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Setting the Thanksgiving Table with Sam Hamilton of March in SF

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Setting the Thanksgiving Table with Sam Hamilton of March in SF

November 20, 2017

Every year, we ask our favorite style icons for their take on the holiday table; each setting is wholly different, and we love hearing each person’s philosophy of the dinner table.

This Thanksgiving, it’s Sam Hamilton’s turn. For Sam, proprietor of design-forward kitchen store March in San Francisco (and who, at least to us, has probably the best design eye of anyone in the city), Thanksgiving is a time for family and not a time for being anxious about the table. “At Thanksgiving, people typically reach for their finest—their wedding china, silver flatware, white tablecloths,” she says. “But I like to keep the table relaxed and less fussy; it’s a time for family, and you don’t want people to feel uptight.”

Sam’s main tips: Be comfortable with a little imperfection, like wrinkles on the tablecloth and natural-looking produce. Keep pitchers of both water and wine on the table within reach, so people can easily pour themselves another glass. And mix earthy and accessible wares with more refined pieces. Let’s see how she did it.

Photography by Leslie Santarina for Remodelista.

Setting the Thanksgiving Table with Sam Hamilton of March in SF portrait 3_11
Above: The March Thanksgiving table is set on a Black Sawhorse Table from Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co.; it’s 9.5 feet long and made of black-stained oxidized white oak; $6,000. Behind it, holding the vase, is the company’s Table Stool; $690.
Sam’s Thanksgiving table, set in the March store in San Francisco, embraces a wholly moody tone: “I like going dark and bringing up the light with food and candlelight; putting things against a dark background spotlights them,” she says.

Setting the Thanksgiving Table with Sam Hamilton of March in SF portrait 3_12
Above: The tablescape is set on a folded Boxwood Linen Fringed Tablecloth in the color “arabica,” cut and sewn in upstate New York of European linen; $550 for a 72-by-120-inch tablecloth.
Though March offers wares at the undeniably higher end of things, “Not everything is precious at the table,” says Sam. “My vintage cups from the 1970s are glass, not fine crystal; I like mixing them with things that are more refined.”

Setting the Thanksgiving Table with Sam Hamilton of March in SF portrait 3_13
Above: Scattered across the table is a single March Brass Menorah, which functions as nine individual candlesticks when separated; $2,500. Two gunmetal pillar candleholders by French ceramist Georges Jouve are Sam’s own.
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Above: At each setting is a salad plate and dinner plate from Brickett Davda’s Black Plates collection, made by hand in the UK of glazed stoneware (available in four sizes, starting at $52 for a dessert plate). The flatware is Sam’s own vintage Alan Adler sterling silver.
Setting the Thanksgiving Table with Sam Hamilton of March in SF portrait 3_15
Above: Sam pours water from a Spruce Crystallized Pitcher by Christiane Perrochon ($600) into vintage 1970s bronze-hued glasses from her own collection. Each setting is anchored by a Rush Matters Round Mat, a 16-inch-diameter placemat made by hand of bulrush harvested from freshwater rivers in England and woven using time-honored techniques.
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Above: Table jewelry: Perched atop each salad plate is a Small Bowl by designer Ilse Crawford, made in Denmark of solid brass; $175. Tucked beneath is a Boxwood Linen Fringed Dinner Napkin to match the tablecloth; $55 each.
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Above: For coffee service after the main course: Lobmeyr Espresso Cups ($55 each) with plated brass Saucers ($165 each) on a Black Oak Serving Tray by Belgian designer Michaël Verheyden ($3,400). A Spruce Crystallized Teapot ($900) and Spruce Crystallized Dessert Plates ($105), both by Christiane Perrochon, stand at the ready.
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Above: Made by hand in England, a Sweet Chestnut Trays by Annemarie O’Sullivan has a base of handwoven willow with a chestnut bark hoop. The small tray shown here is $375. At right is an Italian Berti Ox Horn Bread Knife, also $375.
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Above: Florals need not be fancy, even in an heirloom-quality vase: Here, a simple branch clipped from the yard rests in a slate Flower Vase by Christiane Perrochon; $2,700.
Setting the Thanksgiving Table with Sam Hamilton of March in SF portrait 3_27
Above: In the foreground is a solid brass Dew Trivet from Swedish design house Skultuna, inspired by Art Deco floral patterns; $260. “I like a less formal centerpiece,” says Sam. “Flowers mixed with fruit feels like a cornucopia.”
For more Thanksgiving tablescapes, see:

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