A feast for the soul

lifestyle magazine online london

"Time together enjoying a meal around a graciously appointed table is your gift to family and friends this holiday season"

Preparing a holiday feast for your guests includes ensuring a menu that appeals to all, stocking the bar, bringing out the extra chairs and the extension for your table. But there’s something important missing if you haven’t thought of how to set that table to make it impress.

“Sometimes the ambience is more important than the food,” says Mary Ann Skaro, owner of Tablescapes In Style.

“To me, I call (a decorated table) the beacon for connection. It draws people into beauty; it makes them pause.”

Skaro says you want your guests to linger around the table, savour the sights and smells and take in the experience.

“It’s a way of getting people to start interacting and talking, maybe about the items on your table.”

While Skaro can come to your home to help wow your family and friends with a table that amazes, she also has some tips for those who prefer the DIY projects.

She says the must-haves for your holiday table include a centrepiece made of pine branches, pine cones or holly at this time of year, candles, runners, chargers and your best dinnerware and silverware.

“This is the time to pull out your good china, your crystal glasses. It’s a way to make everyone feel special,” she says.

Another way to let each guest know they are important is to have a place setting with each guest’s name at the table.

“It really makes people feel appreciated. It’s that time of year where you can go elegant and make things a little extra special without having to spend a fortune.”

Skaro says she’s been using a colour scheme of rose, gold and metallic this season. She got the idea from the rose gold on her cellphone.

“When you’re adding metallic, it adds that shine, glamour and glitz. It’s something different, but on style and on trend,” she says.

Skaro provides a subscription email ($24 a year for six emails) with DIY ideas, menu suggestions and interactive children’s activities. She can also advise clients about custom table settings.

Clients can use their own items or Skaro has curated material available. If preferred, she can also purchase items for someone, depending on the style required.

“It’s about setting the intention of beauty and style around your table,” she says.