style maven: my mother. She threw parties on the spur of the moment, her food was always impeccable, and her personal mantra was, and still is, “presentation is everything.” Because I’m hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year, I want a table that says, “gobble, gobble,” in the chicest way possible.

Luckily, there’s a shop in Green Hills that has my number: Color, an adorable shop jammed full with reasonably priced wares. In every nook and cranny, there are unique gifts, lovely dishes and glassware, and inventive decorating ideas that truly fit any budget. While I was drooling over a pair of birch-wood lamps, I casually mentioned that I might need some help with my holiday table.

The staff at Color are wizards when it comes to table styling. One of their style experts spent an hour showing me some incredible trends that are not only worthy of my own table, but of my mother’s! They are happy to work with customers’ own dishes, silver, glassware or centerpieces, too.

First, I fell in love with “Country Estate,” a line of dinnerware by Juliska. The versatile cocoa-colored sketch of an English Manor home and gardens graces white stoneware and is a beautiful fusion of old-world toile and modern must-haves like microwave and dishwasher friendliness.

Our style expert carried a few different plate patterns over to her “playtime counter,” a work-bench stocked like the back room of the Waldorf Astoria. In the blink of an eye, she’d styled two different looks for the dishes, both on trend for fall table fashion and my budget.

The first look featured white Juliska stoneware, a champagne colored charger, and a deep chocolate brown napkin held with a glass napkin ring that doubled as a bud vase. Not only was it clean and elegant, but the sleek design of the napkin-ring bud vase lent the setting an air of modernity.

The centerpiece for this place setting was traditional with a twist, featuring a stack of white faux pumpkins around burlap-covered candle holders. She then weaved stems of green silk hydrangea between the elements to soften them. From the curly handles on the pumpkins to the texture of the burlap, and the organic volume of the flowers — it was a feast for the eyes.

And the best part? The price. Each piece was less than $20, and the setting was so simple and pretty that I could see myself using it all autumn long.

Even better, I was instructed how to use those same pieces as a centerpiece template. By purchasing neutral anchor pieces that remain the same as the seasons change, I could alter just a few elements to update the table with each new holiday or dinner party. Perfect.

Her second setup was even simpler and more impressive. She layered the “Country Estate” dinnerware I’d fallen in love with earlier with a chocolate woven charger, a chocolate napkin, and an amber napkin ring.

For the centerpiece, she chose chunky teakwood candles of varying heights, then tucked ruby silk hydrangea blooms and small clusters of amber flowers here and there. The effect was simple, stunning, and so easy to replicate. The candles were shockingly inexpensive as well: $20-40 each.

Being short on space or budget didn’t limit my choices to just one or two items as it often does in big department stores. And service that doubles as decoration education is truly priceless.

Watch out, Mama! I might be the family’s new style maven! Le Gobble.

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