How to Design a Christmas Tablescape
Creating a festive and stunning Christmas tablescape is an important part of any host’s duties when entertaining friends and family for the holidays. Not only beautiful but also a conversation piece, well-designed table decorations naturally include the linens, cutlery, dishes and glasses, but they also involve centerpieces, bouquets of flowers, name cards, crafty coasters and any number of other stylistic enhancements.
If you’re left flummoxed by the ins and outs of table design, here are some helpful suggestions for creating a flawless and impressive Christmas tablescape that appears totally effortless.
Choose a Theme
This may seem awfully transparent, after all, isn’t the theme Christmas? But there are greater nuances to it than that! Think about the mood you want to create. Do you want a jewel-toned bright and energetic affair or a calm, cool nod to Old Man Winter? Larger dinner events are best kept warm and happy, while more intimate occasions can choose a subtler route.
Once you’ve decided the theme, you’ll want to fix on a colour palette. Christmas’ famous red and green hues are a great start, if you’re having an animated party. Since those shades tend to dominate, complement them with some softer tones like a pale gold, creamy white and earthy chocolate brown.
If cool colours are more your style, amp up otherwise understated snow whites and chilly blues with sparkles and glitter. It imitates the crystalline reflection of light on snow and adds a sense of warmth and festivity. See how Michelle from FrenchFlair used silver to add a dramatic touch to her tablescape.
Photo from Frenchflair on Houzz
Start With the Centerpiece
Before picking out the fine china or deciding how to fold the napkins, focus on the most important part of any tablescape: the centerpiece. This will be the focal point of the evening, and the item that really gets the conversation started. There are thousands of ways to dress up the middle of the table, but some of the most popular options for Christmas include bouquets of poinsettias, natural pine wreathes and ornament-bedecked candles. Rustic options lean towards pinecones, branches and small hollowed out stumps. Here’s one we love:
Photo from Michelle Edwards on Houzz
Elegant decorations involve votive candles, glass vases and bowls of shellacked fruit. Here’s a gorgeous example of an elegant tablescape:
Photo from AMR Design on Houzz
Add Linens, Dishes and Cutlery
The tablecloth, runner, napkins and dinnerware don’t have to be costly to look chic. Party, warehouse and fabric stores are excellent resources for finding inexpensive materials that provide a striking end product, so don’t hesitate to splash out on a few other items and save pennies here. Layering is key for an eye-catching design.
Photo from Focal Point Styling on Houzz
Start with a relatively plain but tasteful tablecloth. A solid colour is always a safe bet. Build upon that with a flashier runner; using burlap is a recent trend for shabby chic table sets, but a silk fleur-de-lis patterned option looks stunning for a fancier effect. Next come place mats and napkins. If you’d rather fold napkins into attractive designs and place them on the dishes, rather than to the side, that’s also a fabulous idea. Finally, stack plates in order of use, with the salad plate or soup bowl last. This pumpkin-topped setting from Focal Point Styling is another adorable design.
Christmastime gets busy, but if you can spare some extra time it’s always nice to add a customized element to the tablescape. There are many ways to do this, from handcrafting coasters out of tree branches to printing out name cards with individual well wishes written upon them, but it shows your guests your dedication to the evening.
Entertaining, first and foremost, should be fun. Designing an admirable Christmas tablescape is all about creating a mood, one that’s warm, welcoming and delightful. Use these suggestions to help style your dinner table without adding any stress to the process, and discover how easy it is to fashion a one-of-a-kind tablescape that’s totally unforgettable.
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