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The Basics of a Formal Arts and Crafts Table

Published By: Lynsey Duffin  -  Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Greene & Greene DiningThough Arts and Crafts, as a style, is meant to be comfortable and homey, it can nevertheless rise to the occasion for more formal settings. Creating an authentic Arts and Crafts setting for a formal or holiday meal requires preparation, but the results can be a spectacular backdrop that will set the tone of the entire evening.

Unless you are a collector with unlimited funds, it is highly likely that your formal Arts and Crafts tableware will be a mix of vintage, replica, and modern pieces. However, don't fear breaking the bank, as the popularity of the style means you can easily create a stunning formal dinner setting without having to spend your life savings in the process. When setting the formal Arts and Crafts tables, here are some basics for you to consider.

Finding period-appropriate vintage dish and servingware can be a hue task that can end up costing you lots of money. If your goal is vintage dishware, you can look for antique Arts and Crafts patterns by Dedham or Buffalo Pottery, which are both major suppliers of the original Craftsman movement.

If you want period-appropriate dinnerware, but can't go antique, you can always choose earthenware or ceramic designs in earth-tone palettes. While matte glazes are particularly appropriate, they aren't necessary. Feel free to mix and match colors within your palette, and try adding some extra flair to the look with copper or wooden serving bowls.

Just about any glassware can feel period-appropriate, as long as you are only using simplified designs. Any glassware with lots of ornamentation or etching needs to be avoided, but colored glasses should always be excluded from the table in general. Also styles featuring modern manufacturing techniques, such as bubble glass, double-layered glass, or similar advanced styles are a no-go.

If you don't mind mixing styles a bit, look for Art Deco-inspired glassware featuring elongated, geometric ornamentation while maintaining a fairly simple look. You can also use more decorative hand-painted or hand-crated glassware, is it pays tribute to the focus on craftsmanship that is at the core of the this style.

As with dishware, finding vintage period Arts and Crafts silverware and flatware can be extremely difficult. You should instead opt for a modern setting with a simplified design. Curlicues, ostentatious motifs, gold detailing, or other relics of baroque or Victorian design are to be completely avoided. Simple is always better, as just about everything is in Arts and Crafts design.

When choosing flatware for the Arts and Crafts table, simple detailing is perfectly acceptable. Some perfect choices that will not seem overly decorative are basic fluting or simple bands around the base.

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