Striking silhouettes and fine detail make the monochrome table anything but monotonous.
Dust off those odd pieces of crystal that Aunt Ida left you for this single-color scheme. Not only does the crystal and silver approach simplify matters, says Matthew, but it also allows textural elements to take center stage. Candlelight gives a dynamic shimmer to the table as it picks up the glistening tablecloth (made from iridescent City Slicker fabric, $120 a yard, Pollack Associates) and the cut-crystal surfaces.
Sterling-silver menorah ($12,000, Asprey); Diamanti champagne flute ($105 for two), tall martini glass ($105 for two), and short martini glass ($105 for two), all Salviati; Sterling Antique flatware ($435 for a five-piece place setting, Reed & Barton); round pewter-colored plate ($59, the Conran Shop); Mille Nuits large plate ($260) and salad plate ($160), both by Mathias for Baccarat; white linen napkin with silver coral embroidery ($35) and silver gum-ball napkin ring ($18, both Bergdorf Goodman); Waterlily crystal candleholders ($275 each, Swarovski); hand-gilded place cards ($28 for 25 cards, Smythson of Bond Street); decanters ($86 each, Global Views); Beaufort silver-plated, footed compote used as vase ($94, Lauren Home, Ralph Lauren); and tortoiseshell mini-saltcellar ($135) and spoon ($95), both Steuben.
Get shockingly close to the crystal table without tapping out your budget.
In case Aunt Ida took it with her, glass and stainless steel can stand in for crystal and sterling silver. This table style suits any special occasion, from Hanukkah to a New Year's Eve celebration.
Silver organza tablecloth ($46, Best Dressed Tables); silver-plated menorah ($20, Hamakor Judaica Inc.); Roost's Veriglass cocktail glass, goblet, and champagne glass ($15 each, Pomegranate Home); hammered stainless-steel flatware ($41.25 for a five-piece place setting, Reed & Barton); Lucca charger ($24, Pottery Barn); Soho crystal platter ($65) and salad plate ($40 for two), both Miller Rogaska by Reed & Barton; Manor striped napkin by Brownstone ($2.99, Fortunoff); Silver Ball Cluster napkin ring ($4.95, Crate & Barrel); Mini Lotus tea lights ($20 for two, Godinger Silver Art); Party Express white place cards with silver border ($4.99 for 30, Hallmark Gold Crown Store); glass decanters ($42 and $50, both Design Workshop Inc.); Maxfield Hotel serving bowl, used as a vase ($59, Pottery Barn); Duralex ingredient bowl ($1.09, Gracious Home); and sterling-silver salt spoon by Empire Silver Company ($14.99, Fortunoff).
A beautiful dessert, especially if showcased on a pretty plate or platter, makes a dazzling, sweet finish to a meal. Just be sure to have plenty of forks and spoons to go around. Caterer Laurence Craig had to create his own molds to bake replicas of the cakes pictured on Pierre Frey's delicious new Gourmandise fabric.
Our desserts are displayed on, from left: fluted pedestal platter ($19.95, Crate & Barrel); vintage English dessert plates ($295 for a set of six, Bergdorf Goodman); striped Galerie Royale dessert plate ($50, Bernardaud); stacked handblown crystal Edwina cake stands ($195 and $210, William Yeoward Crystal); Martha Stewart embossed-ceramic cake stand ($24.99, Kmart); Mosser Glass cake stand ($75, Fishs Eddy); Pavilion dessert plate with pierced edge ($16, Lauren Home, Ralph Lauren); and Ginger porcelain plate ($25, La Cafetière).
Why not make the presentation as delicious as the dessert itself?
The tablecloth is Gourmandise by Pierre Frey ($170, Yves Delorme). From left: Ginger porcelain dessert plates ($25 each, La Cafetière); Galea silver-plated demitasse spoons ($46 each, Christofle); Galerie Royale demitasse cup ($53) and bread-and-butter plate ($34, Bernardaud); and Ginger porcelain demitasse cup ($22.50 for cup and saucer, La Cafetière).
For more details see the Shop Guide in the 2005 Holiday O at Home
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