Tablescaping tips and tricks

  • To swap up the Thanksgiving decor for children replace vegetables with seasonally-decorated cookies.

  • Local Baskit owner Beth Richards offers tips to decorate your Thanksgiving table. Sarah Pearson—Monitor file

  • Local Baskit owner Beth Richards offers tips to decorate your Thanksgiving table. Sarah Pearson—Monitor file

  • Local Baskit owner Beth Richards offers tips to decorate your Thanksgiving table. Sarah Pearson—Monitor file

  • Local Baskit owner Beth Richards offers tips to decorate your Thanksgiving table. Sarah Pearson—Monitor file

  • A Mason jar with a floating candle and spruce clipping can be used to decorate your table.

  • Beth Richards from Local Baskit offers tips to set your Christmas table. Sarah Pearson—Monitor file

  • Beth Richards from Local Baskit offers tips to set your Christmas table. Sarah Pearson—Monitor file

  • Beth Richards from Local Baskit offers tips to set your Christmas table. Sarah Pearson—Monitor file

  • Beth Richards from Local Baskit offers tips to set your Christmas table. Sarah Pearson—Monitor file

  • Small gift bags often come in multi-packs and can be used as place settings as well as to contain favors like fudge or chocolates.

  • You can incorporate the food items you plan to serve into your tablescape, like a charcuterie board or bottles of wine.

  • Beth Richards from Local Baskit offers tips to set your Christmas table. Sarah Pearson—Monitor file

Monitor staff
Published: 11/25/2019 10:30:32 AM
Modified: 11/25/2019 10:30:21 AM

The table becomes the centerpoint for most family gatherings from the Thanksgiving feast to Christmas dinner, so decorate the table to make an impression.

Beth Richards, owner of Local Baskit in Concord, has suggestions for creating a tablescape that will wow your family and friends

Her first tip was to look around your house at what you already have. Think blankets and scarves as tableclothes or runners.

Then, start with a base green like eucalyptus or evergreen boughs.

Trim the branches the way you’d like. Richards said to save the trimmings you can use in other ways.

She said to work at odd numbers and in angles from the center.

Then you do a lot of tucking and rearranging, Richards said.

If you need to flatten the greens or weight them down, don’t feel like you need to get professional floral wire or foam. You can use twine to hold things in place. If you need to, weigh things down with books in boxes wrapped as presents.

Reuse old décor or housewares in new ways like use jars to hold candles.

“I got all my mom’s Mason jars,” Richards said. “I use them all the time.”

Richards said that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make something look incredible. For her Thanksgiving decorations, she spent about $10 to $20 on the greens.

“Rosemary is a really great, versatile herb to stock up on,” Richards said. It can be used in candle holders or to decorate napkins, tied on with twine and paired with a cinnamon stick.

“You don’t need much,” she said. “Most people don’t have a huge Pottery Barn table.”

For her Thanksgiving arrangement, Richards used a blue Hubbard squash and artichokes from a local farm nestled in eucalyptus and maple branches from Cobblestone Design.  

Richards recommended putting the artichokes at an angle to create width. Artichokes also add texture.

She said the squash will serve double-duty to become soup after its done being decoration.

Lastly, she tucked in some votive candles.

At the place settings you can use mini pumpkins as name placeholders.

If you’re decorating for children, replace the vegetables and candles with Thanksgiving-themed cookies. Richards had some in stock from Cherry Bomb Cookie Co. based in Exeter.

For the Christmas tablescape, Richards started with a piece of red buffalo-check flannel fabric. Then she laid evergreen branches she picked up from Hannaford. For a centerpiece, she had two options, a white water pitcher filled with more branches or a small Christmas tree seated in a plate of cranberries. More cranberries can be sprinkled among the greens.

You can use pomegranates to decorate the table in a similar way as the artichokes on the Thanksgiving table, Richards suggested. Or use ornaments instead.

You can incorporate the food items you plan to serve into your tablescape, like a charcuterie board or bottles of wine. The bottles of wine add height to the table. She said you can even pick out the wine based on a label that matches the décor.

At the place settings, she used plaid gift bags to hold fudge and table names. The bags also give height.

Richards also shared some advice she picked up from Martha Stewart, too. When they’re on sale, pick up red plates in bulk. They coordinate for Christmas, Valentine’s Day and patriotic holidays like Independence Day and Memorial Day, as well as many birthday themes.

Another tip she shared was how to swirl paper cocktail napkins. Don’t painstakingly layer them one by one. Put the stack on a flat surface then push down with your fist and twist your wrist to spin them.

Richards said she turns to Pinterest for inspiration. Then by taking stock of what she has available. From there, creativity and a bit of rearranging can lead to a splendid holiday tablescape.




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