I’m often asked what piece of furniture I would consider to be the most integral. Somewhere to perch, whether that’s a chair, sofa or stool, is obviously key. A bed is the most intimate and relaxing of items, yet, for me, it’s hard to deny the importance of the dining table.
It’s like an island around which the day-to-day everythings of modern life revolve – the place where we work, where we educate ourselves and our children, where we shop, pay bills and contemplate the ups and downs of the world. Above all, it’s where we eat and entertain.
ELLE Decoration dec/Jan 2022
A table set for a special occasion is one that brims with expectation, from the glasses, tableware and crisp linens to floral displays and decorations. And, while I love the order and pre-meal pristineness of a just-so tablesetting, I often find it’s actually the aftermath I enjoy more. The sploshes of spilt wine, half-finished food, crumpled napkins and dishes in disarray. It’s a still-life rendering of a time well spent, where fun has been had by all.
As we approach the end of the year, we’re faced with a heady onslaught of celebrations. Whether yours form part of a religious festival, of which there are many (it is, of course, not just about Christmas), or whether you keep things more secular, this annual coming together of people is a powerful force, one of the few things that truly binds us together. Irrespective of wealth, class, culture or outlook, it’s the time when we can all meet and be merry.
ELLE Decoration cover Dec/Jan 2022
So, whether you find yourself with friends, family, nearest and dearest, those you occasionally can’t stand, in-laws or outlaws, waifs or strays, during turbulent times (of which, again, this year there have been many), these gatherings can be a great comfort and solace, a way to mark what has gone before and plan how we may tackle the future together.
Whatever the next couple of months hold for all of us, in this, my last letter of 2022, I wish you well and ask you to remember that, in spite of everything, your table will be here next year to witness more good times – and so will we.