10 Red Hot Tips to Transform Your Holiday Table!

  1. Sumptuous Color
  2. Personal Style
  3. Dramatic Textures
  4. Whimsical Lighting
  5. Festive Florals
  6. Trendy Tableware
  7. Tabletop Accessories
  8. Indulge Your Senses
  9. Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!
  10. Look for Inspiration
 We have all been waiting with anticipation for the holiday season to arrive.  A time to entertain and celebrate with our family and friends.  A beautifully set table will set the mood for your celebration!  For some, this is an exciting time to be creative. Get out the holiday china, design a centerpiece and start planning details!  For others planning the perfect dinner party is an overwhelming task.

A great table should be the perfect representation of your individuality and taste. It should set the mood and carry guests into a different world. It is the focal point of the room and as such makes a superb statement at first glace.  Today I am going to share with you my 10 Red Hot Tips to Transform your Holiday Table from the ordinary to the Extraordinary!

Sumptuous Color…

Starting at this essential point will make a lot of your decorating decisions easier.  Choose a color scheme for your table that harmonizes with your existing china and flatware.  Experiment with multiple colors for something more dramatic. No longer is color limited by traditional colors of red, green and gold. Jewel tones will brighten a dark room, add colour to neutral space and provide an elegant look for a special party. Stick with a color scheme and make a statement.  Remember to use the wow factor!

Hot colours for this season:

  • White + Brown + Green. Simple yet powerful and popular in rustic themes.
  • Turquoise + White + Silver. Always eye catching.
  • Mixture of Metallic tones. This can be gold, silver, rose gold or bronze.
  • Black + White. Always a classic.
  • Red + White. A holiday favorite.

Personal Style…

Personalized touches create a memorable table.  Whether it’s casual or formal your holiday table should reflect your style, taste and personality. This is a very important detail that can be lost in the planning process. Tradition is important, but I believe you need to layer your own style details on top. Incorporate vintage with modern, classic with contemporary or create a themed dinner.  You are only limited by your imagination. Enjoy the opportunity to plan the perfect table and express your personal style!

Dramatic Texture…

Texture is limitless, and the fashion and interior design industries offer wonderful trendy ideas.  Rich luxurious fabrics, beading, sequins, embroidery and beautiful detailing help set the stage. Create a stunning table with multi layered or high energy fabrics. A wide array of ready made table cloths are available. Varying textures creates dimension and adds wow to your table. Layer new linen with old or use a dramatic table runner or placemats. Decorating with lots of Christmas balls is simple yet effective.  Remember to use matte finishes along with shiny.  Add texture through glass ornaments, feathers, glittering branches, baskets, fresh florals, sparkling accessories, seasonal greenery, dimensional candles, reflective mirrors or crystal glassware.

Whimsical Lighting…

Flickering candle light creates an intimate atmosphere that is essential for a well-dressed table top.  This important aspect sets the mood for your dinner. We all remember the feeling of sitting in the dark starring in wonder at our Christmas tree. You can evoke the same feeling on your table top. Use candles in large numbers, stagger them at different heights and use different textures, sizes and colours of candle holders. Use varying sized mirrors under your candle holders to reflect the candlelight.  Add silver candle sticks with glam mirrored candle holders.  Choose holders that reflect light and create sparkle on your table.  Remember…the eye travels to the brightest area of your table.

Festive Florals…

Nature offers an amazing array of fresh fragrant fruits, florals and berries. Adding fresh florals to your table adds both colour and dimension. Work with a floral designer to create a seasonal arrangement in your color scheme or purchase florals/greenery at your local supermarket and experiment yourself. A simple yet effective design is to use a single type, or color of floral or greenery in multiple vases. Using non-traditional flowers adds unexpected impact to the design.  Use an antique tea set, favourite vase, polished silver or crystal glassware as your container. Scatter floral petals, fresh greenery or pine cones down the centre of your table for the finishing touch.  Add cranberries, gel, faux snow or coloured stone inside a glass container for drama.  Pine, cedar and magnolia leaves are the best choices for long lasting greenery.  Don’t forget to keep your arrangement low to the table or above your guest’s sight line, as conversation is as important as good food!

Trendy Tableware…

A beautiful table setting sets the tone for your dinner table. This is the perfect opportunity to mix the old with new. Use your heirloom china with jewel tone charger plates, mix coloured and clear glassware or vintage linen with colourful new napkins.  Great china and glassware add a whole new dimension to your tabletop. Jazz up your table with colorful serving accessories, chair covers or chair décor for dramatic impact.  Great tables have never been easier with local rental companies supplying tables, chairs, dishes, glassware and linen in a variety of colours and styles. All of this can be delivered to your door and picked up after your event.  Starting your collection?  White dishware is always a great starting point.  Add current seasonal colours to update the look of your table.

Tabletop Accessories…

Transform your tabletop with the perfect accessories.  They are the finishing touches that make your event memorable. There is no need to replace your existing table accessories.  Build a solid base of glass, silver or gold accessories and jazz them up with new touches such as feathers, shiny ornaments or glassware in trendy seasonal colors.  Add personal touches like beautiful napkins with a distinctive napkin fold. Accessorise them with ribbon, a unique napkin ring, seasonal greenery, florals, menu or Christmas balls. Customize place cards or delight your guests with an exquisitely wrapped gift at each place setting. Hot accessories for this season includes glam ornaments, feathers, jewelled detailing and mirrored accents. Mix metallics for instant elegance.  Small details have big impact!

Indulge Your Senses…

Think about indulging the senses!  Try to appeal to all five senses in your table top design. Play seasonal music; create a specialty drink or cocktail for your event, add mouth watering food, wonderful decor and magical candle light.  Scented candles can add a wonderful touch to an event.  Remember to be careful about mixing scented candles with foods.

Appealing to the senses sets the mood and adds to the success of your get together!

Repeat… Repeat… Repeat

Add consistency throughout your table by repeating colours, themes and decorating elements. Use this principle for colour schemes, ribbon choice, patterns and florals.  Use an abundance of one type or colour of ornament for impact.

Look for inspiration…

We all find inspiration from things around us.  When choosing your colour scheme and décor details find inspiration in;

…favourite fabrics
…your home decor
…magazine photos, including fashion, home and holiday
…blogs, websites
…existing holiday décor
…the opinion of a trusted friend

Enjoying your festive dinner party is important!  Don’t get so caught up in the details that you leave your self exhausted and stressed.  Simplicity is key for a busy host or hostess.  Handle the elements you enjoy or have time for and hire professionals to finalize the details. Most importantly have fun and enjoy your guests!

Happy Entertaining!

Elizabeth Johnston

Creative Director

Midwest Living
Country Living Magazine