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The Inspired Table

The Inspired Table

The radiant colors and alluring textures of fall make the transition from summer to September more seductive. Who doesn’t get smitten looking at all that velvet, fur and suede?  The mélange of jewel tones and muted colors have us longing for cooler days. Despite the seemingly endless days of shopping ahead, it’s time, however, to usher in the New Year with balance and brilliance, with beauty and new beginnings.  In other words, it’s time to create a new tablescape for Rosh Hashanah!

Inspiration is waiting to be embraced wherever you look.  Where better to start than mother nature herself? All summer we tried to enjoy as much time as possible outdoors.  I want to bring some of it in, but from a different angle.  I am starting with color.  Every palette has been created for us.  We just have to notice and emulate it.

One of the first colors to reveal itself this time of year is a warm golden yellow, mustard if you don’t mind.  Dijon, honey or amber sounds more attractive, but I also like goldenrod, like the flower blooming this time of year.  While I have yet to buy dishes in this color, I am determined to work it into my design.   Either the flower itself or perhaps something metal in a brass finish could fit the bill.  Napkin rings, short cups and candlesticks would be perfect!

Then there is the color after orange.  Call it squash, copper, or rust.  Ginger has a nice ring to it, too.  By giving the color a fancy name, you associate it with something.  It conjures up a certain feeling, and your mind’s eye sees that color.  It makes sense that sometimes color has a smell because we relate certain colors to certain foods.  The colors this time of year certainly relate to the rich palette of spices used in heavier and more celebratory foods.  Consider scattering the table with little piles of glass jars filled with an assortment of spices to bring color to the table. Turmeric, paprika, cumin, and cinnamon, oh my!


From garnet to grenadine, burgundy to Bordeaux, the red family goes on and on.  Gala apples and pomegranates make the perfect décor, but make a slight turn on the color wheel and we get to beautiful beets!  Cleaned up, an abundant bunch with stems and all, overflowing in a simple crystal trifle bowl looks renaissance and amazing at once as a centerpiece.

Fall would not be complete without eggplant or aubergine, if you want to get fancy again. The farmers market and nicer grocery stores offer specialty grown produce.  My favorites are the miniature eggplants and multi colored carrots.  For a few dollars, they will add a unique touch to each place setting.  A single carrot or mini aubergine on the top-most salad plate with a handwritten place card leaning against it will make each guest feel special.  Those tiny boxes of herbs in an assortment of purples and dark greens would also look seasonal and add an organic festive touch the table.  Add them to the short brass cups mentioned above, and we’re almost done!

Nature is all about variety and abundance.  We’ve covered the table top, each place setting, a medium centerpiece and small arrangements.  Candlesticks will add height and ambiance, but I feel the need to add more height.  A pair of potted trees or soaring plants at each end of the table will create a canopy and envelop the entire room.

Remember, what we put on the table at Rosh Hashanah is rich in significance.   A tablescape abundant in colors, textures, food and natural elements should arouse our senses and our abilities to open our hearts to giving and receiving in abundance.  L’shanah tova u’metuka!

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