cooler months reveal a trend away from the more traditional colors and
styles in tableware. Dishes and linens imported from Europe are just
the thing to dress up your table for the holidays. The sparkle and
warmth are still there, but the colors and the fabrics are new and
exciting, Milwaukee area design professionals say.
"One of the biggest trends we have seen is the European
influence," according to Jane Ciabotti of Splendor in Delafield.
"We have four different lines of French table linens, including
tone-on-tone damask and jacquard on a nubbier, heavier linen,"
Some table linens are showing up dressed for the holidays with
touches of velvet, says Dana Golubeff, display manager for George
Watts & Son in Milwaukee. "Instead of green and red, we are
seeing a lot of silver and gold for the holidays. Luxurious chocolate
brown linens are very hot, while the black and white that we saw last
year is also coming back for fall." And, good news, they are easy
to care for, while making your table look chic and stylish.
Embroidered table runners, tablecloths, napkins, pot holders and
aprons are another option for the holidays, perfect for French Country
decorating. "You can get them with a polished finish that repels
water," Ciabotti says.
Dana Golubeff of George Watts &
Son says colored vases, like these from Salviati, are popular
this season. Photos
courtesy of Salviati.
Authentic Polish Stoneware makes a beautiful addition to your
holiday table, says Ciabotti. This fine quality tableware has a
beautiful hand finish, whether it is in place settings or serving
pieces. "There are dozens of patterns and the colors are
beautiful. The traditional colors are blue and white with splashes of
yellow and red," she notes. And, donít be afraid to use it. Its
beauty and original style is surpassed only by its practicality.
Also this season, itís back to the smoky gray glassware we saw
some years ago, according to designers. "The new crystal we are
seeing is in some great smoky tones. Itís heavier and chunkier than
in the past, too," Golubeff says. If you like, you can mix it
with your clear crystal or glassware for an interesting effect."
Brightly colored vases and decorative glass pieces will be seen in
all the best places in the coming months. Whether you use them to hold
fresh or dried flowers or as a beautiful centerpiece on your dining
table, there are a multitude of interesting shapes and colors to
entertain the eye, says Golubeff. The organic designs and contemporary
forms look amazing next to vintage pieces.
"We are buying tableware in some of the typical fall colors
ó reds, golds, greens ó all very warm colors, but they are in more
interesting textures and fabrics. We are selling heavier linen and
more wool products. Some of the fabrics are from India and some are
from Western Europe. All of them are machine washable," says
Ashley Rice, manager of Past Basket in Fox Point.
Tabletops are going natural, too. "We are doing a very natural
theme for Christmas with birch candles, pine cone candles, twigs and
natural white lights. We want to make it a little different this
year," Rice says.
"With dishes, the main trend is that everyone wants something
that they can actually use on a daily basis. They want something that
can go into the dishwasher and microwave, but they still want
something that holds up and looks good," Rice notes.
Instead of saving your "good" dishes for dinner parties,
make use of them, Rice says. "Why buy dishes that you can only
use on special occasions? We want to use them every day," she
says. "Juliska dinnerware made by Czech artisans is very elegant,
but it is resistant to chipping and breaking and it can go from the
freezer to the oven."
Many customers are selecting plain basic dishes and dressing them
up with linens, Rice says. "White or off-white dishes are by far
the colors in demand."
Neutral colors are also the backdrop to some fairly bold patterns
on table linens and dishes, Golubeff notes. "We have seen
stripes, dots, plaids and even paisley on dishes. We also have been
seeing a lot of black and white patterns. In some cases, there are
several different patterns in one set," she says.