My holiday table is inspired by the hydrangea in my backyard. I was able to cut the hydrangea before it matured and turned brown.
The hydrangea in the tablescape came from a white hydrangea bush. It dried this beautiful shade of green that blends well with my dining room wall color and the tabletop tree and so the hydrangea became my theme for the tablescape.
How to Get the Custom Curated Look
The key to achieving a custom-designed tablescape is to strategically plan the look and make it cohesive. This can be done by first choosing a theme and color scheme for the table. I find, once I have selected a theme, it keeps me focused in the tablescape creation.
In this tablesetting, I have chosen a somewhat casual, relaxed theme that focuses on elements from my garden. Because, the hydrangea has turned a pretty shade of green, I have chosen the neutral green as my main color supported by gold, ivory, and white accents.
Before I buy anything for a tablesetting, and to achieve a tablescape that looks curated and custom made, I start by looking around the house to see what I already own or have available in the garden or backyard that can be incorporated into the tablescape. Nothing new was purchased for this tablesetting. I have had the gold trees and baubles for years and re-purpose them to wherever I need them each Christmas. Integrating items you already own creates a curated look, makes the setting more personal and, of course, it’s more economical.
Create the Tablescape Before Arranging Placesettings
When constructing a tablescape, piece by piece, directly on the table, I recommend starting with an unset table. You don’t want to be touching glassware with your arm and potentially knocking glasses over, causing breakage, as you try to reach into the center of the table to place items in the tablescape. Also, if there are pine or fir needles (fresh or faux), glitter, etc., involved, those will inevitably find their way on to plates and napkins and into glasses and, well, that’s just not the kind of garnish guests want to see in or on their food and drink! It’s just awkward to try and create a tablescape amidst placesettings. If you need to have parameters set for the spacing of the tablescape itself, I suggest setting the charger plates at each placesetting as markers. These can then be cleaned before the actual plates to be used for food are added.
Sometimes, I leave the table bare and other times I use a tablecloth such as the vintage Irish linen white tablecloth I have used in this setting. I find the white makes a great canvas for the elements of the tablescape to stand out.
One of the most important factors to consider when constructing a tablescape is its height. For the comfort of guests, and to enable them to communicate across the table during the meal, keep the height of the tablescape below the eyeline of seated guests.
For this tablescape, I started with a couple of good quality large faux greenery piks placed end-to-end in the center of the table. This provided the anchor base and shape, added depth and fullness, and also dictated the general size and expanse of the tablescape.
Next, I used an odd number of the focal point items – in this case, the three gold trees – and positioned them into place.
From there, I took the hydrangea and placed it in, around, and throughout the tablescape. There is no need to be overly fussy about keeping the hydrangea placement perfectly symmetrical. Instead, work on the flow, movement, and keeping the look natural.
Any place where I noticed gaps, I filled in with some greenery. Either fresh or faux greenery can be used. I chose freshly cut boxwood and holly from the bushes along my walkway. I opted to use just branches of holly that had no berries as there was no red connection to the tablescape and the leaves of the holly tree have such a lovely shape. Every time I step out my front door, I marvel at the stunning beauty of the holly bushes, particularly after a fresh snowfall.
I find, when creating a tablescape consisting primarily of flowers or foliage, it is best to limit the number of different kinds used. A general rule of thumb is to choose one signature flower (in this case, the hydrangea) and use a significant amount of it. This allows it to make a statement without competing with a number of other varieties of flowers. Using the boxwood and holly leaves, which are darker shades than the hydrangea, gives depth to the tablescape and also contributes to the seasonal look.
Some Christmas balls/baubles in light colors were added to inject some brightness into the tablescape and the metallics, of course, add texture, shape, and interest.
I added some ribbon here and there to connect the tablescape to the ribbon on the tabletop tree in the dining room, thus keeping the look cohesive and coordinated.
Because the hydrangea is tinder dry, I don’t want any open flame from candles on the table so have opted for battery lit gold glittery votives to give a warm glow and sparkle. A string of battery-operated twinkle lights with fine gold wire is strung throughout the arrangement to give a magical ambience to the table, particularly for evening dining.
Some brightly wrapped parcels in gold and white were placed, kitty-corner, on opposite ends of the table, adding a festive and glitzy look.
This neutral, nature-inspired tablescape is versatile enough that it will coordinate well with a number of different dinnerware choices. Here, I have set the table with plain white dinnerware (my all-time favorite!) but the tablescape will go equally well with my formal china that has enough green and gold in it to match. It will also work with my red and green plaid casual dinnerware and it would also complement my green and white vintage dishes. It’s always great when this can happen as it extends the use of the tablescape over the holiday period and the table’s look can be changed by simply switching out the dinnerware, napkins, and glassware.
I am a big fan of charger plates not only because I think they dress up a table and frame each placesetting but also because they serve the practical purpose of protecting the table linen from stains should any food find its way off a plate (it happens). The basic white dinnerware atop simple gold chargers is always elegant and sophisticated, goes with anything, and food colors pop against a white plate.
I have chosen to use white napkins with a glittery gold snowflake motif. Apart from contributing a soft textile texture to the table, the napkins connect to the gold in the tablescape and to the charger plates, again maintaining a cohesive and sophisticated look. In order to best show the motif, I have purposely used a simple flat napkin fold.
The placesettings reflect the order in which the meal will be served. In this case, the two plates and cutlery placement indicate there is a salad course followed by the main entrée. Stacking the plates gives a layered look that adds visual depth and fullness to placesettings. I have chosen glassware with lots of cut glass so that it will reflect the light and add dazzle to the table.
Setting a well-styled holiday table need not cost a lot of money. In this case, the use of free foraged natural products collected from my garden and yard provides a connection to nature and creates a neutral, yet festive tablescape.
To view other Christmas-themed tablesettings from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:
Christmas is, in my opinion, a time of the year when a tablesetting can be well glitzed and glammed up. If you want to add opulence and glamour to a holiday tablesetting, go with gold. It shines, it sparkles, it shimmers and glows in all kinds of light, and it has such warm tones. This is my Glamorous Gold Plated Christmas Tablesetting.
The Christmas color theme in my dining room is gold. It appears on my tabletop tree and in my mantle design. Therefore, for continuity, my table carries the same singular color theme.
Basic white is most often the blank canvas I start with when constructing my tablesettings. It’s neutral and, in the case of this gold-plated tablesetting, it provides a wonderful plain backdrop to let the metallics form the focal point of the table. Had I left my maple table bare, the gold-colored centerpiece would not have stood out as dramatically as it does against the white backdrop. Conversely, had I used a patterned tablecloth, it would have been very busy and cluttery looking and the effect of the centerpiece would have been completely lost.
Nothing was bought new specifically for this centerpiece. I have had all the Christmas balls, baubles, twigs, feathers, and berries for years and they have been used for many different purposes at previous holidays. So, I simply went shopping in my own storehouse!
When constructing the centerpiece, piece by piece, on the table, make sure it is completed before setting the individual place settings. Otherwise, you would be reaching over high glassware, potentially knocking them over and it would just be plain awkward. And, of course, if there is glitter involved or greenery needles, those would find their way on to the plates and into the glasses where food and drink will be served. So, the individual placesettings would be the last aspect of the tablesetting to be completed.
For this setting, I have chosen one large gold ball and then added three or four other different sized balls of a scale that will fit the size of my dining table. This type of centerpiece is scalable meaning it can be made somewhat larger to suit a longer table. It is important to keep the elements in the centerpiece to scale both to the other components of the centerpiece as well as to the size of table itself.
I have used balls/baubles with different textures with some having designs and others perfectly plain. So, in the centerpiece, I have included balls that are plain satin-finished, glittery, pearlized, and matte finish. The balls are in various shades and hues of gold. This adds wonderful texture and interest to the centerpiece plus their finishes play well off each other and they all react to light differently.
I had some gold twigs that I used to create a base for the balls. To achieve the luxe look, I did not want to introduce any greenery or other color into the centerpiece, save for a bit of ivory in the berries and on ribbon.
The twigs serve the purpose of providing a nest for the balls so they do not roll out of place. I then started with placement of the large ball, followed by the next sized balls, and so on until I achieved the aesthetic look I was going for, filling in any gaps with smaller balls. Some gold-colored feathers and ivory berries were added for interest. Finally, I strategically placed some pretty ribbon bows of ivory and glittery gold in various places throughout the centerpiece arrangement. By doing this, I addressed any remaining gaps and made the centerpiece look full and luxurious.
The ribbon corresponds with that on my dining room tabletop tree. Tabletop trees are so adorable and I find they are particularly suitable for dining rooms.
As those of you who are regular visitors to my website will know, I am not a huge fan of taper candles. I find they are a bit precarious for my liking for use on dining tables. For that reason, I typically use the more stable pillar candles in tablesettings. However, in this case, the table has a very elegant and glamorous theme so the tall, slender tapers do work better than the larger pillar candles. The tapers give height and elegance to the table and, because they are slender, they do not obstruct diners’ view of each other. And, of course, tapers burn down faster than pillars so they become even lower as the meal progresses.
I have a collection of glass candlesticks in various shapes and sizes and many are cut glass with prisms that really do play well to light. This makes them really sparkle on a table, further adding glitz to the tablescape. It is not necessary to have the candlesticks all matching and I do recommend using ones that vary in height as that contributes to layers of lighting when the candles are lit. Using clear glass candlesticks keeps the focus on the gold in the centerpiece and gives it an airy look. In other words, the candlesticks accent, and do not compete with, the gold centerpiece.
I have used two types of gold tapers in this centerpiece. Some candles have a glittery finish while others have a polished, satin finish. This adds interest to the centerpiece and does not make it look so matchy-matchy or that it all came out of a box, pre-assembled in a factory. These are the types of details that give a centerpiece a custom-designed look.
Varying the height of the tapers as well as the candlesticks, also adds light from different levels of the centerpiece. If I can, I try to add about three layers of light to a centerpiece like this – high, medium, and low – so that the centerpiece is really glowing from all angles. Of course, using an odd number of candles makes the centerpiece more pleasing to the eye.
Smaller gold-colored votives are nestled in around the edges of the centerpiece. To keep the votives clean and free from wax build-up inside, I have used small tealights that are already encased in little tin holders. They still add lots of light from the lowest level of the centerpiece. In the photo later on in this post that shows the dinnerware up close, the tea light in a votive can be seen.
I do not recommend using scented candles in a tablesetting as they can be quite overpowering and interfere with the enjoyment of the scent of a good meal. Also, anyone with scent allergies can find scented candles distressing. It’s important to always consider the comfort of dinner guests.
My fall-back for table linen is often a vintage Irish linen tablecloth which is what I have used in this setting. I am not a fan of busy tablecloth designs or seasonally-themed ones. Tablecloths with Christmas designs, for example, may be pretty but they typically require plain dinnerware so they are not too busy for the eye. Additionally, they can really only be used at Christmas and must be stored for the rest of the year.
My preference is to go with non-seasonal neutral tablecloths. If I want to have a seasonal design in table textile, I will usually opt for seasonally-themed napkins, like the cotton napkins with the gold snowflake motif shown in the photo below. Because the thread in the motif pattern is glittery, the napkins blend well with this tablesetting.
I find the best way to fold napkins that have motifs is to use a simple flat fold. Trying to fold this style of napkin into an intricate or fancy fold would result in the motif and its effect being lost.
For that reason, I simply laid the flat-folded napkin over the salad plate so it becomes the focal point of each individual placesetting. Simple yet elegant.
Dinnerware and Flatware
Plain gold charger plates frame each placesetting. The gold color connects the placesettings to the centerpiece. Chargers are an easy and simple way to glam up a tablesetting plus they serve a useful purpose in keeping the tablecloth clean should any food escape the dinnerware. We all know it happens from time to time!
I have chosen dinnerware with a significant amount of gold metallic color for this setting as it ties in with the gold theme and does not introduce another color. The contemporary metallic gold polka dot porcelain dinner plates add some pizzazz to each placesetting. The gold-edged salad plates are in a coordinating design. It is not always necessary (and sometimes it is too much) to have completely matching dinnerware. Mixing dinnerware designs is another great way to create a customized tablesetting look.
So long as the color scheme remains the same and the patterns do not clash, coordinating plates can contribute to a glamorous tablesetting. When mixing dinnerware patterns, it’s a good idea to have one plate with a fairly large design (like the polka dot dinnerplate) and the second plate to have a much smaller design (like the salad plate).
Because there is so much gold color on the table, I did not want to introduce silverware. I have, therefore, opted to use a very simple design of gold-colored stainless steel flatware. I think it is more pleasing to the eye as it holds and carries the gold theme. It is elegant in its simplicity of design.
The super tall gold and rhinestone decorated champagne flutes add grand glitter and glam to this tablesetting giving it a totally festive look and feel. When you see glasses like this, you just know it’s party time!
Because the flutes are very tall, I used my tallest wine glasses for proportion. They are about 9″ tall and are perfectly plain tulip-shaped stemware. Using tall stemware in this type of setting balances out the height of the tapers.
Consider How the Table Looks in Different Lighting Situations
When constructing a tablesetting, it is important to consider how it looks in different lighting situations in which it will be used. For example, if the dining event is in the evening, you want the table to sparkle in the candlelight. Notice how the tablesetting takes on a different hue and ambience with just the Christmas tree lights and the lit candles on the table.
The tablesetting becomes much more dramatic when lit for evening dining. Layers of candlelight bathe the table in soft glowing light and the tea lights in the votives provide great highlights to the setting. It is best to avoid harsh overhead lighting of tablescapes that have bright gold or silver as it can be quite hard on the eye and distracting.
This tablesetting will easily carry me through the entire holiday period up to and including New Year’s. There are no flowers to water or wilt and I can easily exchange my plain white dishes for the patterned dinnerware and use other glassware to change up the look without having to touch the centerpiece (unless, of course, it is to replace the candles that have melted their way down in the candlesticks).
A beautifully set table sets the tone for a wonderful meal. Using a single color palette that looks polished and sophisticated helps to create an elegant and glamorous tablesetting.
I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into my custom-designed holiday tablesetting.
To view other Christmas-themed tablesettings from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:
A number of years ago, I made these snowmen and, this year, thought they should be part of a casual holiday tablesetting that is aptly named “Snowmen and Snowballs“. So, here they are, all dressed in their finery to preside over the dinner table!
These two snowmen are positioned at opposite ends of the table because they can’t be trusted not to engage in a snowball fight! As you can see, they’ve already been busy with all those snowballs you see on the table!
I am a big fan of using what I already have as opposed to buying new items for tablesettings. In fact, I will often re-purpose decorations and ornaments (especially ones I can’t otherwise find a place for!) by using them in my tablesettings. And, this is exactly what I have done with this tablesetting.
How adorable are these little snowmen votives that adorn each placesetting!
The napkins are a rosy-pink-red pinstripe on fabric that has a homespun texture. They are very suitable for this casual tablesetting. The napkins don’t shout Christmas but are quite suitable for the season. They are also napkins I use other times of the year.
I am using my standard white dinnerware and have framed it with a red plaid charger plate on top of a round green placemat. The combination gives a nod to the traditional red and green colors typically associated with Christmas.
Because this is a fun, casual tablesetting, some liberties can be taken with the placement of elements of the placesetting. For example, because space is at a premium on this table, there really isn’t a lot of room for the cutlery on the sides of the placesetting. Therefore, I have casually laid the flatware at an angle on top of the plates as shown in the photo above.
How cute is this lumberjack snowman with his little red toque! This tablesetting is all about creating a vignette and a story and making it fun.
I seriously think lumberjack snowman is eyeing up his partner-in-crime, the bird watcher, at the other end of the table and taunting him to a snowball fight! We’ll see if we can get through dinner without snowballs flying between these two!
Around, and in between, the two snowmen, I have simply made a base of faux snow. I then just laid some faux greenery, along with some pine cones, mini white twinkle lights, and a string of snowball lights, on top of the snow. The battery-operated snowball lights do double duty in that they are part of the tablesetting story and they also add some unique lighting to the table. The snowballs look eye appealing, both in daylight and at night.
I didn’t fuss too much with the placement of the greenery, red berries, and pine cones, all of which are needed to contrast the white snow.
This type of tablescape is a good option for anyone who is not comfortable creating a precise table centerpiece as there really is no right or wrong way to position the greenery.
Some of today’s faux greenery is quite a good replica of the real greenery, pinecones, and berries. Plus, it is reusable, year after year.
Using both the snowball lights and twinkle lights adds a layer of drama to the tablesetting, particularly for evening dining. Without the layers of lights, the whole center of the table would be quite dark in the evening even with ambient room lighting.
It’s always important to think about how the tablesetting will look in different lighting situations for different dining experiences. This is especially true if the dining event is in the evening when no daylight will provide natural light in the room. The snowball lights really pop and come to life after dark. With nothing more than the tree lights, the lit votives, and the snowball and twinkle lights, the table comes to life and provides a cozy, warm, and inviting dining experience.
The little votive candles exude a warm, soft glow at each placesetting. I love the detail on these votives. They add a touch of whimsy to the tablesetting.
Typically, I would seat guests around all sides of the table. However, no matter how I positioned the snowmen, someone was going to be looking at the back or side of one of the snowmen. When constructing a tablescape, it is important to ensure that all guests, from all angles, have an equal view of the whole tablescape.
To ensure optimal visibility of all sides of the tablescape in the”Snowmen and Snowballs” tablesetting, a simple fix is to place two guests on each side of the table, leaving the ends vacant. This way, all guests have a full view of the entire tablescape/vignette.
Because the taller elements (the snowmen) are at the ends of the table and the center part is low profile, it is conducive to good dinner conversation among guests. Had I placed the snowmen in the center of the table, their height would have somewhat obstructed the view of diners of their dining companions.
I hope you have enjoyed a peek of my whimsical “Snowmen and Snowballs” Tablesetting. This setting is proof that not all tablescapes have to have the focal points of interest dead in the center of the table. Sometimes, the focal points can be at either end, or indeed, both ends of the table. This works so long as there is a connector between the two such as the low-profile runner of greenery and snowball lights atop faux snow in this setting.
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To view other holiday tablesettings from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:
Christmas tablesettings are an opportunity to use the good china, if you have it, and to create stunning centerpieces. While I don’t always use fresh flowers in my tablescapes, I never underestimate the power and beauty of fresh and softly fragrant flowers. Sometimes, as is the case in this tablesetting, only the fresh flowers will effectively achieve the sophisticated tablesetting I wanted. Just make sure that whatever flowers are chosen, they are not potently fragrant as that can be offputting for some guests. Creating a beautiful holiday table is part of the equation but the other part is ensuring guests are comfortable for the meal.
To keep the tablesetting neutral and restful, I recommend chosing a color scheme and limiting it to two to three colors that complement each other well. Otherwise, the table may start to look busy. In this tablesetting, I used the blush-colored roses and a couple of shades of green with white as the table’s background. This strategy allows the focal point of the table (the centerpiece) to stand out.
This tablesetting has the overall effect of understated elegance with just a touch of whimsy and glitter. The table is uncluttered and the centerpiece, the anchor of this Christmas tablesetting, is the single tall and elegant triangular flute-shaped vase with eight votives attached. Keeping the tabletop uncluttered creates a stylish and sophisticated holiday tablesetting. It’s classy and creates a serene and restful looking tabletop for dinner guests.
Candles create an inviting atmosphere and give warmth to a tablesetting. Votives are great because they provide an elegant soft low light to the tablesetting and they are also relatively safe to use because they are low and won’t likely tip if the table is jerked accidentally by the knee of a guest. I find tall tapers to be a bit unnerving because they more easily can tip over because of their height. I rarely use them in tablesettings for this reason.
The principal flowers I have selected for the focal point centerpiece have meanings to Christmas and are steeped in legend. Whether or not any of these legends is true or not, I have no way of knowing but they do make for good conversation pieces.
The Legend of the Christmas Rose
Legend has it that a young shepherdess named Madelon, was tending her flock on the hillside as she watched the wise men and shepherds passing by with their gifts to present to the newborn King. Madelon, in tears and despairing that she had no gift to offer to the Baby Jesus, was seen by an angel who is believed to have made the snow at Madelon’s feet disappear, revealing a rose with pink-tipped petals. According to the legend, these petals were formed by the angel from the tears shed by Madelon. This flower then offered Madelon the opportunity to present a gift at the manger. The flower became known as the Christmas Rose.
So, I have used a dozen soft blush-colored roses with pink-tipped petals as the main flowers in this centerpiece.
Legend of Star of Bethlehem Flower
This is an all-white star-shaped flower. Legend suggests God thought that the beautiful Star of Bethlehem he created to guide the wise men to the Baby Jesus was too beautiful, after it served its purpose, not to do something more with. So, the star was burst into pieces and, when it scattered to the ground, it turned into white flowers that became known as the Star of Bethlehem flower.
I have included a single Star of Bethlehem stem in the center of this arrangement.
Other Components of the Floral Arrangement
To complement the pale blush color of the centerpiece, I have added the green bell-shaped Bells of Ireland and small green chrysanthemums. The Bells of Ireland are said to symbolize good luck and the chrysanthemums represent happiness, love, longevity, and joy.
The greenery in the arrangement is comprised of fir and pine.
The tiny white frothy Baby’s Breath (seen to the right in the photo below) has much symbolism. One of its symbols is said to represent the power of the Holy Spirit in the Christian faith. Baby’s Breath is a great filler flower for arrangements and I think it looks like little snowdrops.
I am using my Royal Albert “Lavender Rose” china in this setting and have framed each place setting with a gold charger plate. I am a big fan of using charger plates for a couple of reasons. First, I think it gives an air of elegance and formality to the setting and, second, it keeps each placesetting clean. If food should happen to drop off of a plate, it is caught by the charger plate and means fewer stains on the table linen. Different colored chargers can also change the look of a tablesetting, particularly if the same dinnerware is frequently used for events with the same guests attending.
The placesettings are set with the components of the dinnerware that will be used in the order of the menu, starting with a cream soup, followed by the salad course and, of course, the main meal. This also gives guests a clue as to how many courses to expect at dinner.
To tie in the green color from the floral arrangement, and to add a bit of whimsy and interest to the setting, I am using these glittery clip-on birds. They add a festive air and interest to the table.
Table Linens and Napkin Fold
When I am using patterned dinnerware, as I am in this setting, I like to use a plain tablecloth — usually white — because it gives me a blank canvas from which to work and display elements of the setting. The tablecloth is a vintage Irish linen cloth.
The napkin fold I am using is a fold that is known by a couple of names: 1) the Bird of Paradise; and 2) the Sailboat fold. I will often set this fold on a plate but, for this setting, I am placing it inside the stemmed wine glasses because it replicates the triangular shape of the vase and its floral arrangement. When the floral arrangement is tall, I like to use some height at each placesetting so there is not such a visual drop in depth from the centerpiece to each placesetting. Placing this fold in the stemware glass graduates the height of elements of the tablesetting.
I have chosen to use matching glassware in this setting as it gives a more formal look. Using glassware that has lots of cuts will add sparkle to any table.
A tasty meal is made all the more wonderful when dinner guests are presented with a beautifully set table. No matter what is on the menu, a thoughtfully set table adds a little extra holiday flair to a dinner party.
To view other holiday tablesettings from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:
This holiday tablesetting focuses on the blush pink color. It’s a fresh look and a departure from the usual red-green-gold we often associate with the holiday period. There is nothing wrong with those colors but, sometimes, change is good.
The inspiration for this tablesetting actually came from my dining room mantle design. I had these mint julep cups and thought they would look lovely with individual arrangements in them.
This year, I wanted my dining room décor to be in a fashion that didn’t scream Christmas but yet still had an understated Christmas look and feel to it. I found these lovely pale blush pink cabbage roses at Michael’s and, well, you see the result! They have the faintest dusting of glitter to give them a bit of a festive look and, voilà, blush pink became my color theme!
The addition of fairy lights makes the mantle come alive in evening and the lights, with such a fine wire string, give the illusion that they are suspended in mid air. When I am designing my dining room mantle for the holidays, I keep in mind what the design will look like in daylight and in the evening. It’s important that the design be constructed such that it works in different lighting situations.
I have never grown tired of the pale sage green wall color in my dining room – almost any accent colors, like blush and pink gold, look stunning in the room.
Fancy tablesettings do not need to cost a fortune! When I am designing tablesettings, I don’t rush out to buy all the elements. I first go through my “storehouse” to see what I have that will work. The tablesetting I am sharing today is composed mostly of items I already had. This makes a tablesetting interesting and less of a “cookie-cutter matchy-matchy” look. It’s more curated in that carefully selected items, coming from different designs and textures, are used.
You’ve heard me say it in postings before – I like to work with a blank white canvas. It’s clean, simple, always elegant, always en vogue. I am using an antique white Irish linen tablecloth for my setting today.
Let’s start with the base. I was able to find good quality artificial greenery this year – greens that actually look real! I used two of these stems at an angle along the length of my oval dining table.
While I wanted to keep the table simple, I did add some fresh seasonal foliage, like seeded eucalyptus, to give some depth and texture. I often combine real and faux greenery to get the look I would not likely otherwise get if I used only real or all faux greens. Using some fresh natural foliage brings an element of the outdoors to the setting.
There is nothing to say the centerpiece can’t be edible! Why not make your guests salivate for dessert all through dinner! It makes a great conversation piece.
Here, I have decorated a cake which will be dessert and I have given it center table prominence by displaying it on a glass pedestal cake plate. Using a glass plate (versus a solid color) lends an airy look to the tablescape.
The cake top is constructed from Ferrero Rocher Raffaello Coconut and Almond White Chocolate Truffles to simulate snowballs, soft pink French Macarons to tie in with the blush color theme, and sugared cranberries to add a frosty look and deep color to the cake top. A sprig of seeded eucalyptus adds the natural element. Any time colored sprinkles are added to a cake, as I have done here at the cake’s base, it means it’s a party cake!
Two tall pillar candles flank the sides of the cake.
I have had the antique-look ivory pillar candle stands for years.
The candle stands have blush pink jewels hanging from their bases so they tie in well with the color scheme.
I scattered a few little white and silver votives around the centerpiece. I like to use candles of different heights in my tablescapes because their varying heights of light lend depth to the scene and, of course, candlelight always gives softness and warmth to a tablesetting. The white pillar candles have some glitter on them which adds a bit of sparking and a festive look to the setting.
In keeping with the silver and blush theme, I am using my glitzy silver and rhinestone chargers to frame the white dinnerware. I am a huge fan of plain white dishes because food colors just pop, with no distractions, on white. To tie the blush scheme in to the placesettings, I am using pale salmon-pink colored glass salad plates. I have positioned these on slightly larger white supper/salad plates because the white underneath grounds the pale pink color and provides a background for the glass plates. These pink glass plates were bought years ago at a thrift shop.
I have had these small pale pink antique pedestal glasses for years. I am not sure what their intended use was – if anyone knows for sure, please do let me know.
I am using them here for wine glasses in much the same way as I would use stemless wine glasses. The pink water glasses were a thrift shop find a few years ago. Mixing and matching styles and color tones make the setting more unique and interesting.
To add some pizzazz and glamour to the placesettings, I have opted to thread white dinner napkins through glitzy rhinestone napkin rings. Using napkin rings is a quick easy way to present napkins and you really can’t do them wrong!
I am using very basic, classic flatware in this setting and, of course, the flatware is placed in the order in which it will be used for the meal.
I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse of my blush pink tablesetting. It does not scream Christmas like reds, greens, and golds do but it is a more gentle color scheme option that works for any holiday dinner. Other than some greenery and new candles, everything else in the tablesetting (excluding, obviously, the cake – it’s fresh!) was constructed from items I already had. Proof that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a beautiful holiday-themed table.
To view other holiday tablesettings from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:
Just hear those sleigh bells jinglin’, ring ting tinglin’, to…..This is the song this tablesetting brings to my mind. Set with 222 Fifth’s Andover pattern, this dinnerware features a horse and sleigh in front of an old log cabin. This dinnerware evokes a very nostalgic setting that is reminiscent of Christmas past.
The border on the outside of each plate is a rust-red shade with ivory pinecones and holly. The horse and sleigh design is gray on an ivory background. This design appears only on the supper plate. The dinner plate has a plain center which allows the food to present well on it.
The cereal/soup bowl features only the log cabin design in the bottom of the bowl.
I used an off-white tablescloth and matching napkins to connect to the background in the dinnerware. Holly-berry napkin rings make napkin preparation very easy and add, what I call, jewelry to the table.
It seemed only fitting that the centerpiece for the table should feature a sleigh.
And, of course, who should be in the sleigh but old St. Nick!
And, here is a look at the table all set for dinner!
I added a few small tree candles to draw in that feature from the dinnerware design.
This is a very pretty set of dishes and, keeping the centerpiece simple, they get to be the stars on the table.
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To view photos of other Holiday tablesettings from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:
One of the things I like to do over the holiday season is to prepare some “greenery bases” for floral arrangements and have them ready for different holiday dinners and events. This way, it is not necessary to start from scratch to create a new floral centerpiece for every dinner party. Once the greenery is in place, floral centerpieces are quick and easy to prepare. Simply by changing the color of the flowers in a centerpiece can give a whole new look to a table.
About 10 days ago, I posted photos from a purple tablescape. I recently removed the purple-tinted mini carnations from that centerpiece since they had passed their prime and I replaced them with bright pink and white ones. Leaving the candles and greenery in tact, this centerpiece probably took me between 5 and 10 minutes to create.
While I like the white linen tablecloth look (I call it my blank canvas), sometimes I like to see the maple wood in my table. Seeing the wood on the table also lends a less formal look to the tablesetting. So, for more casual dining, this is often a look I go for.
A number of years ago, my Mom hand-quilted these placemats to match my Royal Albert Lavender Rose china. Aren’t they beautiful! The quilt pattern is the lovers’ knot.
Having a collection of charger plates that match my china means they can be used to change the look of the table as well. Having invested in my fine china, I like to use it as much as possible; however, using the same dinnerware repeatedly can start to make every table setting look the same unless you inject other elements, like different colored charger plates, candles, table linen, flowers, etc.
The napkin fold I have selected for this tablesetting is the Christmas tree fold. This is not a difficult napkin fold and, of course, it is most suitable for the Christmas season. Choose good quality cloth napkins for this fold so that the fold will stay in place.
So, here is my third tablesetting of the season, all set for this evening’s dinner.
Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.
To view other Christmas and New Year’s Tablesettings, click on the links below: