Decorating Diva

Holiday table talk

Welcome to Decorating Diva, where every week we share fresh, fun ways to update your home and spice up your living space! From centerpieces and tableware to stunning serveware, we're sharing our best table-setting tips for a stylish sit-down dinner sure to impress your holiday guests.

Christmas tablescape

Add some alternate colors

There are no rules that state red, green and white must be the only colors used around your holiday table. Decorate outside the box this year by opting for alternate combinations of hues. Adding a pop of vibrant color against white always works well (we love purple or a jewel tone like emerald against white), or try incorporating gold or silver with red or green. The key is to play with the classics, rather than relying on them. Traditional with a twist is a great way to spice things up and create a more eye-catching table.

Place card perfection

If you're having a larger holiday gathering (eight or more), place cards are a must. They might seem too formal, but they really just make seating much more efficient. There's not confusion over who sits where and no one feels awkward trying to figure out where to go or what to do. But get creative with your place card holders to add even more festive flair to your table. These 10 Lords a Leaping place card holders from Pottery Barn are adorable ($46 for 10), as are these Christmas tree place card holders from Williams Sonoma ($30 for four).

Centerpiece to impress

No holiday table is complete without a showstopping centerpiece, and there are several options for creating one to impress this season.

  • Ornament bowl: Fill a large glass bowl or vase with one type of ornament (either all one color or varying shades of the same color) you're not using.
  • Evergreen elegance: Fill a ceramic vase with evergreen boughs and pinecones. Add small red bows if you want a pop of seasonal color.
  • Candy centerpiece: Add red and white Christmas candies to a glass vase and then pop in some flowers of your choice. Red candy with red flowers makes a statement, or try yellow blooms with red and white candies.
  • Glitter pinecones: Spray paint pinecones with glitter and once dry, simply add to a basket or wooden bowl.

Cast a warm glow

Nothing says festive like the ambiance that comes from lots of candles and tiny white twinkle lights. Add a row of tea lights down the center of the table for a seasonal glow (you can remove them when it's time to eat) or group together three or four larger pillar candles of varying heights for a simple but holiday-ready table display.

Avoid overcrowding

While it may be tempting to cram as much festive decor onto your table as possible, remember that guests should be able to pass dishes comfortably (i.e., without someone getting gravy on their favorite Christmas sweater) and be able to see each other amid the candles or centerpieces. Trust us; your table will look much more elegant when you take a less-is-more approach.

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