How to Set a Beautiful Table for the Passover Seder
Hi, I’m Rivki Rabinowitz and I like beautiful things.
My need to create has been a driving force in almost everything I put my attention to. I went to school for interior design, naturally attracted to the blank canvas a space holds for beauty, and organically segued into the career I now like to call “food journalism.” Being able to combine my passions - literature, food, and creativity - is truly the dream gig. In reality, injecting beauty and colour into my home, my food, and the way I set a table is simply an extension of how I see the world.
When it comes to the yomim tovim, nostalgia is the primary catalyst for the food and decor that I construct. For me, Pesach has always been predominantly about tradition: my mother’s blue and gold dishes, the bechor we always fight over, that strawberry-chocolate-ice-cream-mousse-hybrid I always snuck and finished after the lunch meals were long over. Using that nod to tradition, and fusing that with the freshness that accompanies spring, were the sources of inspiration here.
I began by choosing dishes that combined my personal association with tradition: something with gold, something that lacked modernity. I added in the green layered plate to connect back to the concept of spring and renewal. Wanting to ensure that this table felt like Pesach and not any other holiday, meant that I wanted a playful nod to something related to it: in this case, the makos were represented in the differing napkin rings. Being able to combine a cool factor with the functional pieces of a Seder was like winning the design lottery- gold, glitter, and acrylic are pretty much paradise in the form of Judaica (used here: Seder plate, matzo box, salt shakers, and uniform haggadahs). Essentially, each detail blended into the other, finishing off with the stunning florals.
You want to recreate this at home?
I wish I had a 1, 2, 3 formula, but each of our storage, kitchens, and pantries differ, especially on Pesach. I’ll disclaim this: I was lucky enough to have a few amazing Toronto vendors lend their talents and inventory to help pull this table together, but you can do it yourself, too, with what you have at home, or from places like Homegoods/Homesense. It’s all about the layering!
Knowing this, for the at-home domestic aficionados – begin with what you already have. If it’s dishes or a tablecloth, begin with those. Base your colour scheme off that and off the existing décor you are working with. My pet peeve is when people create looks that are not cohesive to the surrounding style. I’m all for mix and match: but it has to be INTENTIONAL.
If we’re starting with the cloth, spread that out. Choose dishes that work and complement those tones. My main inspiration: SPRING!
Once you’ve set what you currently own, add the fun layering pieces, like crisp or patterned napkins, napkin rings, cute place cards, and of course, FLORALS! I love creating floral moods interspersed with fragrant citrus, juicy grapes, quirky dragon fruit and figs, even simple herbs. Keep the Seder in mind and the crumbs that come along with matzo…the less you have to clean, the better.
How to recreate this exact look at home:
- One pink tablecloth
- Dishware – white with gold accents, green accents get some bonus décor points! We used white-glass water + wine glasses for a springy and bright pop.
- Florals: Tell your florist your scheme is pink, green, and gold (note: for floral purposes, you can even say marigold) but that you want to capture a wildness in the florals. Request a loose arrangement, with differing heights and tones, and quirky additions.
- Add some napkins (cloth napkins used here). Create this look by pulling from a point in the middle, and creating a narrow bunch. Attach a napkin ring and lay by each setting. Uniform haggadahs in the same colour scheme complete the look.
Happy Crunching…er, FEASTING!
Seder plate, matzo box, salt shakers, haggadahs: Crown Judaica @crownjudaica.toronto
Flowers: Crown Flora @crownflora
Tablecloth and napkins: Around the Table @att_linenrental
Dishware, flatware, napkin rings, glasses: Splendid Settings @splendidsettings
Photos by Ksenija Hotic Photography @khzen