Welcome back this afternoon folks and I hope you’re all basking in a smug glow of cool factor after reading this morning’s music post by Penny B.
This afternoon however, you might want to put on your favourite Christmas mix tape and get festive as my lovely friend Michelle from Pocketful of Dreams is popping by to help you bring some serious festive style to your Christmas table.
Decorating the table for festive food is one of my favourite decor projects and I try to do something different every year so I can’t wait to share what Michelle has in store for you. Michelle burst onto the planning scene about a year ago now and I really rate her creativity so if you’re looking for help with any kind of event, please do look her up (details at the bottom of this post.) Thanks Michelle, it’s an honour to have you!
Image Credit: Style files
As a creative event planner this time of year is really my favourite. Everywhere looks so pretty and inviting with the twinkly lights, a warm glow, festive sounds and general feelings of merriment. It’s like little glitter fairies have been allowed to play all across the land, what could be cooler?
This feeling of celebration, decadence and abundance is essentially what most people wish to capture for their Christmas feast, with an invitingly beautiful table all expertly laid out with fresh flower centrepieces, unique place settings and the most beautiful chinaware.
But in reality, with lots of people squashed round a table that’s too small, borrowed chairs of varying styles and heights (come on, own up who does the bring a spare chair thing?) and a mountain of food that could probably feed twice the amount of people, the practicalities of dishing up the Christmas dinner can often overtake the stylish dreams of even the most creative host.
Image Credit: All the Beautiful Christmas
So here’s my tips on how to create a super-stylish, yet totally-real table this Christmas:
- If space is a real issue for you then consider serving the food in a separate serving area rather than all those dishes jostling for space on the dining table, let each guest grab a plate and help themselves, it keeps them busy and adds to the feeling of feasting.
- Before you even start to dress the table, think about who will sit where, note where the chair legs fall and if you really need to sit someone in that spot, make sure it’s a man. As the host always make sure your chair is within easy access of the kitchen for gravy top-ups and checking on the Christmas pud.
- Last year we had 14 for Christmas dinner so we used two dining tables, improvising by bringing the garden table indoors, once it had a tablecloth and various pieces of decor added no-one was any the wiser and it gave us plenty of room to spread out. If space is an issue in your dining area or kitchen consider moving into another area, can you extend the tables into a hallway or living room for example?
- If you’re stuck for space on the tabletop then a fancy tablecloth will provide some much needed impact, think bold colours in keeping with your decor, or maybe add in a vibrant table runner to give another dimension to the table, striped and checked ones work really well.
- If you want to make your table interactive then why not turn your tablecloth into a guestbook? Let everyone doodle away on the cloth, maybe sign their names with the date and a sweet message, then have someone stitch over the doodles for a permanent reminder. You could get this out year after year and look back on all the messages.
- The essentials you’ll need for the table in addition to all the cutlery, crockery and glassware: A tablecloth, a table protector or heatproof mats, napkins and napkin rings, place mats, place cards, decor items such as candelabras or votives, centrepieces and don’t forget those Christmas crackers.
The Place Settings
- There are so many ideas for making the place settings interesting, I always use a charger plate in a contrasting colour as my base and plain white chinaware on top.
- You can make the napkin into a bow-tie shape for a fancy touch, or make your own napkin rings from ribbon and twine, adorning them with natural elements like ferns and cinnamon sticks, perfect for adding a little festive charm, not to mention a wonderful scent to the table
- I love the idea above of having a peppermint candy cane or a christmas ornament as your place setting, adding a handstamped or handwritten manilla tag (like the ones you get in the post-office) is a really quick and simple way of making these into place settings, and they double up as gifts to take home too
- Or if you prefer something a little quirkier why not give everyone a snowglobe, a miniature christmas tree or a cute little figurine as your place setting gift instead. If I got the little man adorned in glitter below left, well I think I may just love you forever.
- Again if space is a real issue on your table, why not create a place setting that can hang over the back of the chairs, Christmas ornaments and bows are perfect.
- A festive decoration for the centre of your table will always add that little extra something to the proceedings and there are so many ideas for Christmas centrepieces that you dont have to restrict yourself to just florals.
- A vintage cake stand filled with sparkly Christmas ornaments is a quick fix if you’re pressed for time, or fill beautiful enamelware to the brim with moss, holly branches and ferns and a few pillar candles, if they’re scented then even better.
- Bowls of fresh fruit, like those red apples below, make an interesting display, simply add a co-ordinating ribbon and plenty of berries
- Paperwhites are also perfect at this time of year, I actually love these so much, and once flowered are really fragrant and beautiful
- Although you can’t beat a bunch of seasonal fresh flowers adorning the table at Christmas. Crisp white and luscious red flowers look wonderful in simple containers, or you could try single arrangements of cedar branches, spider mums and eucalyptus in contemporary milk glass vessels.
I do hope you’ve enjoyed my festive decorating tips and I’d love to hear what you have planned for your table this year.
Please do leave Michelle a comment if you’ve enjoyed her post and share your Christmas plans…