Decorating for Christmas and the holidays might be one of the best traditions at the end of the year. For the founders of Set with Grace, Tammy Gera and Nina Seitz, helping others find their own distinctive holiday table décor is just as fun. “Recognizing that Christmas is a very personal holiday where families cherish tradition and unique customs passed down from generation to generation, we find ourselves creating a unique tablescape design for each of our hosts and hostesses,” Tammy says.
The holiday tables they create include classic holiday features. Picture a table enveloped in the warm glow of candlelight, fresh florals, arrangements of tree ornaments pepper the spread and accent bowls sit filled with fresh fruit or candied nuts. There might be even a family heirloom or two. To further emphasize their clients’ loved ones, the pair might even layer in personalized place cards with special messages for an added sweet touch. All these table accents feel like holiday magic at its finest.
Yet all these traditional go-to holiday motifs doesn’t mean the pair only likes a traditional red, green and white color scheme. “Be it soft pastels like baby blue to plush pinks, to vibrant bold colors or even natural rustic tones, our goal is to create a tablescape that reflects the host’s style and preference,” Nina says. “We find that incorporating color trends can infuse a contemporary and fun twist to a Christmas table.” It’s these personal touches that truly make Christmas and the holidays spent with family even more special.
In fact, Tammy and Nina now decorate tables because they were inspired by their own family gatherings. “We both shared a love for making ordinary moments, like in-home Sunday brunches or book studies, into extraordinary experiences with a touch a creativity,” Tammy says.
The pair are first cousins and the daughters of Greek immigrants whose bond grew around their families’ respective dinner tables and thriving restaurant businesses: Spiro’s Restaurant and The Tenderloin Room. “Our fondest memories are scented with the smells and flavors of our mothers’ Greek cooking and echo with the passionate conversations of loving and lively families.”
With their experience of hosting and their eye for beautiful tablescapes, Set With Grace was born. Both women played integral parts in the success of their respective family restaurants, and their roots are based on the powerful connections and memories created around beautifully set tables. “As adults, we continued the tradition of hosting family gatherings, where we continued to stay connected with our shared passion of a beautifully set table,” Nina says.
Now the pair makes beautiful tablescapes for clients. The process includes a consulting phase where they invite the customer in for a design session. “With a blank table, or what we like to think canvas,” they mention, “and inventory around, it’s pretty amazing to see how a customer’s personality begins to transpire.” The pair’s fine tabletop collections include a curated selection of boutique style dinnerware, glassware, flatware, linens and accessories that clients can select from.
Slowly, the pair layers in a few basic pieces and encourage clients to pick out some of their pieces on hand to incorporate into the design. “They are hesitant at first, but they really start to have fun putting things together, switching out plates, linens, flatware and glasses until we come up with something that’s perfect.” In the end, no two tablescapes are ever alike. “And we see the excitement of our customers as they start to express how excited they are to host their event and can’t wait to see the faces of their guests when they sit down at their table.”
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