Rebecca’s Top Ten Holiday Table Decorating Tips

Rebecca’s Top Ten Holiday Table Decorating Tips

Decorating your holiday table can be fun and easy without being traditional.

I’ve personally never been one for following decorating traditions. I like to make my own path and find new ways to enjoy the pleasures of dining with loved ones and friends.
This year, in light of the pandemic, we’re keeping it intimate and small with a table for two. My favorite meals are usually small, though, anyway. I love a table with 4-6 guests, intimate enough to have meaningful conversation and relax together.
Image of the decorated table from the end and a close up of the Skull dessert plate on a larger turquoise dinner plate surrounded by bowls of fruit.

With the choice to stay home and dine without guests, it’s more important than ever to have a beautiful table and make the meal special. Here are ten of my favorite holiday table decorating tips:

  1. Skip the table cloth and use fabric yardage cut to fit, hanging over both ends to the floor. I love hand dyed batik fabrics, linen and cotton. They wash up easily and are an unexpected touch. I also love that it is a little shorter on the sides which means no one (usually me) is getting tangled in the tablecloth and causing a commotion when they get up or sit down.
  2. Choose a color palette - I like to find a beautiful bouquet of flowers as my color inspiration then place the flowers at the end of the table instead of the middle so they aren’t blocking conversation. If the table is full, place smaller vases along the center of the table low enough it is easy to see across.
  3. Cloth napkins! They’re eco-friendly and make any meal feel special. I love napkin rings but also enjoy a simple piece of twine tied in a bow as a napkin ring. It feels a little like opening a present before dinner.
  4. Mix and match your dinnerware for a casual and interesting feel. Of course I love handmade pottery but vintage and new dinnerware blended together is also beautiful.
  5. Skip the faux decor and use fruits and vegetables to bring color and texture to your table. Apples, oranges, lemons, pomegranates, grapes, cranberries...the list goes on. The best part, you have snacks all week and no old decorations in your closet. (More room for new shoes!)
  6. Visit your closet for a beautiful scarf to use as a table runner for a pop of extra texture or color
  7. Mismatched vintage silverware. I have always loved vintage silver. It doesn’t have to be perfectly polished and there are some neat tricks for cleaning it all over the internet to make it effortless. I pick up pieces at antique stores or vintage shoppes. The patina delights me.
  8. Chill your tumblers in the freezer before the meal if you’re serving cold drinks or white wine instead of using ice. If you live somewhere chilly right now, you can sit them outside to chill before dinner. No more watered down drinks! Ceramic tumblers will hold that chill for the whole meal.
  9. Lighting is everything! Beautiful candles or pretty mood lighting invites relaxation and that’s what this is all about. Relaxing and enjoying the people you are with and the food you’re eating is the whole point of the meal. When the candles are lit or the light dims, take a deep breath and let all the hectic prep stress melt away. This is what you did all that hard work for.
  10. For an eye catching centerpiece when dinner is done, use a Wreath on the table with a beautiful handmade bowl in the center filled with fresh fruit for a pop of color.

Hopefully some of these tips will inspire you to try something new on your table this holiday season. I’d love to see your tablescaping creations. Tag me at @gravesco on Instagram so we can celebrate together.

Images of the holiday table with vintage rose appetizer plate, classic white dinner plate and fruit

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