For stylish holiday entertaining, just mix vintage finds with pieces you already own. Bookmark this step-by-step guide to designing an elegant, unexpected, and best of all, easy to pull off tablescape.
For a Dutch-still-life effect, use more fruit than flowers. The photo-and-floral studio Sweet Root Village created this centerpiece by inserting artichokes, pears, dried mushrooms, and branches into flower foam. The dusky-lavender roses are called Amnesia.
Etsy is the place for pristine vintage monogrammed napkins—just include your initials while searching. A moody gray tablecloth—$128 at Terrain—shows off dishes better than basic white, and it hides inevitable cranberry stains better.
Pair everyday dinner plates—these are from Anthropologie ($24 each)—with smaller vintage bread dishes to keep costs down but visual interest high. A sprig of amaranthus on each plate feels autumnal.
Look for silver plate instead of sterling at flea markets and yard sales. It’s far more affordable but still feels elegant and classic. And nobody minds if all of it matches.
Layer inexpensive glasses, such as these Crate & Barrel Champagne coupes ($10.95 each), with something colorful like the blue beveled wineglasses.
We used vintage Washington postcards (can you spy Rock Creek Park above?), found at the DC Big Flea, to welcome out-of-towners. Leave their name and a welcome message on the back.
This article appears in the November 2016 issue of Washingtonian.