Whether you’re looking to impress your guests or simply make your holiday table feel a little more special, these 5 Tips for a Simple Timeless Tablescape will help with your holiday plans.
Just over a year in our new house and with the holidays around the corner, I’ve been dreaming about having the people that I love gather around our table. As you might imagine, I get most excited about the food–the brunches (my all-time favourite meal), the baking, the turkey dinner, the potlucks with friends. But since buying a house, I’ve also really gotten into design, DIYs, and discovering my personal style, and am excited to branch out to do more posts that reflect that.
With a busy toddler under foot and a kitchen that needs attending to, it’s important to prioritize simplicity in my holiday decorating. But no matter what your life stage, I think that simplicity is something that most people look for. For this post, I partnered with Stokes to share with you 5 Tips for a Simple Timeless Tablescape. Let’s jump in!
1. Choose a Simple Colour Palette.
One of the easiest ways to get a timeless look is to keep the colours neutral. I chose white and metallic as my base colours, and then natural earth tones from greenery and the wooden table (left without a tablecloth) to accent the table. Investing in classic white dishes is perfect for a timeless look. Food generally looks good on white dishes and their neutrality means that they’ll transition easily into most tablescape themes. For this look, I love the Sovereign dinnerware set and the shimmer napkins, in cream. (They are sold out of cream, but I’ve linked the pewter napkins for your reference).
2. Add in Natural Elements
Nature makes the most beautiful creations. And for the most part, it’s accessible, timeless, and budget-conscious–just look in your own backyard/local park. Flowers, plants, and seasonal fruit are the obvious easy choice when it comes to beautifully setting a table. But for a more rustic option, I chose to use seasonal branches which are available everywhere right now. You can find a lot of natural (and obviously seasonal) elements in your yard, in nearby parks, and at farms. I specifically chose fresh evergreen and holly branches which I pruned down to sit on the table (eucalyptus would also be lovely). And because I’m a sucker for the romantic flicker of candlelight, I always want to accent with candles (during a bath, watching a movie, relaxing at night, dinner for the three of us, literally always.) These tall frosted pillar candle holders are stunning, but also quite sturdy if you have little hands that like to grab at things on the table. I also added these sparkling gold LED candles (again because of the little hands that might want to play with them). And combined, they add a lovely ambiance. The best part? Candles will never go out of style.
I was originally going to add this wooden tree to the table for something natural and seasonal, but it ended looking much better on my shelf.
3. Have One Special Item
Flatware has gotten so trendy. I’ve seen gorgeous matte black, brass-coloured, and of course, the rose gold flatware that everybody loves. And honestly, I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a set of all of them. Thankfully logic prevailed and I ended up choosing just one. When I saw the champagne flatware, I knew this was going to be my special item. I wanted something that would make a statement, but would also stand the test of time. Simple, elegant, stunning, but also neutral; they fit the bill perfectly. For you, a special item might be some beautifully etched wine glasses, a candleabra, a quality linen tablecloth, some statement serving ware, or your grandmother’s dishes. Whatever it is, consider choosing something that will stand the test of time so that you’ll you won’t have to re-buy it in a couple of years. And for simplicity sake, you’ll always have this as a go-to for tablescapes to come, meaning less decision making/planning in the future and more time doing other things you love.
4. Think About Your Guests
One thing that will never go out of style is making people feel thoughtfully cared for. Small details go a long way in making your guests feel all kinds of special. A simple place card with a handwritten name on it is all you need to welcome guests to your table. But if you want to go the extra mile, give your guests a cute takeaway: a seasonally appropriate bottle of homemade eggnog (cheeky tag and all), a special treat (like these pumpkin hazelnut butter cups), or a pretty stocking, empty or with something special tucked inside. It’s a small gesture, but family and friends will remember it forever. Truly. I still think about the thought and attention that went into the place cards that friends made for Ken and I when we went to dinner at their house. Those place cards were displayed in Ken’s place (before we were living together) for a long time as a sweet memory for us.
5. Use What You’ve Got
If you’re reading a post about simple, timeless table settings, chances are you’ve already got simple and timeless pieces in your house already. Look around for fabric (clothing, scarves, burlap bags, and ribbons can all be easily repurposed as runners or napkin ties). Christmas tree ornaments, herb bouquets, seasonal fruit, terrariums, etc. all make beautiful and festive additions to a table. A mix of vintage baskets are a pretty way to hold bread or crackers. Cake stands can artfully hold items and they free up valuable table real estate (condiments, wine bottles, bread baskets, dessert, etc. all sit well on them). And as with the baskets, feel free to mix up the sizes and looks to add some creativity to your table. Lastly, small items like tea lights, trinket boxes, and small mirrors can add an fun and interesting element to a table, and you likely already have some of these things at home. Once you’ve got a favourite set of dishes and a versatile set of wine glasses (Eric Asimov asserts that Bordeaux glasses work well with any sort of wine), you can accent with a mix of things from home alongside a splurge purchase or a few small festive/seasonal purchases. For this post, I happened to have rosemary, butcher’s twine, and these stylish tags in the house that I’d used for another project–easy, impactful place cards.
Whether you’re potluck-ing, dining fancily, or relying on paper plates because you just can’t even, I send you into the holidays with wishes for the most joyful, happy, healthy holiday season. Can’t wait to connect again in the new year!
Here’s a list of all of the items I used in my tablescape or to festively decorate my house. I hope you enjoy!
Champagne Flatware. These rose gold ones would also be lovely.
Oslo Stemless Wine Glasses (or water glasses, in my case):
Shimmer napkins, in pewter. The cream is sold out.
Sparkling LED candles
Frosted Pillar Candle Holder
Wooden Christmas tree
Christmas sequin stocking with faux fur trim
Crackle LED Lamp in Gold (it looks beautiful when lit up at night)
Wooden advent calendar and porcelain reindeer (both sold out, but look next year because it’s cute!)
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