Every aspect of the holidays is designed to help you slow down, relax, and indulge. But for the hosts and hostesses, the holidays present an entirely different ball game. Preordering the turkey before it sells out, delegating tasks to family members or friends, coordinating menus, shopping lists, and sleeping arrangements can get exhausting. The least we can do is help you set your table.
From simple styling with your favorite dinnerware and beautiful floral arrangements to more elaborate looks with calligraphed menus and layered table linens, there's always a way to make your table feel festive, no matter how much time and money you want to spend. We turned to our favorite hostesses and entertainers to provide us with a healthy dose of tabletop inspiration, along with some tips to get you started. Pick your favorite, and re-create the look—these tablescapes are deceptively simple.
Keep It Natural
We love the natural color palette of this table by Jenni Kayne. Re-create it at home by filling a pottery vase with dried florals in earthy tones like queen protea, banksia, pampas grass, cattails, red broom corn, and bromeliad. Finish off the look with rustic hand-thrown plates, seagrass tumblers, and a pretty feather atop each plate. Keep everything else light to avoid looking too rustic.
Add a Touch of Glam
Black isn't a color we often think of when it comes to holiday décor, but Sarah Sherman Samuel proves it can look gorgeously festive and modern in this holiday tablescape. We love her use of mixed metals—gold and brass—and her produce-filled arrangement using artichokes, pears, and a baby watermelon. Using fresh produce in your centerpiece is a great way to repurpose it after your dinner and save costs.
Make a Bounty
Eggplant-colored napkins, persimmons, and a lush magnolia leaf garland bring this vivid tablescape from Erin Hiemstra of Apartment34 to life. We love the mixture of green glass goblets; gold napkin rings; and black, white, and gold dinnerware—the look is fresh and elegant without feeling stuffy.
For a chic and edited tablescape, look no further than Athena Calderone's dinner parties for inspiration. This gifted hostess has given this holiday table a decidedly glamorous look by pairing dainty, modern flatware with unfinished textures like natural linen and slate cheese boards. It's all about the juxtaposition.
Revisit Your Classics
Purple cabbage is an unexpected and gorgeous option for a floral arrangement—and it is juxtaposed beautifully with pears in this tablescape by Rose & Ivy. Meanwhile, a deep dark velvet tablecloth mixes with antique dinnerware, and gold and marble accents create a moody, romantic vibe.
Use Found Objects
We love the balance of warm and cool colors in this table setting by Kara Rosenlund. Belgian linen, strips of upholstery tape, and a bowl full of walnuts give the tablescape a rustic Scandinavian style, and a sprig of herbs with a small feather taped to each plate makes a chic place card.
Opt for Seasonal
To create a charming centerpiece for her fall backyard bash, Jenni Kayne called on the help of floral designer Moon Canyon, who used seasonal veggies and blooms to give the table a lush, bountiful feel. In the centerpiece, she incorporated artichokes, kale, tomatoes, and even butternut squash.