How Eleish Van Breems’ Founders Create a Scandinavian-Style Holiday Table

These heirloom-worthy picks are perfect for gifting—or keeping!

November 29, 2023

It’s that time of year when the tabletop takes center stage, as family and friends gather from near and far to raise a glass to good health and indulge in some warm, wintry bites. And when it comes to creating a memorable seasonal setting, Eleish Van Breems co-founders (and childhood friends) Edie Van Breems and Rhonda Eleish have all the inspiration we need. “A festive holiday table can be adventuresome and surprise with unexpected hues inspired by the outdoors, and natural touches from our own winter landscape,” says Rhonda.

The pair’s swoon-worthy shops in Westport and New Preston, Connecticut, and Nantucket specialize in furniture and decor from Scandinavia, where holiday decorating is a way of life, turning the region’s cold, dark days into cozy, festive ones. Many of the artful gems found at Eleish Van Breems come with their own rich history: For example, Augarten’s Viennese-porcelain champagne cups—a fixture at Rhonda’s family celebrations since childhood—are a colorful, contemporary take on Marie Antoinette’s 18th-century coupes. Or take the giftable serving trays from Skultuna, a company that dates back to the 1600s and still creates custom pieces for the Swedish royal family. Modern-day designs like Marimekko’s woodland-inspired “Ketunmarja” (or “fox and berry”) stoneware are destined to become future heirlooms. And bone china plates adorned with red bows from Gustafsberg Porslinsfabrik, Sweden’s oldest and last porcelain manufacturer, are a particular favorite of Edie’s: “They are so simple and special and mix well with things like antique silver,” she says. “I love using them for a formal meal or to add fun to the breakfast table.”

Ready to add some Scandinavian charm to the holidays? Read on to see some of our favorite pieces from the Eleish Van Breems collection that are just as perfect for gifting as they are for keeping in your own family for generations to come.

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