The most important aspect of celebrating the holiday season is that we're together again. Whether it is for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas, the act of simply gathering around a table for a delicious meal and conversation makes all the difference. After a couple of years of infrequent visits, Stefana Silber and her family are excited to host their family for Hanukkah at their Maryland home. We were so excited because the interior design and home blogger recently welcomed us to share a preview of her festive tablescape as well as her go-to entertaining and styling tips. As you walk into the dining room of her colonial-style home, you notice the rustic and organic elements—wooden taper holders and serving board, and seasonal fruit and greenery. Stefana finished by styling her place settings simply and chicly, allowing the meal and impending company to take center stage. We chatted about her journey into interior design and blogging, her favorite decorating trends, and her advice to enjoy hosting this season. Read below for more.
Tell us about your journey into interior design. Was there a moment that led you to start your own design blog?
My interest in interior design and decor started years ago with the remodel of our previous home. What got me started with the design side of my blog and Instagram account was when I shared the completed kitchen renovation in our current house. It brought a lot of attention to my small account at the time and was what led me to continue sharing on the blog and Instagram as we renovated our home one room at a time, mainly through DIY.
You and your family are in a rural suburb in Maryland, and you've also spoken about being a New Yorker. How do these two settings influence your design style?
My big city life and experience definitely inform my aesthetic but only when it comes to fashion. When making choices about our home, I like to consider the architecture of the house—Traditional Colonial. I have been updating the furnishings and finishes, but I steer away from design choices that feel out of place in a brick colonial-style home.
What do you want to inspire in people when they walk into your home?
Whether a friend comes for a visit or my many friends on Instagram view my posts and stories, my goal is to show them how to take inspiration from acclaimed designers and apply it in their homes in an accessible and affordable way. If I can do it, so can they.
Happy Hanukkah! What is one holiday tradition you're looking forward to the most with your family this year?
I love this time of year because it combines our favorite family holidays—Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. I look forward to finally seeing our family, especially after a couple of years of infrequent visits. The food is always delicious and plentiful, and the kids have so much fun hanging out with their cousins and opening presents.
Your tablescape looks gorgeous; what was the inspiration for your dining room this holiday season?
For us, Hanukkah is not so much about lavish decorations but more about casual fun gathering with family and always around the table. I wanted to use natural colors and materials but emphasize the textural element—the ricestone bowl, wood serving board, stone serveware. I love incorporating seasonal fruits and greenery as decor and table centerpieces.
You've layered a few Lulu and Georgia pieces into your tablescape. Is there one that's emerged as a favorite?
Without hesitation, that ricestone centerpiece! The wavy shell-like design and the dimension of the material are unlike any piece I have ever seen before. It can be used as a dining table centerpiece and stand alone on a shelf or console table. I love versatile decor pieces!
Any advice for those looking to update their tablescape this Hanukkah season—including maybe a couple of people wanting to recreate your dining room's look?
I share a lot of Christmas decor and have had quite a few people reach out to me looking for ideas for equivalent decor for Hanukkah. It is true that there aren't as many decor items that are associated with this holiday. I always suggest incorporating seasonal greenery, fruit, wooden objects, and other natural elements. A prominent symbol of Hanukkah is the menorah and candles. Feel free to add more candles to your decor in addition to the ones burning on the menorah. Opting for new napkins and placemats will help elevate a casual table setting into a festive tablescape.
Similarly, do you have any go-to entertaining tips for those who are hosting for the first time?
First-time hosting can be so nerve-racking. Just remember that nobody is going to look at how clean your baseboards are. Focus on enjoying your time with family and friends and savoring the food and drinks. I like to do as much prep work as possible before my guests arrive and not worry about cleaning up too much. You can always do it after the guests leave.
Speaking of your dining space, what are some personal touches that are important to you?
My dining room is probably one of my most liked rooms and designs in my house. I love displaying seasonal greenery or vase filler, favorite decor objects, and vintage-style framed art on the buffet.
What's a festive season decor trend that you feel is underrated?
My go-to decorating trend for the festive season or every day is always objects borrowed from nature—dried branches, florals, pine cones, moss, leaves, shells, or grasses. The colors and textures found in nature are the best enhancement of any decor.
What's next for you and your blog?
My Instagram account has grown quite significantly in the past year, and the best part of that is that I get to reach and make connections with that many more people. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my design ideas recreated by my followers. My goal is to continue inspiring and empowering them with my home decor and designs. We have planned for quite a few bathroom remodels in the new year, which is both exciting and scary. More fun content to come!