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:
Snowmen and Snowballs Tablesetting
The Christmas Rose Tablesetting
Blush Pink Holiday Tablesetting
The Christmas Greens Holiday Tablesetting
Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells Jinglin’ Tablesetting
Twas The Night Before Christmas Tablesetting
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poincettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablescape
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