Christmas Tablescape Roundup

I got a little carried away with Christmas tablesettings this year so I decided instead of posting Christmas #tablesettingtuesdays until March, I'd do a post with ideas for you to take to decorate your table.  I did some fancy, some casual, some with just normal white kitchen plates and some with fancy fun stuff that I've collected.  My hope is that you can draw inspiration from them to create an amazing Christmas table to host your family and friends this year.

I think a lot of times being "pinterest-y" and going all out on a tablescape, decoration, dessert, meal- whatever it is, gets a bad reputation.  For me, it isn't about impressing people or having people think I'm the most amazing at decorating a table but its about creating a space for memories to be made.  It's about creating a thoughtful table that brings joy and starts conversations.  My word for 2018 is "bless" and I've talked a bit about it before (and may dive into it more later) but my goal is to bless people through hospitality and make them feel comfortable and thought-of when they sit down at my table.  One of my favorite quotes by Jen Wilkin that I keep in mind when inviting people into my home is : 

"Entertaining Seeks to impress. Hospitality seeks to bless"

So I encourage you to be thoughtful about your table this year.  Have fun with it, use it as a way to bless your friends and family.  Below are some fun ideas  in different levels of formality.  Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or want to know what to pair with your grandmother's china to make it look festive.  Merry Christmas!  

1) Formal Gold and Green

I'm completely obsessed with this one from a collaboration between Kate Shungu and Liz at EJD Design.  I love the layers of textures and colors, the personalization of the placemat (by EJD Design) and the Bible verse reminding guests what we're celebrating. 

To create the centerpiece I cut sprigs of evergreen (from Fred, our Christmas tree), bunched them together and wrapped them with tape to keep them together. If you're having more than 6 people to dinner, I'd suggest making a couple arrangements to put down the table.  Add votives if you're eating at night (no candles during the day). Then use your Christmas china (because everyone has Christmas china, right? ;)), fancy glassware and your best silverware.  Add pops of color with the napkin and linen.  The small wreath is from Hobby Lobby- they came in a pack of 6 for $5! Any small ornament would work really well though, just make sure the colors go together.  If you have the Spode Christmas plates, take it in a vintage direction and add ornaments to the plates that look like the ornaments on the Christmas tree. 

christmas tablesetting

2) Classic Magnolia 

I love greenery runners for dinner parties; they're easy to create, cheap and don't make it difficult for people to see each other across the table.  For this tablescape cut enough magnolia to layer down the length of your table (make sure to give it a really good shake before bringing it in the house) and then add various red and orange fruits and vegetables. For the rest of the table just pull out your favorite dishes, silverware and glassware, add some chargers if you have them and you're finished!  If you want to be an over achiever, write name cards on extra magnolia leaves.  

Magnolia christmas tablesetting


3) Colonial Williamsburg 

I love anything colonial, especially when it's Christmas themed.  Williamsburg during the holidays is magic and I wish we still lived close so we could make a day trip to see the decorations. 

After my Thanksgiving tablesetting, I dried the blood oranges to use for Christmas decorations and I couldn't think of a better way to use them than in a Williamsburg inspired table. To dry oranges, thinly slice them, pat dry and line them up on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 6 hours in 200 degree oven.  Flip halfway through.  Mine needed to sit for an additional two days to completely dry out so give yourself plenty of time to make them.  When you're ready to set the table, lay evergreen branches down the table, I find it easier to clip smaller sections and layer them rather trying to make large sections fit the table.  I wanted the table to have lots of layers so I used magnolia placemats as well as simple silver chargers and then put the napkin on top of the plate.  I used silver napkin rings under the orange slice to keep the napkin together but you could loosely tie with a ribbon instead.  

colonial christmas tablesetting

4) Casual Green and Black Plaid

All you need for this one are fun, festive placemats (I used these) and a greenery centerpiece.  Use white plates if you have them, but really anything that matches your placemats will be perfect.  Finish with your favorite glassware, napkins and silverware.  You don't even really need a table linen since you have a placemat so you could do this on top of a wooden table to create a more rustic look.  This would be especially cute for a brunch with Christmas-y hot coco mugs in place of the glass.  

Black and Green Plaid Christmas Tablescape


5) Fun and Festive

For this one, I used a funky garland I bought at Hobby Lobby, a Christmas dish towel and a jingle bell placemat.  I tied the silverware with a sparkly ribbon to add something fun to the plate, and then added a bright cocktail napkin under the glass.  Again, you can use anything you already have at home, just make sure the colors go together (I based mine off of the colors in my cocktail napkin) but just run with it and use anything that is bright and festive.   

fun and festive Christmas tablesetting

6) Blue and Silver

I had to use the blue and white china (because, duh) so I paired it with my cement chargers I think it makes for a very calm (and kind of modern?) setting.  I used the layered greenery again with tucked silver ornaments into it, simple silverware and glassware.  You could use this base with any plate you'd like though.  Set the table with a white linen, lay out the greenery runner, add silver ornaments, plain glassware, silver chargers and whatever your favorite plate is!

blue and silver christmas tablesetting

Happy tablesetting!  

Simple Ways to Add "Oomph" to Your Tabletop Decor

If you've been around here for any amount of time you've probably noticed that I LOVE tabletop decor. It started with collecting plates while antiquing with my mom growing up. We would have dinner parties with friends and everyone would have "their" plate.  I loved the conversations they started and making people feel special remembering those little details.  The love of plates then grew to a love of silver, then glassware, then serveware...etc.  With Haviland, that love has transitioned to event decor and grown to a real passion for tabletop decor that reflects each one of my clients.  I think we tend to focus on really gorgeous flowers to add something special to the table and a perfect arrangement can completely transform a table but there are so many more pieces you can add to a table to step up the design and make it unique to you.  Below are three ways you can easily incorporate into your wedding.  

1: Fun Glassware! 

You can rent colorful glassware from awesome local rental companies and it completely changes how the table looks.  Vintage Placesettings and Nimble Well both have great selections and are a joy to work with. Each stem rents from about $1.50 - $3 and is a great way to add some fun and color to either your cocktail hour, or your tablesettings. Look at how much of a difference the blue glass makes in the pictures below.    

wedding tablescape_haviland events

2: Focus on Your Head Table

If it isn't in your budget to rent fun place settings for every single person at your wedding, why not focus on the head table instead?  You can go all out of flowers, plates, glassware, chargers, etc for your VIPs.  Use the Pinterest inspiration picture that is way too over the top to do for everyone but is completely feasible for just your head table. You would have the detail pictures to add to your wedding album and if you did your toasts around the head table, it could be captured even more and make for some perfect toast pictures.  Below is a picture of a styled shoot I worked on recently to show how awesome your head table could be.  Each placesetting would be about $20 to rent.  (photo by Michelle Cox Photography

wedding tablescape_Haviland events

3: Add Fun Linens

I have a wedding this season that we've decided to upgrade the linens from the standard ones provided by the venue.  The total cost is less than $200 and it will make a huge impact.  We're also adding BBJ Linen's new velvet linen to the head table for a little extra oomph.  For another wedding coming up in June, we're doing the classic ivory linens the venue provides but adding fun green patterned runners to the tables for a pop of color.  This is a really simple upgrade but it can make a big difference in differentiating your wedding from others and making it reflect the style of you and your fiancé.  Check out #tablesettingtuesday for some fun linens.  Hint: the next couple will have bold patterns and I'm so in love with them. 

Want to explore the options for your wedding tabletop?  I'd LOVE to talk with you about it (I could talk about plates all day).  I've recently added a design consultation to my services for just this scenario :) Shoot me an email at if you'd like to brainstorm with me!