To help you avoid stressing out this season, we asked local interior designers to give us their tips to decorating a holiday-inspired tablescape your guests won't forget.
When in Doubt, Opt For White & Silver
“The classic combination of silver and white will complement any color scheme. Paired with the rough edges of the table, and a pop of color, a truly festive table setting can be achieved, reminiscent of the winter wonderland magic that are the holidays.” —Leslie Hayes, owner of Leslie Hayes Interior Design
Get Crafty with Tulle
"A great trick I found in Taormina, Sicily is to use tulle under your linen tablecloth—it adds a great flair and is very inexpensive. This in addition to neon-colored candles puts a fresh spark into your dining collections. I like to use my hand-blown crystal glasses along with handmade and painted plates." —Floss Barber, owner of Floss Barber Inc.
Incorporate Patterns & Sparkles in Unexpected Ways
"I love the mix of organic elements with some sparkle when setting my Thanksgiving table. Using white pumpkins and gold accented dinnerware is elegant yet festive, and a little different from the expected. Have some fun by using a playful patterned paper on your place cards for a twist." —Michele Plachter, owner of Michele Plachter Design
Look to Seasonal Elements For Inspiration
"Always remember that the holidays are a fun, festive time and an opportunity to reflect your home and personality! I like to start with a crisp and simple base of china and linens that allow the meal to take center stage, then add a dash of crystal or silver for shine, and something natural (think lush bouquet of fresh flowers or season fruits like pomegranates). Round it out with a hearty arrangement of unscented ivory candles because let’s face it—we all look better in candlelight! Last but not least, focus on making a great meal, being present with your guests, and enjoying yourself along the way. Never follow too many of anyone else’s rules, even your designer's!" —Ashli Mizell, owner of Ashli Mizell, Inc.
Add Sentimental Accessories for the Final Touches
"Share your table with the ones that you love. Create a tablescape by mixing your old family treasures with your favorite new pieces destined to become family heirlooms. Tie them together with a coordinated color palette, encourage conversation around the table by keeping arrangements low, andset the mood with candles." —Marguerite Rodgers, interior designer of Marguerite Rodgers Interior Design
Don't Forget to Dress Up the Seating
"Why should the table have all the fun? Let your chairs in on the action, too. When Down2Earth Interior Design was asked to pull together some holiday décor for last year's Chestnut Hill Community Association house tour, we tied a wreath to the back of each chair, creating the perfect finishing touch." —Amy Cuker, interior design director of Down2Earth Interior Design
Going Smaller Doesn't Necessarily Mean It's Bad
"Holiday tablescapes can be grand or diminutive, but always fun! Sometimes, tackling a large dining table can be a daunting challenge, so I focus instead on my romantic table for two nestled into the bay window and change it with every season. Here, a sparkling version of 'Blue Christmas' with miniature mirrored disco balls, a playful light wreath, and napkin rings embellished with ornaments collected during our travels that year—a warm reminder of the people and places that enriched our lives, sharing love, laughter, and connection." —Barbara Eberlein, president and creative director at Eberlein Design Consultants Ltd.