Set the Table: Sustainable Tips for Holiday Entertaining

Textile designer Heather Taylor was inspired to create her line of home goods after she couldn’t find local linens that she loved. We have to admit we’re really glad she did, because we’re in love. Her classic-meets-eclectic style works for every type of occasion and is paired perfectly with our simple, sustainable holiday gathering. Here, Heather shares what inspires her, how she chooses a theme, as well as her favorite way to set the mood.

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Name: Heather Taylor
Business: Heather Taylor Home
Specialty: Classic linens with a fresh spin
Hometown: Los Angeles
Instagram Handle: @heathertaylorhome

What inspired you to be a textile designer?
I love entertaining and having people over, but couldn’t find linens that felt like my vibe—relaxed and casual but also classic and pretty. So I decided to make my own. 

Tell us about your pop-up shop!
It’s in a beautiful brick-lined space from 1924 in the heart of Westwood Village, and I fell in love the moment I walked in. I wanted it to feel more like a home than a store, and I think we accomplished that. Along with linens, we sell everything you need to set a beautiful table.

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Where do you get inspiration when creating new textiles and patterns?
I am very inspired by the type of vintage linen you might find at a flea market in Paris.

What colors or patterns are you most excited about for the holidays?
Most excited about our first solid linen in a rich goldenrod color—it’s the ultimate holiday tablecloth! So rich, and looks gorgeous with many of our napkins.

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What’s a favorite holiday tradition or memory?
Christmas breakfast after opening gifts. My mom has this beautiful Spode china we use, and we all pitch in with the cooking.

How do you choose a color scheme for an event?
I really love to keep it seasonal and fairly classic. For example, we do a lot of golds and pumpkin and hunter green in fall. But we always put our special Heather Taylor Home spin on it—like using component patterns in an unexpected way.

What are some eco-friendly ways that you like for entertaining?
I like to forage my centerpiece and greenery from what’s around—maybe cutting olive branches from a tree in my yard. Also (of course), I’m a big proponent of using reusable napkins and plates.

When should you use a table runner vs. a full tablecloth?
There are no rules! One tip is I like to use one of each—maybe a tablecloth on my dining room table and a runner on my bar (or vice versa—it’s just nice to mix it up for a little variety).

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Do you like to place the napkin in the center of the plate or on the side?
I like both, but when in doubt, I place it in the center.

What’s a quick, inexpensive way to get your house or dining room looking festive for a gathering?
Lighting goes a long way! I like to dim the lights and use a lot of faux candles—it’s festive and very welcoming.

When creating the look of a party, what do you start with first when deciding on a color scheme?
I just need one jumping-off point, and then the whole look comes together from there. I usually get really inspired at the farmers market and what is in season—for example, in the fall, I love to build the whole table around the colors of pomegranates and persimmons.

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How do you decide whether to go with a pattern or a solid linen?
I tend to go for patterns, but we just launched our first solid (Solid Marigold) and it’s been so fun to mix in. I start with the linens, then the flowers, and then the plates. Unless I’m really excited about a new plate or a specific flower, and then those are the jumping-off points.

Do you have any tips for where the table or focal point should be?
Focal points should exist throughout; you always need some sort of centerpiece. Even if you don’t have flowers, you can forage something or put together a big bowl of fruit. Something to anchor the table. I love using placards as mini-focal points above the plate.

Want more sustainable holiday tips? Right this way…

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