Decorating the Holiday Table

It’s the most wonderful time of the year... when we decorate our homes, share the joy of giving, and indulge in the smells, tastes and sights of the season.

When it comes to decorating your holiday table, throw out all of the rules you think you have to follow, and get creative! A little thinking outside the box paired with a few unconventional items, and you’re sure to wow your guests with something truly unique.

We created the holiday tablescape (pictured above) to help get your creative juices flowing.

And here are a few tips for creating your very own unique holiday table!

  1. Use a scarf or fabric as a runner. Rather than use a traditional runner on our very large round table, we found this beautiful and rich velvet scarf in one of our closets. When draped across the table, it creates a wonderful first layer to build on. If you don’t have a scarf, take a trip to your local fabric store, purchase a yard or two of fabric, and then drape the fabric casually along the table top, being sure to tuck under the unfinished edges.
  2. Don’t be afraid of multiple centerpieces. One beautiful floral centerpiece is the traditional way to dress a table, but who says it needs to be floral, and you can only have one? For this table, we took a styrofoam ball, a hot glue gun, and tons of seasonal items (think pumpkins, fruit, leaves, branches) to create an interesting grouping of objects in a range of textures and colors. We could have stopped there, but decided instead to add several trays and bowls full of fall goodies. A rectangular silver tray holds pine cones, which are not only interesting to look at, but also provide a subtle outdoor scent. A simple gold charger, on top of an upside down bowl, showcases a group of shimmery gold pears. And fresh artichokes look great when displayed in an inexpensive metallic bowl, perched on top of a second matching bowl that we’ve flipped upside down to create a stand. Varying the heights of each item adds interest, and allows everything to be seen. We’ve used unconventional items, displayed in an untraditional way, to set the backdrop for our place settings.
  3. Do mix patterns. There is no rule that says everything needs to match. In fact, tables that have a mix of china patterns and colors, are often more interesting. For our table, we started with a metallic gold charger, and then layered various sized plates on top. Traditional crystal glasses and silver utensils were added. Like the china, it’s perfectly fine to mix patterns, especially if you don’t have enough of one pattern for your entire table.
  4. Go for jewelry as napkin rings. Adding a little bling to the table is a must, and what better way to do that than with jewelry! To dress up our napkins, we tied them with a chocolate brown velvet ribbon topped with an antique jeweled broach. Use what you have in your jewelry box, or purchase some inexpensive costume jewelry pieces.
  5. Personalize each place setting. The traditional way to show guests where you’d like them to sit is by using place cards, however, we prefer the less traditional approach. And while we’re at it, why not add some fun to the “find your place at the table” routine, and give our guests a gift to take with them at the end of the meal. We purchased these small gold framed ornaments, and added a colorful grosgrain ribbon for hanging. We dug through old family photo albums to find an old photo of each of our guests, made a black and white copy on our copy machine (don’t use the originals!), and then cut the photo to size for the frame. Guests will love to see all of the old photos, and can then take their ornament home as a wonderful memory of the holiday.

From our home to yours, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

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Filed under: creative, decor, decorating, holiday, tips
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