You don’t have to be a professional designer to bring artful elegance to your holiday table. Our staff from the WILLIAMSBURG Brand product licensing team set a beautiful Thanksgiving table in the WILLIAMSBURG At Home store that combines signature, traditional pieces with unexpected, on-trend accents. We tagged along for a little inspiration and together, we created a how-to video. Just follow our five easy steps and then learn how many of these modern ideas actually started in the 18th century!
What’s special about our products is that they tell a story about our history; many are inspired by excavated shards or pieces in the Colonial Williamsburg antique collection. All of them are available now at WILLIAMSBURG At Home, and you can also purchase many of them online at shop.colonialwilliamsburg.com or through national retailers.
Step One: Pick a Star of the Show
This design is based on a dinner service commissioned by the Duke of Gloucester about 1770, designed to show his interest in the natural world. A platter from the original service, now in the collections of Colonial Williamsburg, served as the inspiration for this reproduction.
Step Two: Choose Your Best Supporting Actors
India Overseas linen set in a light shade of solid green
WILLIAMSBURG Royal Scroll by Reed & Barton flatware works well for formal formal and every day occasions.
The pattern is based on the most popular sterling silver flatware patterns found in England in the 18th century. Part of the inspiration for its design is a coffee spoon in the archives found during excavation of Raleigh Tavern.
Step Three: Add a little Drama!
WILLIAMSBURG Glass hurricane shade by Reed & Barton filled with orange and lemon pomander ball ornaments (a simple DIY project you can do yourself!)
These shades are designed after a large English antique in the Colonial Williamsburg collection. Hurricane shades were used in the 18th century to protect candles from drafts. Pomander balls were used from Medieval times through the 17th century to mask unpleasant odors!
Step Four: Let the Centerpiece Take Center Stage
Two whimsical pheasant figurines, raised on an antique book.
Airtwist stemware reflects a popular 18th-century glass blowing technique and each beautiful glass is created the same way today by artisans. The design is reproduced from originals in Colonial Williamsburg’s collections. Did you know candles were a precious commodity in the 18th century? They were often placed in front of reflective surfaces, such as mirrors and brass, to maximize their light.
Step Five: How to Ensure a Standing Ovation!
Four small WILLIAMSBURG faux fruit sprays by Winward laid in a circle around the hurricane
An Historic Area favorite, faux pomegranates and faux sprays make a great addition to your holiday décor. For a uniquely traditional 18th-century touch, you can also add a pewter salt and/or pepper shaker next to the silver serving pieces.
Guest Blogger: Kimberly Richards-Thomas
Kimberly Richards-Thomas, a public relations professional with ten years of experience in higher education communications, recently joined the WILLIAMSBURG brand. Her responsibilities include managing public relations with more than 30 licensees, growing WILLIAMSBURG brand social media presence, and writing copy for products available in the Historic Area, at nationwide retailers, and online at www.WilliamsburgMarketplace.com.
Because our products are inspired by Colonial Williamsburg history or by 18th-century art held in our museum archives, Kimberly researches the inspiration behind each piece to tell its story–and our story–to the public. In this way, her writing supports the educational mission of the Foundation while also showing how “Trend Meets Tradition” with our latest WILLIAMSBURG product introductions.