This year, it seems, we are all craving some form of normalcy in an anything but normal time. While holiday entertaining may look different than we would like, there are still ways to make the holiday season special and inviting. We love the idea of hosting an el fresco dinner. The weather may be crisp but this only adds to the enjoyment of the season.
Location is everything
Find a cozy or pretty location like a patio, under a large tree, or in a garden space to set the scene. Consider bringing your dining table and chairs outdoors, the use of furniture that is traditionally used inside the home creates a slightly formal feel in a more casual setting.
Don’t be too concerned with pristine landscape, take advantage of the natural ‘décor’ around you. What could be more fitting than enjoying a meal among the fallen leaves that make the season so beautiful.
Décor for entertaining outdoors
The beauty of this concept is that most of the décor is taken care of by mother nature. For the tabletop, fresh flowers are a must…consider selecting something unexpected. Blooms that offer a contrast against the natural landscape create a focal accent. Here we used various sizes of the same glass vessels for assorted heights while keeping a consistent look. We chose pops of purple wildflower-like flowers. Instead of mixing the flowers in all of the vases, we grouped each flower type in it’s own basin for a more graphic touch.
In our design work, we love how mixed materials create interest to a space, this philosophy is true for tablescapes as well. Here we show brass, silver, and mercury metal tones mixed with organic elements like French linens, handmade pottery, and recycled glassware creating a causal yet polished composition.
A collection of vintage brass candlesticks adds a classic elegance and of course the source on an important ambience element. No matter the time of day that your holiday entertaining will take place, a candle glow is a welcome addition to the experience of dining outdoors.
Keep things simple
Stick with a minimal color pallet and use multiples of the same pieces to keep things simple yet interesting. Layer extra dishes to add subtle dimension and substance to each place setting. Forgo any excess of linens, instead stick with simple cloth napkins as the primary textile on the table. An added bonus, less fabric allows for more worry free dining experience. No need to worry about a spill and the makes meal cleanup a breeze.
A key to holiday entertaining is making everyone feel at home, this can be achieved even when dining outdoors. Have blankets available for guests to drape over themselves while dining. Light a fire nearby in a fire pit or chimenea to offer elements that have a cozy feel.
Shop the Look
Everything you see in these images is available in the T&C Mercantile shop. We are still working on our online shopping site. In the meantime, our retail shop is open daily through the holiday season for in person and virtual shopping experiences. View Shop Hours
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