With Christmas just round the corner, it's easy to get bogged down in the shopping, the wrapping, the work do's and squeezing in as many cheesy Christmas films as you can (thank you Netflix!) Before you know it, it's Christmas eve and apart from a box of crackers you grabbed on your last trip to the supermarket, the table has long been forgotten!
This is a real shame if you ask me, because wether you're hosting a intimate dinner party for 2, or have got the whole family round, the coming together to share food is one of the biggest parts of the day and that calls for a beautifully dressed table. Don't panic though... be inventive and dig out some old crockery and get creative... To give you some inspiration (and because I love pretty things) I started playing about with some different looks for your festive tables...
And the good part is, as I've stayed well clear of all things red/green/gold/glittery these looks can easily be used of other events from having hosting a dinner party at home, to supper clubs, restaurant styling and even wedding table scapes.
To make things easy, I'll show one look at a time and break down each look, giving you a few details and ideas of how to recreate it at home...
So here goes...
Look 1: All White on the Night
So for this look, I stayed clear of colour almost completely, using a very limited palette a calm and classy finish has been achieved. I first created a centrepiece using mismatched clear glass candlesticks and decanters which I filled with long white candles from ikea! (great cheap multi packs) I also used a length of lace fabric to add some texture and softness.
Use a mix of wine/water glasses and create a focal point using layered plates.I have used some of our vintage fabric napkins but this would look equally chic with plain linen napkins or even paper ones...
Create sweet little place cards using card and a metallic pen and curling the edges round.
Look 2: Pretty In Pink
For this look I used a popular colour combo of blush pink and green. The focal point of this is a marble and rose gold edged chopping board which I've topped with a mix of green glass and natural stoneware bottles. These have been filled with greenery, nothing fancy, i think these were left over from a bouquet I received a while ago and this proves you don't need to splash out on expensive blooms, we all know this time of year is expensive enough as it is!
Again I have layered a mix of plates to make it look a little grander and have added some warmth using brass goblets and cutlery. One simple candle adds more warmth and a length of blush lace creates a soft background.
Create pretty place settings using vintage napkins (you can pick these up in charity shops very cheaply and it's lovely to give them a new lease of life) For the place cards, I've just used simple Kraft labels which I've added a strip of crochet lace to and poked a pretty green sprig through to tie in with the greenery.
This vintage mismatched look could easily be changed using your own crockery and things found around your home!
Look 3: Natural Textures
For this look I took inspiration from these amazing textured balls we found in ikea but you could create a very similar look using fir cones and twigs so no need to go our spending lots of money.
To add some height some balls were displayed in a cake stand bowl and I also used some on the plates. Further texture was added with these lovely woven place mats. Plain white napkins tied with a grey velvet ribbon added some luxury and handwritten place cards were displayed in our saltshaker holders!
I then used some of our vintage glasses and some white candles and clear glass candlesticks in the background. I adore this look and to me it it perfect for a winter table or a woodland themed wedding or event. It feels luxe but also natural and simple!
Look 4: Nordic Blue & Brass
For this look I let centre stage be dominated by some vintage nordic inspired textiles and warming brass accents. Always check out the textile baskets at car boot sales and in charity shops and you will find some lovely table cloths and napkins like these ones.
I kept the rest of the decor simple for this look, a couple of brass vases with dried flowers in one corner and a stunning vintage double decanter holder in pride of place!
I made these sweet place settings using vintage lace cards and my old 1930's typewriter and you could easily recreate something similar at home. A dried flower helps add some texture and detail.
The mix of warming brass and cool clear cut glass will always be a favourite for me and it works perfectly with the tablecloth if you ask me!
Look 5: Retro Mustard
I had fun with colour on this one!! Mustard is one of my fave colours and it works beautifully well with vintage brown bottles. This look also proves that you don't need to splash out on masses of flowers to create a pretty look! These grasses and balls were saved from a recent shoot I worked on and if looked after can be used time and time again.
The glass dome can be filled with anything you like but I chose these wonderful brass elephants from our wedding and the rest of the table was styled with layered plates (vintage 60's mustard ones and modern grey ones from Ikea) Vintage amber accented glasses and colourful retro printed fabric napkins,
I used an old curtain for the table cloth and for the place settings I used a hand-drawn card clipped onto the stem of a pretty yellow flower. Have fun with your decor, this proves lots of colour can still be classy and stylish!
Look 6: Garden Green
This look may make you green with envy... but panic not, it's easy to recreate. Green single stem bud vases were purchased from Wilkenson for a couple of pounds each and they match perfectly with these long tapered candles from Tiger (2 for £1) A large hurricane vase and pillar candle adds a glowing centre piece and the whole table is bought together with these stunning vintage plates again recused from a Charity Shop.
Sweet simple place settings keep things elegant and a combo of different height/style glasses makes for a fun quirky look.
This gorgeous embroidered table number could easily be adapted to say anything and pops of colour come into play from more dried flowers and sprigs.
Sometimes keeping to a simple and using a limited number of complimentary colours means things can easily come together and look 'put together'.
Look 7: Winter Warmer
This look is another one of my faves, it's just so warm and scrumptious!! The dark wood just adds to the richness of the table and the focal piece is reminiscent of Beauty and The Beast if you ask me!
Lots of brass has been used with various tones of pink, claret and burgundy. The centre piece all works up from a beautiful old brass tray, topped with vintage books and a glass dome. Scattered with dried roses. This is something that is so easy to make at home, simply let your roses dry out in the vase and then snip off the stems once they are fully dried...
I love the way these napkins have been knotted and lying on top of more layered plates they look pretty fancy if you ask me! A simple kraft paper tag and hand stamped name makes for a simple but effective place setting.
The Luxe feel is added to by a mix of long tapered and short pillar candles... a mix of styles works well here because the whole table has a vintage feel!
So there you have it.... I hope you've enjoyed these 7 different looks and you're feeling all inspired about decorating your table at home now.... Don't panic about going out and spending lots of money... here's a few tips to get you one your way and use what you have at home/can get for free/cheaply.
*Don't worry about purchasing expensive blooms, dry out any bouquets you may have round the house at the mo and get outside... Take trimmings from the garden or nearby woodland/open spaces . Even bare twigs can look beautiful!
*Candles make everything lovelier... there's nothing like the flickering light of a candle, If you don't have any candlesticks check out your local charity shops or improvise with vases, bottles, glasses you've already got at home. Soak off labels from bottles to instantly get a collection.
*Look around your home and see what you can use to add some detail/interest... Old books, vases, trays, place mats, material, quirky ornaments etc... all these can be used to make your table scape look unique. You can even borrow items from your tree to add to your table!
*Layer up different sizes plates to make things look fancier (a lot cheaper then buying charger plates too!)
*Play around with a mix of glassware, different sizes, styles and height. You can always pick up pretty old crockery at charity shops and if you can't get a full set don't worry keep to a limited colour palette like blue & white for example.
Get creative with your napkins... Even a paper napkin can look fancier if folded in a unique way or if it's been tied together with a bit of ribbon/lace.
*Make place cards... no matter how small your dinner party may be, this little detail transforms a normal meal into something a little more exciting.
*Have fun and be creative... at the end of the day... you've made an effort and your guests will appreciate it!
If any of you are inspired and want to share your table settings, I'd love to see what you create! Also feel free to ask any questions!