Setting The Holiday Table with Grace Lee-Lim
The invites are out and the menu is planned but when it comes to the decor, even the best of us are a bit stumped at times. That's when we turn to interior designer Grace Lee-Lim. Below, she walks us through how to decorate a table full of personal style, meaning and that special festive feeling.
This holiday season, I was inspired to create an Asian American tablescape, which embraces my family's heritage and different cultures, both as Asians and Americans. Many of my Asian American friends and family share the sentiment that the holidays bring a funny-yet-strange melting pot of our cultures to the dining table.
Thanksgiving was often an amalgamation of turkey and stuffing with a side of kimchi, galbi and steaming white rice next to the mac and cheese -- and our family was one of the few that bothered to have the turkey.
We thought it would be fun to host a holiday dinner that embodies both the Asian and American a little more intentionally: a Char Siu (barbecued pork) Wellington, Miso Garlic Mashed Potatoes, a side of kale and watermelon radish salad with an umami-filled caper dressing and Hobakjook (Korean squash porridge) with a dash of cinnamon. All of that was whipped up by my talented best friend Jess.
This meal was inspired by the Korean ceramics created by Material. As soon as we saw the Round Bowl in Grotto, we could so clearly envision how spectacular the bright pop of a Korean squash soup would be in it and took off with our theme.
The Open Bowl in Dune is a classic in our household and used for everything from salads to pasta to soupy noodle dishes. It has the absolute perfect low profile and I love how different it looks to have a bowl on top of a large dinner plate rather than another small plate -- it adds so much more depth and dimension.
The Full Plate in Grotto is a beautiful, sophisticated plate that has a slight lip at the edge. It's definitely a nice large plate that can handle second (or third) servings.
Here are some tips for creating this sort of tablescape in your home:
- Don't be afraid to mix colors and textures to give the table a bit more dimensionality.
- Flowers that are a bit wild and unruly in shape are always so nice visually. Adding berry stems in orange or red can help add pops of color and different shapes while feeling festive. I like to combine flowers found at farmers markets as well as a few stores to get some variety if I'm in a pinch
- Adding bread into a basket along with linens add a lot of texture
- Garnishing plates with extra stems, leaves, and leftover herbs always fills out dishes in a nice way while adding additional color to the table