If you find yourself tasked with hosting friends and family for a holiday meal, you probably want to perfectly decorate your home and create a pretty table setting for your guests.
Not sure where to start? You're in a great place! We're here to help you create the perfect backdrop to your holiday party. Learn how to choose the perfect plates, accents, and decor for your parties this holiday season.
Choosing Your Dinnerware Set
Before you start laying textures and patterns, we need to establish a solid foundation with a core dinnerware set. Your dinnerware is the base of your holiday table setting and will help you decide on the layers to come. Here are a few things to think about when choosing your dinnerware:
For maximum versatility, opt for neutral colors like white, ivory, or soft gray for your core dinnerware collection. Neutral plates, bowls, and mugs work beautifully for casual meals and formal dinners while also allowing for holiday decorating. With solid dinnerware, you're free to change up the color palette of your table setting whenever you like.
Add Dimension With Shapes
Your neutral colored plates don't have to be boring. Mix it up with untraditional shapes like square dinner plates and rectangular serving dishes. You can even mix and match round dinner plates with square salad plates. Of course, you can always keep things a bit more traditional with round plates and oval serving platters.
Invest in Quality Materials
For durability and longevity, invest in high-quality materials like porcelain or bone China (which is different from fine China). This will allow you to enjoy your dinnerware for years or even decades to come. Bone China is very lightweight while maintaining durability, while porcelain is a bit heavier but more easily accessible.
Adding Depth and Interest With Texture
Once you’ve chosen your dinnerware, it’s time to introduce textural elements that add depth and visual interest to your table design. Here are a few of our favorite ways to add texture to your holiday table:
Chargers —flat, decorative plates that are larger than your dinner plate—are an easy way to instantly add texture to your table setting. They’re available in a wide variety of colors, styles, and materials, making it easy to choose chargers that match your decor and party theme. Metallic chargers like gold and silver are popular choices for any holiday table, while wooden ones can work all year round.
Add Organic Accents
If you draw inspiration from nature, you’ll love adding organic accents to your dinner table. Stoneware serving dishes, utensils, and pitchers are all great ways to add cozy charm. Wooden accents and decor also add a warm, inviting vibe. This style adds a casual feel, so it may not be the right choice if you’re hosting a formal meal.
Choose Embossed Linens
If your dinnerware is the foundation of your holiday table, the linens are the canvas. This is your opportunity to add layers of texture, color, and sophistication. Complement your neutral dinnerware with an embossed table cloth, table runner, or napkins. These linens are a sophisticated way to add texture without being visually overwhelming.
Mix and Match Matte and Glossy Finishes
Another great way to add subtle visual interest? Mixing matte and glossy finishes. Matte finishes are elegant, while shiny gloss finishes add a bit of glamour. You can mix and match these finishes with your dinnerware and parts of your centerpiece, such as candleholders, vases, and other decor. A classic combination is a matte charger under a glossy dinner plate.
Playing With Patterns
In addition to texture, patterns put personality and style onto your holiday table. If mixing and matching patterns seems scary, we’ve got a few tips to help you create a cohesive look.
Stick to a color palette
One of the best ways to ensure different patterns work together is by sticking to a color palette. This allows you to mix florals, stripes, polka dots, or any other pattern without worrying about things clashing.
A classic black and white theme is an easy way to make sure everything is cohesive, and it allows you to add color to create contrast. You can also broaden your color scheme to pastels, jewel tones, or neutrals to help you create a beautiful and dynamic table design.
Mixing Pattern Sizes
Instead of looking for items with identical patterns, pair large scale patterns with smaller prints to visually balance your table setting and avoid overwhelming the eye. For example, a tablecloth with large florals pairs well with placemats or chargers with small polka dots or stripes.
If you’re decorating your holiday table, themed patterns are a given. To create the most cohesive table setting, follow the above advice and keep the themed fabric and patterns similar. For example, a snowy tablecloth with an embossed metallic table runner and placemats creates a gorgeous, visually pleasing table setting.
Layering With Glassware and Centerpieces
To put the finishing touches on your textured and patterned holiday table, think about layering your glassware and centerpieces.
Your glassware is a great opportunity to add more texture to your table setting. Textured and/or colored cocktail or wine glasses make your holiday table even more visually appealing. Estate sales and thrift stores are great places to find unique glassware, or you can invest in luxury drinkware you’ll enjoy for years to come.
Plan Your Centerpiece
Your centerpiece is an opportunity to tie the look of your table setting together. For a holiday table, fresh flowers like poinsettias or greenery like holly are timeless choices. Place them in vases, jars, or flower pots that complement your decor to put the finishing touches on your table. If you don’t have much space in the center of your table, sprigs of greenery in small vases or taper candles are a good alternative to full size vases.
Personalize Your Place Cards
For a formal dinner party, place cards are a beautiful touch. Opt for traditional paper place cards, or get creative and choose something that complements your decor. Examples include:
- Wooden ornaments with each person’s name, which is best for a rustic or organic theme
- Personalized napkin rings
- Handmade origami place card holders
- Personalized wooden dreidels for a Hanukkah dinner party
- Painted geodes for a modern holiday table
A personalized item or card at each place setting is a tried-and-true way to elevate any table and make your guests feel welcomed. They also serve a practical purpose by guiding friends and family to their seats!
Holiday Table Inspiration
Need some initial inspiration? Here are a few classic holiday table ideas:
- Create cozy place settings with a plaid tablecloth, a neutral table runner, and gold chargers at each seat.
- Go traditional this Christmas with a green tablecloth, red linens, and white dinnerware.
- Make a fun, modern statement by skipping the traditional red and white. Instead, opt for bold shades of pink, blue, and green. This will give your dining room a mid-century, vintage-inspired feel.
- Infuse some glamour into your holiday meal by choosing metallics whenever possible.
The Best Holiday Table is the one That Matches Your Personal Style
Creating your perfect table setting just takes a little planning and perhaps some experimenting. With these tips—and your own personal style—you’re on your way to an unforgettable holiday table. Happy holidays from all of us at Belle & June!