Alivia Fields’ Layered, Bountiful Holiday Tablescape
There is this wonderful sense of deliberate thought and care to everything Alivia Fields does. The photographer—who also runs her own travelogue, Never Going Home—centers sustainability and intentionality in her everyday life and work. We were elated for Alivia to (virtually) invite us over for dinner, sharing the stunning holiday tablescape she created for us and sitting to chat with us. We talked about how her ethos heavily influences her design eye, her and her husband’s recent deep dive into DIY projects around their new home, and the comforting familiarity found in travel, whether around the country or internationally.
You describe yourself as a wanderer—tell us a little bit about how your sense of adventure played a role in becoming a professional photographer.
An incredible realization I had during my early days of becoming a photographer was I could use my skill set and camera to take me anywhere I wanted to explore. I began pitching photography projects to prospective clients, with the twist that I would be photographing them abroad, or on a road trip, or a mountain top. Once I confirmed these projects, I’d book a flight and set off on the adventure, using my photography funds to cover the cost of my trip. Over time, I was able to profit off of my travels too by booking work whilst on the road. It truly felt so genius at the time as a young twenty-year-old gal, and I’m so grateful for all of those experiences that have guided me to the position I am in today, professionally.
Slow, intentional living and sustainability are two passions of yours. What are some small ways we can all adopt that thinking into our day-to-day lives?
Something I like to keep in mind while curating my slow lifestyle is asking myself “why?” before I make a purchase or a big decision. It helps me take a conscious moment and be intentional about my next steps. When applied to sustainable living as well, it just makes sense. Taking even a few seconds to notice your intentions before moving forward can make a monumental difference in the long run.
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Would you then say that sustainability and living intentionally influence your design ethos as well?
Absolutely. I think long and hard before making a design purchase, as I try to take time to source something made of lasting quality, preferably with natural, earth-derived materials, and a timeless design so that I can enjoy it for years to come. This also explains the simple and neutral color palette I tend to stick to with design and decor. It helps to have a simple palette for the big things, so they can evolve with your style over time.
Can you talk about your creative process in designing this holiday dining scene? We love the color palette!
Thank you so much! Believe it or not, this was my first time putting together a tablescape. My husband and I custom crafted our first kitchen table, and I designed this the day we brought it home because I was so excited to finally own a table, ha! I’d like to thank all those years of scrolling interior home photos on Instagram and Pinterest for leading the way in this dining design. I love starting with a neutral base—like these dining chairs, placemats, and candle holders from Lulu and Georgia—and then adding natural, seasonal elements, such as these rust-colored linen napkins and dried foraged foliage from our recent trip to the Northeast this past autumn.
For those celebrating at home this year, what is one recommendation you would make to elevate the look of their holiday table?
Layering! I’m usually a less-is-more gal, but I recently allowed myself to start layering with my decor, and it makes all the difference in catching someone’s eye. Even if it’s just layering a salad plate atop of a larger piece of dinnerware or placing a smaller cutting board atop another, with a ruffled linen cloth underneath, it seriously goes a long way in elevating the space. Plus, layering just feels fancy and fun! Play around with different pieces, and don’t be afraid to try something out of your comfort zone.
We are huge fans of your DIY projects, are those your favorite part of your holiday decorating?
Thank you, thank you! My husband, Zach, and I only recently started doing DIY projects when we built our home this spring, and it has been so fun learning how to use different tools, painting techniques, etc. Since this is our first year living in our house for Christmas, we have been trying to craft and build as many decorations as we can, and I think it’s something we’re going to be doing for years to come. However, sometimes it’s fun to shop for decor too, so I’m always staying up to date on L+G’s newest arrivals!
Is there a tradition you’re most looking forward to this festive season?
Last year, my husband and I decided to create a new tradition for our first Christmas together—having a living room sleepover on Christmas Eve. It was so magical falling asleep watching classic Christmas movies, and waking up to see the tree sparkling at the cusp of dawn. I think it’s something we’re going to try to do every year! Who doesn’t love a cozy living room campout?
You also run a beautifully-shot and curated travelogue, Never Going Home. Have you found yourself exploring more around your home state of Oregon to stave off the wanderlust?
I appreciate the kind words! Curating wholesome travel experiences is one of my favorite things to do, especially since there are so many beautiful places just waiting to be seen and photographed! At the beginning of this year, we committed to only traveling in the USA for 2020, to appreciate our own country. Little did we know that was going to be our only option! Thankfully we have still been able to visit about 15 or so states this year on various road trips to explore our country’s natural wonders. However, we can’t wait to travel abroad again in due time.
What is the spot you are dreaming of traveling to when we can?
I would think that we’d all want to visit somewhere new and exciting once things calm down a bit, but to be quite honest, I have a desire to revisit so many places I’ve already been to! There must be something comforting about the familiarity of a foreign land. That, and we had to cancel our one-year anniversary trip to England this summer, so we are counting down the days until we roam about the English countryside once more!
What is next for you and your photography?
Always a great question that allows me to look inward and reflect! Through all of the staying home we’ve done this year, my passion for interior design and photography has sparked! Moving forward, I’d love to spend more time honing in on interior and architectural photography, as well as delve deeper into the world of interior design. Zach and I already want to build or renovate another home, so we’ll see where 2021 takes us!
Photography by Alivia Fields