The holiday season is filled with get-togethers — from brunch to dinner to wine-and-cheese parties. So if, in a wild burst of confidence, you volunteered to host all of the above, don’t panic: Your tableware can absolutely work double duty, and a few decorating hacks will take care of everything else.
Table one: Rustic elegance
Pair fresh greens with bursts of autumnally inspired copper and red.
No fuss, no fiddling, no floral arrangements: Just toss a bundle of blossoms and greenery along your runner for this beautifully relaxed centrepiece (seriously, the messier, the better). Choose foliage that won’t fall apart easily, like ornamental cabbages or sturdy branches. A handful of fruit, like pomegranates or oranges, will take care of the texture and colour.
THE PLACE SETTINGS
Wrap twine around small bundles of sprigs lifted straight from your centrepiece, then attach cards with your guests’ names to create elegant place settings. We used a geometric paper punch (which you can get at most craft stores) for this hexagon, but mismatched shapes (made with scissors, while you half watch something on Netflix) are perfectly fine.
Don’t spend any time stressing about napkins, especially when you’re letting your centrepiece do the talking. Fold them in thirds, then walk away.
A placemat slipped under each plate will make your rustic table feel a little more fancy. And while tons of tea lights create a warm glow (turn those dining room lights down!), LED flameless candles are a good, kid-friendly option too.
Table Two: Modern crafty for winter
Warm golds and shimmery silvers play against pine cones on this festive table.
Transform your table by using a placemat as the centrepiece, which you can pile with candlestick holders (for height), tea lights (for ambience) and eucalyptus or branches of pine (for a little sweet-smelling whimsy). Extra tea light holders can pull double duty as vases, while additional placemats can work as servers for hot food.
Tie them in a knot: It takes seconds but looks like major effort was involved. Then attach fun ornaments tailored to your guests, so they’ll know where to sit and have a gift to take home at the end of the night.
Pine cones and mini ornaments make any table feel extra merry and bright. Pile them in whatever bowls you have kicking around in your cupboard.
Watch: The sparkliest way to light a Christmas tree: