One of the reasons I started this blog was to bring a modern and youthful twist to kosher recipes and Jewish holiday traditions. To me, that doesn’t mean polka dot tablecloths and feather centerpieces. I’m talking tasteful, elegant and up to date.
Have you ever seen an Ina Garten table setting and thought to yourself, “I would love for my table to look like that!” or scrolled through a Pottery Barn catalog and dreamt of having their blue table décor reimagined with Chanukah details? I don’t know about you, but I love re-envisioning what a holiday table and Jewish home could look like.
For instance, a challah board is something we as Jews use every week, but it looks the same at everyone’s table. Here, I decorated it and made it a part of the table decor. It’s my up-to-date way of presenting challah on the table.
Keep on reading and explore all the details and thoughts behind my Rosh Hashanah Table Setting. I hope you enjoy!
Vases and Colors:
For holidays like Rosh Hashanah, it is likely that people will have large crowds, and will be using long tables for meals. The table I used here was very long, so I knew I wanted vases that would look full and make a statement. The large hurricane vases I used did just the trick.
When choosing a vase, it’s important to choose something that works best in your space, in order to allow the flowers to really shine. If you have a shorter table, lots of smaller vases or three medium size vases would look beautiful as well.
When using small vases, I recommend using one type of flower in each.
When deciding which colors to use for my Rosh Hashanah table this year, I knew I wanted ones that were light and airy, yet warm-the perfect transition from summer to fall. I decided to use white and cream tones with pops of bright green for the airy hues. I then added just a touch of gold for a warm autumn feel.
You can see the use of color in this centerpiece.
Assembling the Centerpiece:
Tip: If you are buying bunches of uncut flowers, you can ask for a large bin filled with water to transport the flowers in.
To assemble the floral arrangement, you will need a sharp knife (flowers last longer if they are cut on a diagonal angle with a sharp knife, instead of with scissors), vases, and flowers of your choice. I also like working on paper so my surface doesn’t get scratched.
I cut the flowers down to size, adding one stem at a time to the vase and mixed different flowers throughout the arrangement. My go-to method is to place shorter stems around the edges, and taller cut stems in the center of the bouquet.
Tada! Abundant and elegant! Having a beautiful table makes the holiday even more special and is worth going the extra mile for.
Although they might look difficult, these arrangements are really easy to make-that’s the beauty of them. Simple doesn’t have to mean boring, it can mean elegant and easy! These have an effortless vibe-because they are effortless.
If you look closely at an Ina Garten table setting, you will notice that she uses simplicity to achieve a classic and tasteful table. Subdued and minimal, in my opinion, looks best! And, makes for easier prep.
These flowers look a little more orange in the photos, but in person they were the perfect shade of gold, I couldn’t resist getting them.
For a special occasion, like Rosh Hashanah, I love having specialty flowers around, but they can get a little pricey. My trick for saving money on flowers is to buy a few really special, unique sprigs from a specialty florist and pair them with cheaper (but still pretty) ones, like hydrangeas.
Although the specialty flowers I bought were a little pricey, I saved a lot because I picked the hydrangeas from my parents yard.
Also, if you take care of your flowers, they can last for a long time!
Along with the gold tone flowers, these were some more of the specialty flowers I purchased.
I continued the use of cooler and airy tones with blue-ish napkins that I found at Pottery Barn.
I wanted to do an easy napkin design. No fuss, just simple and elegant.
First, I set the dinner plate down.
Then I folded the napkin once, and placed it on the center of the plate.
Then I placed the salad plate on top.
I then finished it by adding the silverware to each side of the plate.
I love how much movement this napkin design brings to the table. Since I used a table runner instead of a more commonly used tablecloth, the napkins give the table a full effect.
Now for the Rosh Hashanah details!
Traditionally, we eat round shaped challah on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a crown. This year, instead of a round roll on everyone’s plate, I thought these cupcake challahs really resembled the shape of a head wearing a round crown (plus cupcake challahs are adorable, so you can’t go wrong!
I use marble slabs for challah boards. I love the modern, classic and clean look they give off.
For my decorated challah board, I started by placing hydrangea leaves on it. Then I placed this giant round challah I made on it and added smaller challah cupcakes around it.
I also added some new fruits, including figs and golden berries.
I chose figs because they add a dark, warm feel to the table decor. They also have a blue tone, which matches to the blue-ish napkins.
The golden berries add more of that golden tone I wanted for a warm, fall feel.
It’s all about details people!
I made this challah cover. Again, I wanted a unique and youthful look to the table. I don’t always want to use a velvet or super fancy challah cover, so this one did just the trick!
For the apple dipping, I thought it would be fun to have a few different types of honey for people to try. I found these adorable 3-section bowls at Home Goods. After I bought them, I started noticing them in stores like Pottery Barn and Sur La Table-for double the price. You can say I was pretty happy with that purchase 🙂
I used 3 different types of honey here. Creamed honey, honey with dried cranberries and orange zest-infused honey. For the orange honey, just add 1 teaspoon zest to every 5 tablespoons honey-the longer it sits, the better it tastes. My family LOVES it!
In regards to the new fruits we eat on Rosh Hashanah, I knew I wanted to incorporate them into the table setting. Like my Shavuot table setting, I love using produce as part of the table decor. Especially with fruits like star fruit, golden berries, and lychees…how can you not display them? Plus, you will have them on hand anyway, so take advantage!
I bought these adorable beehive honey jars from Crate and Barrel to display the fruit in. You can use an array of different honey jars you might already have on hand.
I really love the use of glassware. The honey jars, drinking glasses, and vases, all contribute to the decor of the room. They add a sense of sophistication and elegance.
One concept I like to follow when setting a table is to think of the vases/flowers and drinking glasses like you would match shoes and a purse- they should compliment each other. This usually guarantees a well-balanced and cohesive looking table.
For those of you who use wax Shabbat candlesticks, why keep them tucked away? I placed mine in a pretty vase-it’s a really fun way to display them.
If you use tea lights, you can fill a large glass jar with lots of those as well.
Lots of stores like Anthropology are selling extra long matchsticks these days. I thought that would be another cool idea for a candle lighting area. I found this modern vase that perfectly fits the extra long matchsticks.
Again, young, youthful and in this case, a tad trendy.
And last but not least, a honey dish display. Here I used a variety of jars and honey dishes to bring inspiration to your home this year.
Have a Sweet New Year!!!!