Designing Your Space for Meaningful Holiday Gatherings

Well, my friends, the season is here. Fall marks the start of more family events and gatherings between friends than any other time of year. In the spirit of bringing our loved ones a little closer, I want to share some of the best ways design can help. 

But first, I’m so grateful to tell you that Steel + Plank was invited to author an article in this season’s edition of Carpet One’s online and in-store magazine, Beautiful Design Made Simple. 

The article “Designed for Slow, Joyful Gatherings in Every Season” is accompanied by a beautiful spread of wares and furniture from our shop! 

You can find our beautiful spread on page 80 here or get your copy in any Carpet One store. For now, here’s a little peek at a few of the tips I shared in the magazine...

1. Design the flow of your gathering

When you’re hosting a gathering, you’ll want to start with the big picture first: the flow of your space. A lively gathering will have some movement, but even relaxed ones don’t have to be stationary. Imagine a friendly dinner that starts at the bartop in your kitchen, moves to the cocktail table in the living room, and settles effortlessly into the dining room. 

Or, if the weather permits, a long Sunday brunch that flows from food prep together in the kitchen to intimate conversation around the table to an after-meal walk in the sunlit outdoors.

2. Create something together

As a host or hostess, it’s normal to feel pressure to aspire to perfection and prepare everything in advance. If you are happy in this goal, that’s wonderful, but if you feel stressed by it, here’s one way to lighten your load in the best way: Make something together.

There’s just as much (maybe more) enjoyment to be found in readying the day’s leisure together, whether it’s sharing the enjoyment of roasting veggies or making a soup. You can laugh together over baking the morning’s fresh, warm bread, or invent new cocktails around happy hour. 

When it’s time to finally enjoy your group’s creations, trust me, they’ll taste all the sweeter!

3. Embrace the beauty of simple table wares

Part of a memorable gathering is taking the time to fully savor and appreciate the little things—such as the food and beverages you prepared with your friends or family. Remember, too, we eat with our eyes first. The best way to make your food the spotlight of the table (and worthy of those slow, satisfying bites) is to keep your furnishings and wares... simple. 

A table decorated with finely crafted yet unassuming wares lets the meal take center stage.

4. Bring meaning into your space and conversations

Another way to create a memorable event is to incorporate meaningful pieces into the decor. For example, this centerpiece is a piece of driftwood collected from my family home. It has meaning to me and evokes fond memories of my childhood.

Not only does it add a layer of personal warmth to my gatherings, but it inspires great conversations and a deeper connection.

I’ll wrap up this blog post here, but you can find several more decorating tips and example photos in our Carpet One article feature. (Page 80!)  I hope you read them, use them for your next gatherings, and enjoy every moment of this special time of year.

Be sure to join us in store Friday, November 8 [5-7] for our fall STEEL+PLANK Gathering! We will be showcasing a new abstract watercolor collection of art by Kathy Kitz, a Georgia artist. Brett Glenn (European Floral Design) and I will be sharing some of our favorite tips for setting the table and preparing for the holidays with local wares and beautiful arrangements to create an inviting and natural feel. We promise to provide a relaxed, carefree evening to energize you before taking on the task yourself of hosting for the holidays!

We look forward to gathering with you soon! 

Much love,


Don’t forget to subscribe below to be the first to hear about news, sales, and our infamous in-store gatherings…

Share this post

Leave a comment

Note, comments must be approved before they are published

1 comment

  • Enjoyed the informative blog!

    • Mo