Set the perfect tablescape with Michael Aram's new line

Designer Michael Aram stop by Hoagland's of Greenwich to show us how to create a gorgeous table setting. Drawing from his new collection and from past success stories, plus using other objects that were on hand in the store, he mixed, matched and...

Michael Aram, who divides his time between homes in New York and New Delhi, recently stopped by Hoagland’s of Greenwich to create a tablescape just for CTC&G. Drawing from his new collection and from past success stories, plus using other objects that were on hand in the store, he mixed, matched and pulled together an elegant and inviting design.

What was your starting point for this tablescape? I love to bring a metallic composition to a table. I was excited to use the [Richard Ginori] gold charger—it’s the perfect foil for my shimmery, pewtery Cast Iron Collection and the Olive Branch Collection, which have a metallic glaze to them. I chose the sparkly coppery round placemat—very "un-me" because I’m usually not so glitzy—to accentuate the metals. I love organic materials, so the dark wood of the table was the perfect "mat" for the tableware, and it points to how we like to set tables that apply to real life. Now, with twins at home, I still want an elegant, beautiful table, but one that works with how I live. Today’s entertaining is about the casualization of formal and the formalization of casual. Here, the combination of metal objects, stemmed water glasses and tumblers for wine makes you feel relaxed; it reminds me of going to a wine bar in Spain. The mix and match of that—using a beautiful Yeoward goblet for water, for instance—frees you from traditional rules.

How is your Olive Branch Collection created? We start with Limoges porcelain. Hand-painted watercolor art is transfer glazed onto the Limoges. A metallic glaze is applied on top of that. It becomes a warmer tobacco-y gray color with a metallic shimmer. And everything in the new line is dishwasher safe: It makes it so easy to set a holiday table. The five new patterns work well with each other. You can freshen your table by bringing in accent plates from one or the other, or you can just replace napkin rings or add seasonal plates.

What other tips do you have for entertaining? Some people face entertaining like they are standing at the edge of a cliff. The important thing is just to do it. You need to keep it fun, beautiful and elegant. Make it your own! Mix in family heirlooms or quirky things that you’ve collected—natural objects, like stones from the beach or twigs from the yard. I use beautiful crystal from my grandmother for votives that run along the length of the table. And I like to use her pink demitasse for espresso with dessert. Currently, I am obsessed with Waterford Wedgwood black basalt. It feels very modern, but also classic.

What are your three favorite things to include on any table? 1. Nature: This could be flowers, rocks, pebbles, seashells. 2. Good food: It doesn’t have to be a Julia Child masterpiece, just something yummy. 3. Beautiful tableware: You want your guests to know that you put thought into it, that you’ve really considered the moment. It adds richness to the evening.