Decorating for the holidays is one of the most joyous things I can do for my family. It creates an ambience for the season. And, certainly, my holiday tablescape is no exception.
For some, creating a holiday tablescape can be as daunting as the figgy pudding. When I am on tour, this is one of the most popular questions. So, I’ve created the 5 Steps To Holiday Tablescape Design. It all revolves around a basic white china. This approach helps to illustrate the idea of playing with your dinnerware and allowing it to change from season to season. Feel free, of course, to layer in your floral dinnerware or christmas pattern, as the same basic rules will apply!
STEP 1: Choose a Theme
Creating a theme for your holiday tablescape sets the mood and tone. It doesn’t have to be complex. It can be a color, a fruit, memorabilia or a combination thereof.
STEP 2: Color & Accessories
Once you’ve picked your theme, think about how color works into that theme. For example, if you own a beautiful persimmon tree, why not pick the theme PERSIMMON? You can begin to imagine having a dynamic centerpiece of persimmons, but how else can this theme be carried through? What other household items do you have in that color range? Chargers? Ornaments? Colored vases or votive holders? You may choose a cream tablecloth and accent the table with persimmon napkins. TIP: Nature is a wonderful color guide. Look at a persimmon completely and find all the different colors in this one fruit: the skin, the flesh, the stem and even the tree leaves. PRESTO! Nature has created your color palette for you!
STEP 3: The Centerpiece & The Lighting
This is where many get a little unsure of themselves. The best approach is to keep it simple and manageable. Start with your theme. Find large serving pieces that you won’t be using during table service. A pedestal bowl is ideal for a centerpiece. Fill with ornaments, candles, fruits, pine cones. And in this case, a huge bowl of persimmons is a gorgeous idea. Add candlelight. This is your ambience…so be thoughtful about how many candles and where placed. I like a votive at each place setting and 2-3 nice candle vignettes on the table. Add a table runner down the middle. All you need to do now is accessorize with details.
STEP 4: The Details
The details happen at each place setting. The napkin ring is a signature statement that helps to accent or reiterate your theme. Adding a gift at each place setting is a wonderful tradition. It doesn’t have to be anything big; an ornament, candy or small votive makes each guest feel special. Place cards are also important and this is a great project for the kids.
STEP 5: Nature
At this point, you’ve probably already incorporated some of nature in your centerpiece or in your place setting details. Adding pine cones, twigs, berries, garland, chestnuts, fruits or flowers is a table setting must. The combination of nature and candlelight really helps to create a world’s away vibe. And that’s really what a holiday tablescape should do. Stop time. And create a special moment for you and your loved ones to enjoy.
Here are some examples of Holiday Tablescape Themes that you can choose from. And, of course, interpret to reflect your own personal style!