Holiday Table Setting Tips

With the holidays fast approaching, are you thinking about how to set a stunning holiday table that will be easy, and beautiful? In answer to some of your most burning questions regarding table setting for the holidays – here are my best Holiday Table Setting Tips. With some creative and innovative ideas, you can reimagine what your table-scape can look like at home.  I’ll give you tools to make your own holiday table wow. 

Holiday Table Setting Tips

Holiday Table Setting Tips

A Perfect Start

When planning your table setting, sometimes the hardest part is just where to get started. I suggest you begin, well, at the beginning. Choose a runner, placemats or a tablecloth you love as the base, and build your table’s design from there. After choosing your jumping off point {which can also be the wood of your table!} add a few seasonal decorations, and candles.

For this table, I began with a large antique paisley throw that had all the colors I love for fall. It just looks so perfect with the colors on the Staffordshire plates, and the cognac linen napkins.

Holiday Table Setting Tips

Create Visual Interest

Choose a creative centerpiece next. I adore flowers, but that isn’t the only option. Think outside the box when designing your centerpiece – have fun with it! Creating visual interest can be done in so many ways – do something surprising. One of my favorite ways to make a table come to life is to take an ordinary item and using multiples, a big bunch of the same color flowers, like orange tulips all in one vase. Or pile some velvet pumpkins in an antique French compote like I have for this table. Anything and pretty much everything works!

Multiplying any item on your table creates an eye-catching and elevated design your guests will love! One of the prettiest holiday tables I think I’ve set here at FrenchGardenHouse was a Christmas breakfast table when our little people were truly l i t t l e…I used two cake pedestals in the center of the table and made a little village with tiny cookie houses, little Christmas trees, and small vintage sheep, deer and elves. They were enchanted. {I was so busy enjoying them I never did get a photo, unfortunately!}

antique transfer plates for Thanksgiving

Mix and Match

Dress your table like you dress yourself. Your table setting is another opportunity for you to show off your own personal taste and flair at home. I am a firm believer in the mix and match situation on a table! You can mix dishes, silverware, and linens to your heart’s content. If you like a little bit more uniformity, go for a single color palette, or simply repeat a setting at every other place. The possibilities are many, you can mix patterns, even different centuries and/or eras.

I love the look of vintage bakelite flatware on this table, each setting has a mix-matched set of fork, knife and dessert spoon. I think they look fabulous with antique French glassware, the Victorian paisley throw and the Staffordshire plates. There are many ways to use different napkin rings, I love the leopard napkin rings, you may prefer the classic French gold fleur-de-lis?

The Next Level

Pay attention to the details. Place cards with each guest’s name written by hand by you are a welcoming touch, and ensure a smooth “sitting down at the table” since at times it can be awkward for guests to figure out where they should sit. If you’re serving your world-famous ribs, the old-fashioned finger bowl {water with a tiny sliver of lemon in a bowl} and a large napkin is a thoughtful touch. Guests can then quickly rinse their sticky fingers and use their big napkin to dry them.

Make it Memorable

Aside from an enchanting table, simple but really good food and sparkling conversation, a little gesture of gratitude is the cherry on top of a lovely gathering. I suggest you leave a little gift for each guest to take home. It can be your favorite tapers for them to take home, a small bag of homemade cookies, or even a favorite quote or scripture written out by you on a little card. Here I used our Gilded Twine Gift Wrap Set to embellish each setting. I wrapped the gilded twine around the napkins, used one of the cards with the gold crowns as placecards, and set the hand made wreath on top of each setting. The guests will go home with the rest of the spool of twine, and a box of the crown cards, too. Going the extra mile will give the people you love with a lasting memory to cherish of your time together!

Thanksgiving table setting

Holiday Table Setting Tips

I hope these Holiday Table Setting Tips inspire you to set some gorgeous tables for this season!

Do you have any special tips or tricks you use for setting a fun, festive table? We’d all love to learn from you!


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