Create your own eco-table, starting with what you already have.
Chairs and utensils don't have to match ― in fact, an eclectic mix adds a personal touch.
Stock up on sturdy ceramic dishware and quality table linens in muted colors that can be dressed up for any occasion. Then sprinkle in a little of nature's bounty.
Click ahead for 8 inventive place settings.
Rather than purchase season-specific tableware and decorations, simply accent what you already have.
Pair natural-toned ceramics with assorted silverware and everyday glassware.
Adorn napkins with name cards, herbs, and a ribbon for a dash of holiday color.
Small guest gifts can be wrapped in brown shopping bags or Kraft paper (sold at craft stores), then embellished with colorful patterned paper remnants.
At the kids’ table, recycled paper makes great restaurant-style placemats. Personalized sets of crayons invite the kids to have fun.
Attach a metal plant tag to stem fruit.
The tags, available from garden stores, turn fruits with stems into instant place-setters. Cut the tag to size, then write the name on it with a black permanent marker.
"Illuminating natural elements gives such nice texture and warmth," Margi says.
Here, she placed a small glass hurricane inside a larger one with about a ¼-inch space between and slipped in wheat. Place a candle in the center (be sure your candle is shorter than the height of the inner glass).
Cut a slit in a chestnut for a placecard.
Use a craft knife to make the cut. Silver ink reads well on dark brown paper, and scalloped scissors give the card a decorative edge.
Write a name on the back of a magnolia leaf.
Use a pen with white or silver ink. The leathery texture of the leaf complements table linens. Coordinate the napkin color.
Use a wooden plank as a stage for seasonal produce, such as plums, pears, apples, figs, and pattypan squash. Weave crabapple branches throughout for added texture, and stagger candles nestled in pebble-filled votive holders for ambience.
Bring the bold colors and rich textures of the season onto your hoilday table with a sumptuous fall flower arrangement. Eleanor Gerber-Siff, owner and lead floral designer of San Francisco-based Wallflower Design, showed us how to create this stunning centerpiece.