How to set a Chic Table with Verda: A Guide to Holiday Decorating

By Caraline Zeizel Goldenfarb

Originally published on Ocean Drive Magazine, December 2019

As a young girl in Turkey, Verda De Eskinazis watched her mother, Ceni (pronounced Jenny),  set a beautiful table every evening in their home. No matter the occasion, whether it be a holiday or a simple casual dinner, Ceni always created an inviting tablescape and it’s magic was in the details. Captivated by her mother’s creativity and ability to see beauty in all things, Verda has turned setting a table into an art form for today’s contemporary lifestyle. As one might expect, Verda enjoys being a hostess to her family and friends. She loves to entertain, she loves to cook and she loves to set a beautiful table - it’s a central part of her life.

After working in the corporate world, Verda attended Columbia Business School where she met her now business partner, Tania Kooros. They quickly discovered they shared a love of entertaining and they became good friends. Years later, when on a call with Verda who was traveling in Turkey at the time, Tania expressed her frustration when she could not find any modern linens at a reasonable price point for an upcoming dinner party. Verda offered to bring the linens from Turkey, which is known for their beautiful, high quality textiles. The two realized there was a massive void in the market, and thus Mode Living was born. “We established Mode Living with the idea to make entertaining fun, easy and accessible for everyone” says Verda.

Both women want to inspire others to maintain the tradition of home entertainment while considering the demands of modern life. Their collections are fashion for the table. They bring styles seen on the runway to their linens with metallics, geometrics, intricate designs and embellishments like fringe, and chain (i.e. the ‘Coco’ placemat designed after the Chanel bag). All of their designs are inspired by modern trends but woven together with traditional styles, and best of all, everything is machine washable! Verda’s approach to setting a table follows four simple steps:

The Occasion. The nature of the event will guide the entire process. Is it formal or casual? Who are your guests? Do you have kids at the table?


The Season. Incorporate the colors and themes of the season. For holidays, for example, Verda loves to incorporate metallics.



The Coordination. Always match a place settings to the dinner ware. The napkin and the china must look good together because that is the first thing you will see on the table.


The Element of Nature. A sense of warmth in the table setting is often achieved by having an element of nature on the table - floral arrangement, greens, or herbs. The occasion, the season, and the actual tableware will help define the type of element you bring in. In the winter time, you might want pine or rosemary.  This can tie the three elements above and bring it all together to make the table inviting.


All Linens availabale at
All Center pieces are from Country French in South Miami

Photos by Diego Armando Mendoza

Lighting by Junior Rojas