December 18, 2014
One of my go-to tricks for pulling together my dining table is to anchor it with three matching pots of succulents. I actually have a matching set of six — three live inside and three live outside, rotating them as needed to keep them all happy.
A few weeks back we returned from a Thanksgiving week away to immediately hosting a dinner party filled with some pretty heavyweight guests — three well known chefs and a quick-witted sommelier. No pressure, right? My go-to succulents were not happy; it was a sad shape situation.
Rain be damned (of course it had to be raining) I set outside to forage for table décor. I snipped some fresh succulents and then decided to add some cypress cuttings for a little holiday vibe. Grabbing some little pinecones from under the tree to fill in and just like that — a winter update, Santa Barbara style, to my trusty pots.
What’s great about this starting point is it gives you a pretty base for weeknight meals, then with a little layering you have a table that takes for from Friday night dinner with friends all the way to Christmas Eve candlelight.
For company, just add in some special votives and stemware that sparkles. Then, take it up another notch by adding in some branches and small single flower bouquets (or even single stem, like these peonies dropped in water glasses here) for a naturally beautiful table.
Our dinner was a success, even though I burnt the lasagna (yes, this really happened) and our table was prepped to take us through this social season, meal by meal. So, that’s my secret. May your table be pretty and your pasta al dente…if not, just pour another glass of wine.