Winter tablescapes: simple ideas for the colder months

Winter tablescapes: simple ideas for the colder months

Set the table with Slow Living LDN. in winter

Winter really is the slowest of seasons. It’s a time of rest and retreat. It’s a season where our energy may be lower, the days shorter and the temperatures colder. In winter, nature is preserving energy for the spring and summer to come. Slowly, more signs of growth return, such as the first green shoots of daffodils. But in the depths of wintertime, trees are barren, exposing the knotted shapes of their branches, and many animals retreat into hibernation. A winter tablescape takes inspiration from the moody weather of January and February and the small signs of life amidst an otherwise quiet landscape.

January may not be a time for gathering with a large group, but a few simple touches can create memorable, yet still informal and relaxed suppers. During the wintertime and particularly January, it’s the perfect moment for elevating the everyday and creating something special to look forward to.

Designing a simple winter table

Moving on from vibrant, busy Christmas tablescapes of red and green, a winter tablescape for January and beyond is simple and muted. We like to arrange branches in vintage bottles and vases, especially those bearing catkins for additional interest. Delicate hellebores are one of the only flowers available for us to cut in the garden in January. Their sweet faces uplift a January table and make a small nod to the many spring flowers to come.

An abundance of candles is at the heart of a winter tablescape. We’re wired to rest in winter – the lower light levels shifts our sleep/wake cycle, making us feel tired earlier. Rather than interrupting this natural rhythm with artificial light, lean into the soft glow of candles. This will help ensure a better night’s rest. When it comes to candles, we’ve again kept things simple with rolled beeswax candlesticks. They’re a lovely natural colour and give a rustic, relaxed look. Arranging the candles at differing heights and arranging other candles you have dotted around the house adds to the ambience.

We layer neutral linens across the table, following a muted colour palette. Layering more than one textile helps create the sense of cosiness and retreat that we seek during the colder months. As we’re not leaning into colour to bring additional interest, we also like to choose tableware with interesting edges or detailing. For this winter table, we’ve opted for bobble-edged bowls and ribbed smoky glassware.

Ingredients for a simple, rustic January tablescape:

  • Foraged branches and hellebores arranged in vintage vases and bottles
  • An abundance of candles at differing heights
  • Layered table linens in muted tones
  • Tableware with interesting edges or detailing to draw the eye in

For more winter tablescape inspiration, head to our Pinterest board.