Fresh takes on holiday table decor

We love our acorns, maple leaves and cornucopias, but this year the holidays have a fresh, new look. Gone are the days of the traditional holiday table, so let loose and choose decor that shows off your personal style. We’ll show you how!

1. Tessa 14″ x 90″ table runner, Crate and Barrel, $45
2. Home beaded cream salad plates, set of 4, Target, $16
3. Citrus napkin, Pier 1 Imports, $4

Play with color

Orange, brown, yellow and green will always be the true colors of fall — but choose your shade with a playful eye. Steer clear of deeper, muddy color tones and opt for brighter hues within each color family. These cheerful shades will bring new life to your holiday table. You can also spice things up with less commonly used fall colors, such as plum, rose, navy and even gray.

1. Cheshire white lace tablecloth, Anna’s Linens, $10
2. Multi-floral tablecloth, Target, $12

Be bold with textures and prints

The best way to create visual drama is to layer various textures and prints. Holidays only come around once each year, so view them as opportunities to go big with your decor. Mix and match lace, burlap, linen and satin until you have a luxurious look that could be straight from a magazine! Use a combination of various patterns on your fabrics, ranging from large prints to detailed embroidery work. Don’t worry if you don’t have eight place settings of each napkin or placemat — combine what you have, and then alternate each place setting to create a tailored look.

1. Beaded pumpkins and gourds, Z Gallerie, $10-$19
2. Wedgwood silver aster dinner plate, Bloomingdale’s, $50
3. Kenton 5-piece place setting, Crate and Barrel, $35
4. Dahlia gold placemat, Crate and Barrel, $10

Combine finishes

You may remember the days when mixing metals was a decorating don’t, but toss that rule right out the window! Silver, gold, pewter and amber have become the fire and ice of seasonal decor. Combine the creamy warmth of gold with the fresh coolness of silver, and you’ve got a complimentary color scheme worthy of the royal family. Arrange your place settings with alternating finishes to create balance, elegance and subtle contrast.

1. Hammered metal serve ware, West Elm, $5-$99
2. Sculpted turkey lidded serve ware, Pottery Barn, $50

Coordinate serve ware

A potluck style dinner shares the burden of cooking, but it can often leave your tabletop looking like a mess. But don’t worry — you can have your cake and eat it, too! Transfer the content of potluck dishes into a coordinating set of serve ware to achieve a catered look. When purchasing your serve ware set, look for a versatile design that will work for any occasion. You can’t go wrong with a classic white ceramic set, or even one in brushed silver. These finishes look great in any season and can be adapted to fit practically any party theme.

1. Silver braided placemat, set of 4, Z Gallerie, $24
2. Organic shaped dinnerware, West Elm, $12-$24
3. Rona stemware, CB2, $6

Keep it simple

By far, the best way to achieve a tailored table display is to keep things simple. Minimalism goes a long way — especially at a crowded table! You can accomplish this look by combining neutral colors, such as gray and cream, with natural elements, such as clear glass. Select a few pieces with organic texture, like basket weaves or braids, as well as pieces with a high-gloss sheen. For centerpieces, stick with something sleek and simple, like a grouping of crystal candlesticks and glass vases filled with white roses.

More entertaining ideas

Modern, fun holiday color palettes
Make a holiday table centerpiece
Holiday party-planning checklist


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