You can tell easily when Christmas is coming. Beautifully decorated streets with millions of small lights that blink like fireflies. Lush shop windows, each looking like a magnificent festive gift. Christmas trees, wrapped around with jolly baubles necklaces. The smell of pine and cones carried in the air. No doubt, the mood has long been set for this family celebration.
All that is left is to cook for the festive dinner. Sleeves all rolled up, ready in the kitchen. Hold on, we’ve missed something: the Christmas table decoration.
If it’s true that preparing for the festive season is already half the festive mood, then we should not ignore the table decoration. But the question is - what exactly to do?
So, my dear peaches, as a good Santa today I am going to reveal to you the secrets of the successful holiday decoration with three timeless quintessential ways. We’ll turn the dining table into a real joy for the eyes so that your guests will never want to leave.
What will you need to arrange the table: a dose of creativity and love and a pinch of persistence.
We don’t want to burn the oven, so enough talking! Let’s move directly to the decorations:
The most eye-pleasing and cosy method. Beautiful main-course plates, contrasting small starter plates, stylish cutlery, cloth place mats, cloth napkins, napkin rings are all present here.
In order to be consistent and clean, it’s important to keep the colour palette up to a maximum of three colours. In the photos, we opted for blue, beige (complemented by wood notes) and gold.
In the CLASSIC approach, visual symmetry is everything when arranging the pieces. It brings a sense of exquisite neatness and perfection.
But there’s a risk of bringing slight dullness too. To avoid it, bring more cosiness by emphasising on wooden details. Replace the usual napkin rings with jute strings. Personalise the name tags, let your creativity get wild here. For example, I burned the edges of the paper. It brings the feel and warmth of a fireplace without the fireplace.
In the name of symmetry, place the decoration in the middle. Ours is natural, with brush-like pine twigs. The skeleton reindeer, again in wood, uplifts the Christmas mood on the table.
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My golden tip:
When you arrange the table, do a trial by placing all empty plates in which you will serve the food later. This will ensure you have enough space for everything. Bitter is the taste for a decoration over which you have invested time, love and labour only to be taken down at the very beginning of the evening.
OVER THE TOP
This is the real feast for the eyes. The BIG rule here: the more different the pieces, the better is for the decoration. Nothing should be matching. On the contrary, maximum visual contrast is highly sought.
Everything is different here: plates, glasses, forks, knives, bowls, napkins. Even each name tag should be written differently. Let there be no boundaries to your imagination. This approach is highly inspired by the Mix & Match and Bric-a-Brac methods, where each element brings its own character to the table. And that is the pure magic of it.
The positive thing about Over the Top is that when you break a plate or glass it can easily be replaced with another one. There’s no need to build a matching set.
Over the Top is our favourite method at home. It’s also the most sustainable and environmentally friendly too.
Another great point here: this arrangement makes any seat strictly distinctive and therefore each of the guests - personally flattered. So be extra careful with your seating arrangement. Often, one guest will take the place of another just because of the plate in front of it.
By far, this decoration is the most cheerful out of the three. It’s the most beloved by children too, they love the bright colours of it.
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However, to get a stylish look, I will give you some tricks that are good to follow:
Although different, follow the same shape for all plates (round, square, oval),
Avoid repeating the same elements (napkins, cutlery) as much as possible, and if you do, place them as far apart as possible,
Give your creativity freedom filling a transparent vase with Christmas balls and garlands. You can use a glass water jug or carafe instead too.
Focus on paper instead of cloth napkins because of the wild variety of patterns. You can also easily use the last few left from before.
As with the classic, here number one tip is: arrange all the glasses, plates and bowls in advance to make sure there is enough space for everything and everyone.
If the rule with Over the Top was the more, the better the minimalistic is exactly the opposite.
Formal. Refined. Elegant. Everything is thought of to the last detail. There is a sense of class and restraint, but also a deep respect for the holiday and the guests. The decoration is down to a minimum, but still very noticeable.
Be sure to avoid any bright colours, patterns and ornaments on all plates and glasses. Black is highly suitable as a colour for this method. Just make sure to avoid anything too glossy.
Here, as with the classic method, symmetry is of utmost importance, so arrange all plates symmetrically.
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Take a look at the photos. There I suggest another stylish approach to arranging the table: put all cups, extra napkins, jugs, salt and pepper mills, candles and any decorations at the end of the table. This will give you space in front of you and the food will not look visually busy.
Peaches, since I know how aesthetic you are, here are some extra points to focus on if you really want to make the perfect holiday dinner:
Lighting: Let it be softened, but still bright. The light spots should fall down on the table, not on the guests. If you do not have spotlights, place two or three small lamps on the table and switch off the main lighting.
Candles: A must, they bring genuine cosiness. The only recommendation here is to avoid scented ones. An intrusive and not to the taste of the guest scent can kill even the biggest appetite. If you don't have a candle holder, use small beer bottles, covered in wax. Example could be seen in the Classic method gallery.
Music: Light, unobtrusive, not loud but enough so you can hear it in the background. And festive, of course.
Mood: Regardless of the decoration, the most important is the mood of the host. A happy host leads to happy guests. Do not let anything spoil the holiday, no matter what.
Happy holidays, peaches!
Always devoted to style,