So, it’ll be Christmas very, very soon and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be burried in preparations and finding gifts until the last minute.
This year, in my french family we’re celebrating Christmas at our place, so I have several différent organizing lists lying around. And one by one the boxes get pencil-checked for things made or bought.
I’d love to try to set a pretty table for the meals of the 24the and Christmas day, knowing that we’ll be 10 for diner. Budget-wise I’d like to be reasonable and so once again it’s on differents blogs, expert websites and of course on Pinterest that I went looking for inspiration.
So here are my last-minute ideas for setting a nice Christmas table!
1./ An infallible method to make sure not to forget anything.
First, to set a beautiful table, it’s a bit like decorating your home. I like to work in layers. To create an interior, you start with the choice of floors and wall-colors (the ‘base’ layer), then the furniture (a next layer), then the lighting followed by decorating accessories, etc.
Setting a table is quite similar.
Start by choosing the table.
For most of us there won’t be a real choice to make, diner is generally on the existing dining room table. But you could think of adding a second table if you’re expecting many guests (or a longer board on the existing table, as I’ll be doing this year). If you’re looking to be original why not have a picnic-style diner on the coffee table (depending on the number of guests and the menu, of course)
Then, choose your tablecloth (or placemats).
If you have a good-looking table, don’t hide it maybe and go for some pretty placemats! And if not, the choice of tablecloths is huge, there are options for all styles and tastes.
This year, I’ll be laying out a stonewashed linen tablecloth. I like its ‘casual’ look.
Obviously, we have to set plates (and possibly presentation-plates) and cutlery.
The menu will dictate the different plates you’ll need. If you can, try to create a nice build-up of plates, it’ll add some dimension to your table decor (that’s also why I suggested presentation-plates in the title). You don’t have to take them from the same dish range, try mixing them up!
The there’s the glasses to choose.
Same as the plates, you’ll be able to determine which glasses you need according to which wines will accompany your various dishes. Don’t forget a (big) glass for water. And mixing up mismatched glasses is also a trend, so go for it!
And then for an element that’s practical as well of decorative, the napkin.
First choose between paper or cloth napkins. Then, get your imagination in gear to use it as the ultimate decorative element. You can find various different ways to fold them for example or you can get creative with napkin rings or just drape the cloth napkins under the plates. Make it fun!
And finally, decorative objects.
I hope the 5 points below will give you some ideas, but in table decorating I guess anything goes . Whether it’s with a beautiful floral centerpiece, specific decorations close to the plates, sheep skins on the chairs, candles … I’m telling you, anything goes!
2./ Choose flowers and/or plants to liven up your table
Greeneries and/or flowers always work on a festive table. At Christmas you’d automatically think of pinetree branches, but Eucalyptus -, Olive- or Ivy branches are great too. Ask your florist or if you want to do it ‘budget-style’, go for a walk in the forest.
Flowers can be really lovely for the holiday season decorations as well. You might want to check out the inspiration on Pinterest.
3./ Go up in hight
You might say that your table might not be big enough for most of these ideas? That’s quite understandable and I’ll respond; go up in hight!! Depending on your dining room you can possibly hang things (like the much-seen decorated horizontal branch). If not, a tall vase is going to be your best friend. With one single beautiful Olive branche for example, with decorations or not. Because of its height you’ll still be able to see the people on the other side of the table in the eyes and the decorative effect is guaranteed!
4./ Discover what a luminous garland will bring to your table setting.
I know, it’s such an obvious idea, not difficult but not very original either? Maybe that’s true, but still, at Christmas it’s just so lovely, right? You’ll see, sometimes just somme greeneries and a luminous garland are enough to get that Christmas-feel you’re looking for.
5./ Get that festive look with some ‘bling-bling’ details
‘Bling-bling’, which is something shiny, whether it’s golden or silver, is just so appropriate for the decembre holidays. You might find it on plates or glasses with a golden or silver rim or (a real trend this year) gold-colored cutlery.
Obviously there are many ways to add some bling-bling (shiny Christmas tree ornaments, a shiny perl garland, etc.)
6./ Make a Christmas-gift gesture on your table and add something personal.
It will be much appreciated if you add something personal to your table. Again, anything is possible, it might a small DIY that will do best; a nice menu card, a little something to indicate where your guests are seated, a pretty knife support, a napkin ring made with some greenery or even a small present next to each plate.
One year, my mother-in-law had bought lovely linen sachets (with tiny shiny stars on them) filled with yummie chocolates. She had put one to the side of each plate and the sachets were pretty too. So it was decoration and in addition we feasted with our scrumptious chocolates!
Sometimes you don’t have a lot of means and you can still create a nice table.
Last year with my cheri and the kids, we were in a holiday rental in the Landes region. I had almost nothing to decorate with and the evening of our festive meal we came home really late. In 15 minutes I tried to set a nice table anyway and although it’s more of a minimalist style, my family liked it!
I wish all of you a wonderful Christmas,