There are lots of ways to make the holiday season a special one. Spending time with people you love, giving back to the community, and creating an ambiance of warmth are all up there as meaningful pursuits this time of year.

Making your celebration feel special also lies in the details. Adding a sprig of rosemary to homemade cocktails, leaving a chocolate on over-night guests’ pillows, lighting candles that smell of pine forests – all will add to your holiday experience.

In this week’s blog post, we dive into table-setting, and creating a scene worthy of awe (and Instagram stories). Read on for a list of tips, tricks, and inspiration to bring your feasting experience to life.

Build your table theme around the dishes and glasses you already own. There’s no need to rush out to purchase a new dining set, when your holiday shopping list is already lengthy. If you don’t have enough settings for all your guests, mix and match your types of plates, playing off the jumble of designs.

Simplicity is often more elegant than opulence.

Elle Decoration Sweden 2

Photo: ELLE Decoration Sweden

Consider using non-traditional colours – like a light blue or pale yellow.


Photo: Martha Stewart

Decide on whether your table is best with or without a tablecloth. You could even drape a sheet across your table. Or find the perfect swatch of cloth at your local fabric store.

Use nature to ground the aesthetic. Dashes of cranberry red, bunches of rich fir green, pops of deep purple flowers. But there’s no need to overdo it.

Create a welcoming plate situation by fanning twigs of fir needles or placing a stem of red berries on top. If you plan on serving an appetizer, layer your plates.

Etsy Moody 2

Photo: Etsy

Bind cutlery together with a strand of rattan or a satiny ribbon to match your palette.

Etsy Moody

Photo: Etsy

Run a line of fir boughs or eucalyptus branches down the centre of your table. Perhaps scatter candles throughout the natural bedding.

Eucalyptus Runner

Photo: Pinterest, credit unknown

Skip the natural route and place delicate paper balls on your tablecloth for decoration.

Paper balls Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest, uncredited

Deepen the mood of sophistication with a black or dark grey palette, and switch out green for jewel-toned flowers.

Elle Decoration Sweden

Photo: ELLE Decoration Sweden

If you’d like to direct seating arrangements, label place-settings with hand-written name cards. Even if you don’t mind where people sit, it’s a thoughtful detail to include.

Don’t forget the basics – water and wine glasses (placed to the top right), cutlery for all courses (utensils used first are placed farthest from the plate), napkins, and salt and pepper.

Happy Holidays!