Gathering Around the Table Can Change the World

Oct 17, 2023 | Kitchen and Tabletop

“People have such a profound desire to gather,” stated Michael Hebb during an interview answering the question of why gathering at the dinner table may be the most important thing we do. “Building tea houses or piazzas or community gathering places or real buildings is just so much work. And the dinner table is already there asking to be re-thought, asking to be reinvigorated.”

Merriam-Webster defines “gathering” as a coming together of people in a group. They gather for social, religious, political, or other purposes, and this coming together happens as people share thoughts and ideas, as they get to know each other. Dinner table discussions can change the world.

The earliest recordings of tables being set for a gathering are found in both the Old Testament and in the writings of Homer. The Romans and the Greeks were the first to pioneer elaborate table settings, which would consist of hand-painted pottery and ornate precious metals. However, during the Middle Ages, a table set for a gathering would only be adorned by a salt cellar. Depending on the wealth of the host or hostess, the salt cellar would either be very ornate or simple. The most important guest at the gathering would dine closest to the salt cellar. The remaining guests would take their places at the table either near or far from the salt cellar depending on their societal hierarchy.

When the Renaissance arrived, the elegance of the table-setting landscape was revived with precious metal dinnerware made of silver and gold. The ceramic plate was also introduced to diners during this time period, which eventually led to the replication of Chinese porcelain for matching dinnerware sets.

While the generations of today may be far beyond a simple salt cellar adorning their dinner tables, they can appreciate the table-setting history of the Roman, Greek, Medieval, and Renaissance time periods for the ideas that inspire today’s creativity of dining decor.

With the holiday gathering season approaching, it is time to put those creative design ideas to work, and the dining table is the best place to start!

Begin with either a monochromatic color scheme, or one that incorporates the colors of the season. Mix antique and modern table decor, and start with layers of plates, chargers, and placemats. These layers can consist of different textures, such as rustic items and more elegant ones.

Next, create a garland in the middle of the table using the bounty of the season’s nature. This can include small pumpkins, pinecones, faux berries, eucalyptus, and any other decorative greenery. Be sure to include either modern rustic or antique candlestick holders, and you will have a very eye-catching, unique, and beautiful centerpiece.

If you are envisioning a simpler centerpiece as part of your table decor, a Fall- or Winter- themed floral and greenery arrangement may be the perfect fit. Similar to the garland, mix seasonal florals and greenery in either an eye-catching vase or round dough bowl to either stand alone as the centerpiece, or surround it with modern or antique candlestick holders. You can also decorate the inside of an oblong dough bowl with various sized moss balls, pillar candles, small pumpkins, pinecones, and seasonal greenery for a simple yet elegant centerpiece that can be easily changed from season to season.

This holiday season, let Cherrywood Market bring your table decor visions to life with a unique array of seasonal items that are sure to impress family and friends! Our team is ready to help you achieve your holiday design goals with a personalized shopping experience. Let us help you begin those holiday design visions with table decor that will be enjoyed during gatherings for years to come!

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