Customize your holiday table with this simple place setting from Matthew Mead.
Before setting the table, Matthew says the most important thing to do is choose a palette. Here, shades of autumn are reflected in amber glass, golden bamboo, Bakelite-handle silverware, and brown transferware with yellow and green pattern accents. (Spode makes a reproduction of this vintage china, carried by stores such as T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods.) A single leaf is silhouetted on a white antique linen napkin.
Using a traditional palette of red and white for the dishware, linen napkins, iridescent cranberry glass, and bright apples grace the dining table. As to flowers, Matthew recommends massing one type — it’s foolproof and often achieves a more dramatic look than a bouquet of mixed blooms. Here, vibernum berries and deep-red roses grace the table. Hollowed-out apples make innovative containers for votive candles.
Photographs by Francine Zaslow