’Tis the season to gather around the table and eat, eat, eat—and with that comes more attention on your dining table than happens during the rest of the year combined. (Bless you, by the way, if you’re one of the brave souls who’ve offered to host the rest of us culinarily challenged degenerates for the holidays.) And while you’re likely focused on perfecting a killer tofurky or gluten-free stuffing, it pays to put a little effort into the look of your dining area, too.
Below, a roundup of our favourite dinnerware and accessories that make a show-stopping tablescape and that you can use for years to come.
Taste the rainbow
Forget basic silverware: Mepra’s rainbow-hued cutlery (from $30 each) offers tabletops a punch of lively colour. Crafted from dishwasher-safe stainless steel, the modern forks, spoons, and knives boast a mirror finish that sparkles and glows in the light. If anything, these easy statement pieces make a welcome (and shimmery) distraction from any dishes that may have gone awry in the kitchen.
Find them at Atkinson’s (1501 West 6th Avenue).
Shake it off
To add a sense of whimsy to your tablescape, swap out your plain-Jane salt and pepper shakers for Normann Copenhagen’s Friends salt-and-pepper set ($45). The curvy porcelain vessels are adorned with illustrations that present them as topless and mustached friends Gordon and Andreas. The duo are identical, save for a painted leather vest that allows you to differentiate between salt and pepper. Consider them a conversation piece and a noncommittal way to introduce some humour to mealtime.
Find them at espace d (215–332 Water Street).
It’s 30 minutes to dinnertime and you’ve still got a half-done ham in the oven and a trifle to assemble. What’s the best way to keep guests occupied and out of the kitchen? With a bottle of wine and a cheese plate, of course—preferably served on a pretty agate cheese board ($78) that will keep comments to “Where did you get that?” and not “I thought you said dinner was at 6.” Pick from amethyst, pink or white quartz, green, or dyed blue, each with a glittering gold trim.
Find them at Anthropologie (2912 Granville Street and 766 Main Street, West Vancouver).
Ice ice baby
As fun as offbeat prints and patterns are, sometimes you just can’t beat the glint of classic gold décor during the holidays. So if you’re going to go gilded, go big with the hammered-gold ice bucket ($39.99) by President’s Choice. The container comes with a matching scoop and makes a cool, vintage-inspired addition to bar carts that you can break out for NYE, birthday soirees, or, really, any celebration requiring vat-chilled drinks.
Find it at the Real Canadian Superstore (various locations).
Take your greenery from pot to tabletop with Crate and Barrel’s adorable monstera-leaf napkin ring ($5.95 each). Modelled after the extremely photogenic houseplant that’s taken Instagram by storm of late (#MonsteraMonday, anyone?), the functional piece offers tablescapes a fun, Mother Nature–influenced detail that’s far from traditional hollies or poinsettias. Whether for casual brunches or summertime shindigs, it’ll become a staple in your entertaining arsenal.
Find it at Crate and Barrel (650 West 41st Avenue).
Things can get a little crazy in a crowded room after a few drinks—especially with pets and tots involved—which is why we love the brilliance of Italian designer Mario Luca Giusti’s Milly tumblers ($42 each). The cups look like fancy crystal from afar but are actually constructed from durable and hard-to-crack acrylic that will survive any unexpected falls or spills. Available in a range of juicy shades like red, yellow, and green, they work great alfresco once summer rolls around, too.
Find them at Atkinson’s.
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out the Georgia Straight's 2017 holiday gift guide here.