Sometimes when we prepare holiday meals, the amount of time spent making it taste good eats into any time we have available for making it look good. This doesn’t mean that you need to create glazed, edible flowers and hardened parmesan cheese bowls for your Thanksgiving dinner, but presentation can make dishes appear more appetizing and contribute to a fun, festive atmosphere for your guests.
Current Trends: Table Decoration
One of this season’s best, and most affordable, trends utilizes the sets of table linen, dinnerware and materials that you probably already have around the house.
“Maximalist” looks on the table incorporate a mix of different patterns and prints for a cozier, eclectic air. Mingling seasonal plaids and Spode within similar color families will bring a homey, warm feel to the table.
Centerpieces for this trend can incorporate natural elements that are easily found in your yard during the fall season. Pinecones, acorns, and colorful autumn leaves make wonderful, earthy additions to your traditional holiday candles and vases.
Rustic garlands snaked through the mix are a great table-filling alternative to flowers, and paired with tall, thin candles this look ensures that your guests will be able to see over to the other side of the table!
A trend that has become popular for all rooms of the house is the modern and clean minimalist look. An opposite ideal from the maximalist aesthetic, minimalism calls for monochromatic, usually solid- or patterned-white, dinnerware on a white or solid-colored tablecloth. Or, forgo the table cloth and opt for a bare table instead in order to show off your plates and dishes.
Centerpieces and room accents seen in modern homes of this style use materials like concrete, exposed brick, and marble accompanied by metallic accents. An unrefined, simple feel can be paired with soft pastel hues, which allows for a change from the usual morose fall palette of dark purples and oranges.
Current Trends: Food Presentation
Thoughtfulness in entertaining is a major trend this holiday season—as it should be! However, taking it up a notch in terms of food presentation is rapidly showing up in culinary blogs and publications this year. There’s no need to go overboard in overdesigning your plates, but just a little mindfulness in plating and place setting can go a long way.
Here are some quick tips on how to plate like a pro:
- Be sure to keep it clean. Wipe the edges of the plate so that its free from any smears or crumbs.
- Don’t overload the plate, in fact, the outer edge of the plate should always be left empty.
- Create dimension and interest with your food by mixing size and texture. No need to worry about rigid symmetry—asymmetry is embraced here.
- Lastly, don’t forget about color! Especially with holiday fare, the colors are often vibrant and diverse and can complement and contrast each other brilliantly.
Personalization also adds a quirky, but appreciated touch to the table. You can make your own handwritten place cards for each guest at your dinner, with personalized messages or designs. Personalized dinner menus at each setting are also a luxurious and special touch. These can be made on your home computer or there are plenty of websites that offer free, printable versions designed with the holidays in mind.
Remember, while presentation is a great way to make your food appear more appetizing and festive, the quality of your ingredients and cooking must be on the same great level. They don’t work well alone, but together they can contribute to a successful holiday feast!
Need some more ideas and inspiration? Check out our Holiday Entertaining Pinterest board!