Red and White Christmas Tablescape
Merry Christmas Eve Eve, friends! I hope by now you are all soaking in all the family time and puppy snuggles. (Preferably with hot cocoa, a mountain of fuzzy blankets, and Christmas movies on the TV!) We’re hosting our families at our home this Christmas. We tend to keep it pretty casual when it comes to meals for the holidays, but on Christmas Day I always like to do a big fancy dinner to celebrate the reason for the season. That means, I love to go all out for my Christmas tablescape.
You can’t deny that there’s something about the level of conversation that happens around the table. When it comes to hosting in your home this holiday season, your table is your guests’ first impression to the memories that will follow — and making a memorable impression on your guests is a lot easier than you may think. All it takes is just a little more love when setting the table!
Setting your table is probably one of the most simple steps you can take to leave a lasting impression on your guests. It sets the tone for the meal and it’s the first thing they’ll notice when they walk in your dining room. So whether this is your first year hosting the holidays or you’re sticking to dinner parties with your girls, I’m about to help you be the hostess with the mostest. ’Tis the season for all things hosting, so I want to invite you into my home today to show you how you can style your table like a professional this holiday hosting season.
Table Setting Tips Video
As you probably have seen on the blog already, my sweet friend Kait Swafford is a local realtor here in West Georgia who not only helps you find your dream house – but also wants to help you turn it into your dream home. A couple weeks ago, Kait came over and we filmed some videos talking about all things hosting this holiday season for her new video series she’s launching. We had so much fun and so many laughs (and of course puppy snuggles!)
Our second video is officially live on Youtube, and we’re chatting about all things tablescapes inspire you and help you set yours with intention for Christmas dinner this year. Today on the blog, I’m sharing the video as well as a written recap for you to refer to later. You can watch the video below or watch it on her Youtube channel, HERE. (Then, if you haven’t already, you can watch our first video HERE.)
READ ALSO: My Top 5 Holiday Hosting Tips (VIDEO)
Video Recap – Things to Know!
1 | TABLE RUNNERS
First things first, I like to work in layers and textures. I start off any tablescape with a table runner. Not only does it add color and texture to a table as well as break up the wood grain, but it also elongates the table as the eye moves across it.
2 | CENTERPIECE
When it comes to designing centerpieces, I always prefer low centerpieces that span the length of the table over centerpieces that are large and sit up higher. Higher centerpieces block the view of your guests. Hence, they ‘block’ conversation. Low centerpieces elongate the table and encourage conversation among all of the guests sitting at the table. Meanwhile, low centerpieces that span the length of the table bring everyone seated inwards – creating an intimate experience for every guest (and not just those sitting in the middle.)
I like making my centerpieces the focal point of the table – pulling textures and colors from it to each place setting to create a seamless and visually aesthetic table design. For this tablescape, I really wanted to channel a traditional and classic Christmas look that was very cozy and nostalgic in feel. I started with a long wooden dough bowl on top of my table runner and added in snow fluff to give it some texture. I then placed these mini trees from Target along the length of the bowl. In between to break it up, I added these super easy and inexpensive DIY snow globes to create a very cozy and nostalgic feel. They’re unique, cute, and a great conversation starter for anyone sitting at the table. For a finishing touch, I added these DIY hand lettered ornaments to bring the eyes up.
3 | SEATING
When it comes to seating your guests and setting your table, it’s important that you seat guests with ample space. We’ve all been there at a dinner where we were seated way too close to those next to us, fighting for elbow room, and you’re super uncomfortable. As an introvert, it’s honestly one of my worst nightmares.
A great rule of thumb to follow is that you want at least 2 feet of room for each guest at the table. So, if you have a 8 foot long table, you ideally only want to seat 4 people on each side with *possibly* 1 on each end cap if your table legs allow it. So if you have an 6 foot long table, you ideally only want to seat 3 on each side with *possibly* your end caps. This is approximately a 6 foot long table, so I have set it with 3 people sitting on each side.
4 | PLACE SETTINGS
When I design place settings, I like to pull textures and colors from my centerpiece to each place setting to create a tablescape that is seamless in design and flows well. For your place settings, there are a 3 different routes you can take. You can do a basic place setting, an informal place setting, or a formal place setting.
When it comes to a casual, basic place setting, it’s all about the basics. All you need is a dinner plate (center), a dinner fork (left), a dinner knife (right, with the blade facing the plate), a spoon (right), a beverage glass (top right), and a napkin. With this type of setting, don’t feel like you have to put out extra utensils if they aren’t needed.
Now, as you make your place setting more formal, you’re basically just going to expand outwards. So to take your basic tablesetting to a slightly more elegant level while keeping it light and informal will just take the addition of just a few utensils.
- Salad Fork – far left
- Soup Spoon – far right
- Wine Glass – top right, next to water / beverage glass
Okay, so taking your tablesetting to the most elegant level is actually a lot more simple than you’d think. If you think it’s intimidating to set a formal table, remember that it just takes the addition of utensils and a few more dishes.
- Salad Plate – on top of the dinner plate
- White Wine Glass – top right, next to each beverage/water glass
- Red Wine Glass – top right, next to the white wine glass
- Bread Plate + Bread Knife – top left
- Dessert Fork – top center, facing right
- Dessert Spoon – top center, facing left
- Charger Plate – beneath dinner plate
- Place Card – top center
- Cup and Saucer – far right
Before you get stressed out on the technicality of setting the perfect table, it’s important to remember that there are literally more ways to set a table than you can count. Because, while everyone may try to follow the basic guidelines, everyone does it a tad differently. You don’t have to stick strictly to basic, informal, or formal settings. Like you can see with my table, I often set mine as some version in between the three! Ultimately, set your table to meet the needs of the meal you’re sharing.
But one thing I love to include in any tablesetting, regardless of how formal or informal, is a charger plate beneath the dinner plate. While charger plates are typically reserved for more elegant and formal settings, I love how they bring each setting to life and gives them a simple yet beautiful touch that completes the table. Another thing I love to do is to play with the napkin fold. Whether you lay it elegantly off the table, dress it up with a napkin ring, or experiment with a fancy fold, it’s up to you to get creative!
Well, there you have it, friends! I hope this helps give you some inspiration and guidance on how you can wow your guests and set your table like a professional for the holidays this year. Whether you’re setting your table casual or formal or maybe even somewhere in between this holiday season, what’s important are the people you’re sitting around it with.