Tabletop displays are a surefire way to get shoppers in the mood to entertain. Whether setting a formal or casual table for holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas, consumers are excited to gather and are paying attention to the details.
Andrea Milham, owner of Southern Antiques in Laurel, Mississippi, goes all out with her holiday tabletop displays. “I will create different areas or vignettes around certain holiday themes. Generally one space will be casual dining, so for fall that might include hay bales, paper products – disposable plates and napkins, jacko- lanterns, and cutesy fun ‘happy’ Halloween décor,” she said. “Another area may be a bit more dressy with uncarved pumpkins, gourds and acorns in jewel tones mixed in with more formal dishware and cloth napkins.” She added that serving bowls overflowing with Spanish moss and velvet pumpkins or gilded gourds can create a lovely centerpiece that can be used throughout the fall.
For Thanksgiving, the focus remains on family, gratitude and the beauty of autumn colors for table settings. Non-traditional celebrations, such as Friendsgiving, are also popular. “Friendsgiving is taking on a new light and is really hitting the mark with the younger generation,” noted Michelle Labovitz, director of public relations for Mud Pie. Retailers can display a mix of traditional and nontraditional options to grab attention. Christmas 2022 has a strong focus on the color white, traditional icons, whimsical details, smaller serving dishes, and easy-to-use items to help simplify the task of creating an amazing table spread. This Christmas, tabletops set with white can be accented with traditional accessories, metallic accents and greenery, according to Labovitz.
Functionality and stressless entertaining play a role on the table. “This season, we’ve designed Christmas cocktail recipe glasses that beautifully display ingredients so guests can make their own cocktails without guidance from the host,” Marcia Miller, founder and chief executive officer, Mud Pie, said. Her pro tip is to stock the bar and allow guests to make their own cocktails and retailers can emulate this with creative merchandising.
Miller explained that dessert boards are also rising in popularity as it helps to “map out exactly where you should place each treat (and that) it makes putting together grazing boards fool-proof.” Mud Pie offers two sweet boards — one for s’mores and one for traditional sweets. “Nature will be a major inspiration this year … collections will feature a variety of décor with muted colors and DIY-inspired textures, creating a warm and earthy palette. Prints and graphics will be minimalist in design, not overtly festive, with items offering a repurposed aesthetic using materials such as velvet, macrame, and kraft paper,” said Veronica Bell, creative director at Primitives by Kathy.
Pine cones, tree branches and other natural finds will provide nice accents to both the table and overall decor she emphasized. “We recommend creating table sets in your stores, if possible. You can also incorporate nature items into product displays, like I mentioned earlier, to accent the décor,” Bell said. Traditional reds and greens, mixed with a little blue, and a little whimsy, are reflected in product offerings which can add interest and creativity to tabletops this season.