There is something really special about a beautifully decorated dinner table. Indeed, a beautiful table setting can make just about any occasion special. I’m not talking about expensive china, silver and crystal or designer accessories, but rather about a table planned and set with loving care. It’s an act of love for those who come to sit at the table and something I truly enjoy creating.
I’ve always enjoyed setting a lovely table for special occasions. For my husband’s 25th birthday, we planned an Asian themed dinner party at our rented unit. I planned the menu, prepared all the food myself (no frozen spring rolls at this dinner party), and even purchased a blue and white dragon design dinner set from an Asian grocery store for the night. All these years later, I don’t remember the exact menu or much about the evening but the dinner set is still around. For years, we used it every time I cooked an Asian style meal or got Thai takeaway. Our daughter took most of it with her when she moved out three years ago, but I still have a few pieces which get regular use.
The year before my daughter moved away to university, I planned several family dinners, with themed table decorations and menus. We did Australia Day, Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, Easter, birthdays and Christmas amongst others, all to help make our last year living together as a family of four extra special.
Last year we had a quiet Christmas Day, with just 6 of us; the perfect number to fit around our new, much smaller dining table. After many hours searching Pinterest, I chose greenery with silver, white and pale blue as my colour palette, tying in nicely with the living area which is decorated in grey, pale blue and teal. Being the first Christmas in our new home, I purchased a new, pencil pine tree as well as a greenery swag. My sister had given me a new wreath as a house warming gift, and I had already purchased new glass baubles and other decorations to fit the colour theme during the post Christmas sales the year before. I had a lovely time decorating the new tree with a mixture of old decorations with stories attached and brand new ones. The greenery swag was placed along the centre of the dining table along with twinkle lights, a string of tiny baubles and a white reindeer. I found myself needing new dinner plates to fit the theme, as my red-rimmed ones just wouldn’t work and my white square ones were the wrong shape. I needed a basic white round dinner plate, nothing fancy or expensive. IKEA to the rescue and I was set to go. The silver and white Christmas theme was completed with Kmart placemats, bonbons and paper serviettes. The finished table was simple and inexpensive, yet it helped make the day special.
Fast forward to last week. Easter decorations were beginning to appear in stores and my excitement level was rising. Another opportunity for seasonal table decorating was upon me! Last Easter, we had just moved into out new home and my decorating budget had already been spent on furniture and new house necessities. My old decorations needed updating and upgrading and I was determined not to make the same mistake as last year, when I saw Easter decorations I loved but decided to wait until they were reduced 50% – and missed out. Clearly everyone else loved them too and there were none remaining by the time the reductions arrived. Shopping with my seventeen year old son for his new share house, I made a quick detour via Bed Bath and Table, one of my favourite spots for seasonal decorations. They just happened to have 25% off for members, so I may have gone a little crazy. After all, I was actually saving money and I couldn’t risk missing out again, could I? At least, that’s what I told myself. I purchased the exact items I missed out on last year (how lucky was that?), as well as a wreath for the front door and a matching swag for the table. I now eagerly await the arrival of March, when I can allow myself to put up Easter decorations. I’ve started planning my Easter table and will soon launch into some serious Pinterest research to fine tune its appearance.
Do you love or loathe seasonal decorating?
Do you make a special effort with table decorations? Do you always do the same or mix it up with a new look each time?