Every year I hear the same question, what are you doing for New Year’s eve? I’m not much for celebrating anywhere but home. It’s the last weekend to enjoy the Christmas decorations and somehow it seems all the more special knowing that it will all be taken down very shortly. Like many people I’ve talked to I have my own rituals although there are many parties and events around town for celebrating with friends on the island. The Nantucket Hotel event has turned into a very exciting one that is talked about in the months preceding the evening. It’s an opportunity to dress up and go dancing in a wonderfully exciting space. Gwenn and Mark Snyder have done a great job in making this a spectacular tradition. Those who are having dinner parties at home have shared some of their decorating ideas that you might find useful if you’re planning a get together tonight.
Pure white and silver is a great color scheme for this night. Bring out all your silver and use it to create a centerpiece on the table. Put a silver Christmas ball in each champagne flute and tie pure white linen napkins with French wired silver ribbon. Use white tulips, paperwhites or lilies in clear glass or silver vases. Be creative with tinsel. Surround the flowers on the table with silver balls scattered about. The white, silver and green represent winter magic.
Think red and white or even black and white. Use lots of red or white tulips for your centerpiece, red napkins and linens with pure white chinaware. Fill a silver bowl with shiny bright red balls dotted with sprigs of holly. Put a red ball in each champagne flute.
Artist Donn Russell once had a New Year’s party and set the table with items from his collection of English memorabilia. Small tins were filled with candies, he used souvenir plates and arranged a centerpiece of little figurines of the royal family. While you may not have such a collection, whatever you collect can be the basis for a table setting that’s personal and fun.
A designer I once worked with in New York always set an elegant, artistic table fron ordinary materials. She often covered the center of her dining table with green moss then arranged shiny balls and votive candles on top, keeping everything low. Like me, she loves bare branches as a bouquet and sticks tufts of fluffy quilt batting on them to look like snow.
Another designer friend uses all metallic colors on his dining table but first lays a strip of brown Kraft paper down the center and puts a pen at each person’s place. During the meal everyone is asked to spontaniously decorate, doodle, write messeges and resolutions on it. What fun is that?
A friend who loves red spray painted bare branches with glossy red paint and created a sculpture of sticks stuck into a container filled with moss. He used black candles for a masculine edge. The sticks are lined up in the center of the table and the overall effect is like gazing through an enchanted forest.
If you have the items, setting a very ornate table can be exquisite. You cannot overdo. Not everyone has the china, silverware, candlesticks etc. to do this but from the many yard sales, auctions and antique shops I’e been to on the island, I’d say there are a fair amount of us who have inherited things from another era. This is the time to bring it all out.
Some items that are easy to make to decorate the table:1. Wrap drinking glasses with metallic tape in a spiral pattern to hold candles. 2. Pile a cake plate with lemons and sprigs of leaves and silver balls. Keep everything on the table yellow and white. Fill little baskets with lemon drops for each guest.
The point of decorating and entertaining for New Year’s Eve is to make it special. Your home should feel like a celebration. If an intimate no frills evening is more your speed it’s still fun to make it special with a favorite meal, a good movie or music, a fire in the fireplace, a good bottle of wine and maybe even getting out of your sweats and into something a bit more festive. You might even start now making a list of resolutions to share with those or the one you are spending the evening.
Don’t forget candles. It’s the easiest way to make your home romantic. Every New Year’s eve is an opportunity to make the evening memorable so you can look back and remember what you were doing on the night that 2014 turned into 2015.
Even if you plan to spend New Year’s Eve alone you can make the evening your very own by getting a good movie, playing your favorite music, planning a favorite meal and popping a bottle of champagne. And whether you dress up to be home with a significant other or surround yourself with good friends, have a happy, healthy, joyful and wonderful New Year.