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Holiday Entertaining Tips: Simple Tablescape

Does anyone feel like December creeps up on you and then just attacks from all sides?  The last four weeks of the year are a whirlwind of school activities, company parties, family gatherings and dinner parties.  It’s seriously the most intense time of the year.

One thing that has become abundantly clear since starting this blog is that there are amazing and talented people in Woodland that know how to simplify our lives with hints and tips, but never waiver on quality.  Sometimes a quick tip, an easy recipe or a “how-to” is all you need to simplify your task list.  Over the next week, I’ll post simple Holiday Entertaining Tips with the hope that your holiday responsibilities can be a little less stressful and more enjoyable.

And if all else fails and your anxiety is through the roof, check this out, it really helps!

Here is my first tip of the holiday season.  Enjoy!

A Simple TablescapeEmily Murphey is a floral stylist, wedding stylist, and an interior designer.  You’ve likely seen her work around town (Morgan’s On Main…<3 swoon!) and at weddings throughout the area.  She often does work for Windmill Farms, and recently styled the windows at BlackPine Catering.  Plus, she is the creator of the fabulously cute chalkboard signs that can be viewed at Sweet Potato Pie. She’s a local talent, born and raised in Woodland.

I asked Emily to help me set my table for a party of six.  My goal was to keep it simple because the table is usually the last thing I think about when I’m hosting a dinner party.  If you’re anything like me, Emily’s simple tablescape tips will come in handy.  Here’s what she did…and it’s nothing short of beautiful.

All photos provided by Emily Tidwell Photography, who will provide indoor photography tips in an upcoming post.

Simple Table with Emily Murphey

Bring the outdoors in.  The use of greenery from outside is an easy and cost-free way to add dimension and color to your table.  Emily used olive branches, with the olive still attached, the entire length of the table.  She also used a sprig of rosemary inside the napkin ring to add a touch of color to the napkin set.  If you don’t have access to greenery around your home, ask your neighbor or a family member to snip some of theirs for you.

Simple Table with Emily Murphey

Use candles for more than ambiance.  Candles create warmth and intimacy at the table, but in this case, they also create texture and style.  Here, Emily uses varying styles and sizes of candles and candle holders.  An added bonus, using all white or cream colored candles will allow the olive and branch colors to pop against the burlap runner.

Simple Table with Emily Murphey

Simple place setting.  I love white plates and simple, but earthy, utensils.  Emily worked with Lacey Mares, owner of Well-Stocked, to come up with a simple place setting that anyone could draw inspiration from.  The entire place setting, including the water goblet, can be found at Well-Stocked.  I thought the napkin ring was a cute compliment to the greenery Emily used.

Simple Table with Emily Murphey

Add a touch of color.  If you want to add a bit of color to your table, make it simple.  Emily used rose hip, sprinkled among the olive branches, and two colored taper candles.  Again, using outdoor plants add character and depth with zero cost…it’s genius, really!

Simple Table with Emily Murphey

Something special.  As an added touch, Emily created an after-dinner hot cocoa drink tray (with an added punch) using products from Well-Stocked.  Again, using greenery and items that are likely around the house, this tray can be set up to allow guests to help themselves or can be brought into another room for convenience.

Here are some more photos of Emily’s work on this post.

The supply list is simple as well:
Burlap Runner | owned by Emily Murphey | Similar can be found here
Candles | owned by Emily Murphey, Kelly Newsom, and Katie Renick
Candle Holders | owned by Emily Murphey and Kelly Newsom | Lantern style holder at Well-Stocked | Mercury Glass votives can be found at antique stores in Downtown Woodland.
Plates, utensils, napkins, napkin ring and goblet | Well-Stocked
Drink Tray, copper canisters, creamer, mug, napkin, teapot, and chocolates | Well-Stocked
Olive branches | Emily Tidwell’s trees
Rose hip | Emily Murphey’s home

Contact information

Emily Murphey – website

Emily Tidwell Photography – website

412 First Street
(530) 665-6885

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[…] worked with Farrell Scott and Emily Murphey who also worked on Maria’s Cantina.  They understand my taste and where I’m coming from, so […]

Beautifully written Kelly, thank you! Butcher Paper can be used instead of a burlap runner, to save a few pennies!

Absolutely stunning! I love bringing the idea of the outdoors in!

I love it. So simple and beautiful. I’m stealing the olive branch idea 🙂