Setting The Table As A Living Piece Of Art

setting the table

The Let Go – Personal Musings: Charisse Glenn

“The more skillful you are in creating the perfect environment for yourself, the more you will enjoy life!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan

Japanese Art:

I come from a family of artists. My great-grandmother practiced Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging; my biological father was a fashion designer. My aunt was a painter; my uncle was a fine woodworker; my cousin is an interior designer; my brother is a designer and builds homes, and on and on.

“It creates a relaxed environment conducive to good conversations, laughter, and joy.”

I was raised to understand everything in life can be done with style and grace, which extends to my home. Not one to seasonally decorate, yet, one part of the holidays that may rank, dare I say, as high as feeding my friends and family is setting my table.

The aesthetics of the table matter to me; setting the table is setting the stage for the evening. It creates a relaxed environment conducive to good conversations, laughter, and joy.

To plate individually or to serve it family style each has its merits, but regardless it is all in the presentation. The delicious meal tastes even better by taking wonderfully prepared food, placing it in a beautiful bowl or platter, and harmonizing the colors.

Setting Of The Table:

Aesthetics need not be costly or fancy. Table settings can run the gambit of extravagance, from gold leaf and crystal to funky and festive. The first step is to do away with anything and everything plastic.

It is fantastic if the sky is the limit, and you can purchase the table settings of your dreams from your favorite interior designer, but I caution you to remember to add your personal touch to make it feel like you are not out of a catalog.

If you are on a budget, shopping at second-hand stores, you can pull any look together. But, in the long run, you will save money on never buying another single-use plastic plate, cup, or utensil and purchasing settings that will last through many a gathering.

No need to worry about all the place settings matchings; as long as the plates are relatively the same serving size and without chips, you can mix and match. The same goes for your stemware or cutlery.

“If you are on a budget, shopping at second-hand stores, you can pull any look together.”

Mixing Art Styles:

I like to mix styles; a carved wooden bowl alongside a cut crystal platter or hand-thrown ceramics atop a gold-plated charger. There is no end to the combinations you can create.

Pick your color palette and your style, then go hunting! I have two complete dishes that can take me through many themes.

I have a beautiful set of white china that I can dress up or down. Moreover, I change the style of the setting by changing the chargers, the tablecloth, the napkins, and the centerpiece arrangement. And I also have black dishes in three shapes; squarish, roundish, and round, all the same size. These work well for a more architectural or ethnic look.

Platters, Serving Bowls & Trays:

Next are the platters, serving bowls, and trays. Large flat bowls can double for charcuterie platters. However, if you have the space on your table, using an overly large serving dish can add elegance, drama, and a wow factor to the presentation.

Small Asian-style ceramic plates and bowls are my addiction. They come in patterns that almost always go together, and I can never go wrong with the black or white plates.

Napkins are another way to add flair, define the theme, and spruce up a table. Cloth napkins all the way. They are eco-friendly, and you have the added pleasure of saving a tree by not wasting paper. Mixing patterns and colors work magnificently, and all-white is a winner at any time; plus, you can bleach the all-white ones!

“Our lives are the canvas, and we are our living works of art.”

A friend went to a western store and bought cotton bandanas for $1 apiece in various colors. She uses them with her fiesta ware she’s been collecting for years. Great idea!

Living Works Of Art:

Regardless of your style, mixing shapes and sizes, colors, and textures, will be the element that sets your table apart from the ordinary.

Setting the table is not about placing the utensils next to a plate; it is about the need to make a beautiful form; artistry exists in every detail. Our lives are the canvas, and we are our living works of art. How we paint it reveals precisely who we are. Once we realize that we have the choice to create a masterpiece, we can let go of the ideas others may have for us and fashion our world any way we see fit.

So, have fun, experiment with which foods and textures fit the suitable bowl or dish, then remember to toss the rules out of the window and create a setting that is fun. Who knows? You may even create a trend or tradition with your family and friends.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ― Pablo Picasso

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About the Author:

Charisse Glenn, Casting Director, Equestrian, and Creator of The Let Go. She is 62, gray, aging gracefully and has lots to say. Charisse is half Japanese and has the wisdom of that culture she was born into. She has been a casting director for commercials in Los Angeles for 35 years and is an equestrian having competed in 100-mile horse races around the world.

The initiative she writes, called The Let Go serves as a reminder to let go of all that no longer works in our lives, opening a pathway to happiness, love, and balance. Proudly she embraces the freedoms age provides serving as a role model to both men and women. She is a badass with a beautiful soft touch. You can find her on either her website , or follow her on The Let Go in Instagram.