An Elegant Christmas Table


I will let you in on a little secret, this year I’ve been tasked with planning the decoration of my mom’s dining room and the styling of our dinner table for Christmas, which is why I’ve been on the hunt for the best decoration ideas and homeware picks. I’ve already shared some thoughts on how to give your home a festive touch earlier this December and with today’s post, I’m rounding up some great tips and ideas to help you adorn your Christmas table.
 

On the 24th, we will be hosting over fifteen family members at my mom’s house in Provence so it’s really going to be something! Traditionally, we met at my grandparents’ house and it’s the first year we are celebrating without my grandpa, so we sworn to ourselves to make it extra special, to create a beautiful setting so that everyone’s mood is lifted up and we can continue to make great memories.
 

We’ve prepared a great seasonal Christmas menu and during the weekly Skype call with my mom and sister last week, I volunteered to take care of shopping for additional dinnerware and decorative items for the table, as well as to find a few easy DIYs that will elevate it for the occasion (it’s a large wooden whitewashed farm table). I’ve been busy pinning away this week and here is a roundup of my research which I hope will give you some inspiration too!

Styling a Contemporary Christmas Table

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First off, one of the important things I want to point out is that you don’t have to stick to a typical Christmas palette of green, red, and gold. You could use just one or two of these colours as accents, or for a twist, pair one of them with any bright and festive colours, like pink or yellow. I personally like when there is a good contrast in terms of colour palette – I think it makes the whole display stand out, so you definitely shouldn’t be afraid to experiment.
 

Second, if you have quite simple dinnerware and are not shopping for an additional service, I’d recommend focusing your efforts on a patterned textile to use as a runner or napkins, as well as fresh decorative pieces which you can buy or DIY. You could create an eye-catching centrepiece such as paper Christmas trees, decorative presents in darling wrapping paper and ribbons, or place well-designed Christmas cards in simple standing frames.
 

As a finishing touch, you could think about personalising your seating chart by handwriting the name of your guests on simple Christmas baubles, or wrapping a decorative little gift tag to your folded napkins. I think everyone secretly loves it when they see their name as been carefully crafted by hand, it’s a special attention.

Styling an Elegant Christmas Table

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Knowing my mom’s tastes and the look of her home, I’m going for an elegant rustic theme, using a palette of warm winter colours that will complement her whitewashed table and fine china. I’m thinking of keeping things simple from a textile point of view, perhaps with a grey linen runner and berry-coloured napkins. I want to bring warmth to the room with short large candles in chic little holders, and perhaps a discrete light garland running through.
 

Secondly, I’m going to focus on bringing the outside inside, putting organic touches throughout. There are lots of ways you can create an arresting centrepiece by filling a beautiful crystal decanter, vase, or bowl with pretty blooms, dried fruits, nuts, and pine cones. You can do the same with a pretty Christmas baubles, and buy see-through baubles which you’ll fill with gold star-shaped confetti for variety. Foraged seasonal greenery such as holly, berries, twigs, and leaves can very nicely compliment linen, whether you dot it tastefully around the table or place a piece on top of rolled serviettes that you fasten with a piece of ribbon or simple artisan string.
 

Finally, I wanted to invest in elegant adorned top plates, I found some gorgeous second-hand ones at a carboot in London and I’ve been looking around for lux glassware, specifically a wine decanter, water carafe, and a set of beautiful crystal flutes because we always start Christmas dinner with some champagne and foie gras on toasted brioche with orange or fig confiture. It’s a tradition! These are some of the things I have my eye on currently:

Glassware & Crystal Picks, Dartington

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1 // Glitz Champagne Saucer Glasses by Dartington (£44)
2 // Flower Garden Foliage Vase by Dartington (£22)
3 // Flame Candle Holder Low by Dartington (£12)
4 // Glitz Footed Bowl by Dartington (£69)
5 // Tumbler Glasses by Dartington (£37)

 

Beautiful selection isn’t it? Dartington was originally established by a charity trust which aimed to assist the economic regeneration of rural areas through business, education and the arts. Since 1967, they have been handcrafting crystal and glassware in Devon using traditional Swedish glass blowing techniques and working with the finest natural materials. They’re the only brand to still be producing crystal in the UK and have a really nice collection of elegant and contemporary designs that would be the perfect ornament to any Christmas table.
 

an-elegant-christmas-table-dartington-crystal

They offer next day delivery for orders over £49 and I spotted some great gift sets on their shop so if you’re still on the hunt for a few special presents, don’t hesitate to have a look. I love this triple tipple gift set and their beautiful wine decanters, which would bring a touch of class to any home. My grandmother who lives in Ardeche loves crystal so I’m thinking about getting her a pretty antique-looking bottle vase, I think she’d be so happy.
 

christmas-hot-toddy-recipe-by-dartington-crystal

I also spotted a familiar favourite on the Dartington blog, their homemade recipe for a hot toddy. In my family, we enjoy them by the fire after Christmas dinner, while savouring some marrons glacés (glazed chestnuts). It’s a great way to unwind after the waltz of plates we have honoured, usually a couple starters, a fish course, a meat course, cheese (obviously!) and the thirteen desserts that are traditional in Southern France. I promise we only eat small plates of all these things, we’re not totally insane..!

Dartington Hot Toddy Recipe:

Boil a few cups of hot water on the stove and prepare your glass tankards. To each, add one ounce and a half of liquor such as brandy, whiskey or rum, one tablespoon of honey, and half a ounce of lemon juice. Garnish your drink with a cinnamon stick, star anise, and lemon slice for flavour and decoration. Voila! Let me know if you try the recipe?
 

Anyway!

I hope you’re excited for the last stretch towards Christmas? Today is my last day at the studio and I’m off to France this weekend, with the Eurostar that goes direct from London to Avignon. Rob is staying behind as he has some more work to do at the agency, and then friends will be borrowing our flat for a little staycation over a few days during the break.

I still have a to-do list as long as my arm to get done (of course) but I’m going to get there over the next few days. In terms of the blog, I have some Christmas wish-lists planned over the coming week, so don’t forget to check back in for present ideas. If you live in London and are tempted to visit a Christmas market to shop for independent gifts, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite ones on this post.
 

Thank you for reading!

{Photo Credits}: Images 1, 6, 7, and 8 courtesy of Dartington Crystal, and 2, 3, 4, 5 courtesy of Good Housekeeping.

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