Saturday, December 15, 2012

beautiful holiday tables: styling tips

For the last few Christmas seasons my dear friend Mary has hosted her husband’s company Christmas party.  This year there were going to be eighty guests at her home, so I headed over there to help her decorate and set up her buffet tables. Everything looked wonderful, but somehow we were too busy to get photos!

Oh well. I love styling tables and it did get me in the mood to do this post and to share some of my tips.


via takethesidestreetblog

Whether you’re having a large gathering which will require staging a buffet table


or hosting a small, intimate dinner party



there are so many lovely touches to add to your table to make it festive…


However, serving food at larger parties requires some thought about logistics.

Is there enough room around your tables for your guests to flow through easily?

Are plates, napkins and utensils easy to see and reach?

Thanksgiving buffet, centerpiece on boxes

photo from camile styles

I like to add height to a buffet table using vintage crates to display food dishes or I’ll place books or boxes underneath fabric if I’m in a pinch.


At Christmas you can get creative using natural materials. Or you can even wrap pretty boxes and use those on your table



to place topiaries


or hurricanes on top of them.


If your table is under a chandelier, don’t forget to add a few pretty decorations too. Some dangling snow flakes

or shiny bulbs..

DSC_1091 copy

or even simple old fashioned tinsel.

This is my Mom’s chandelier over the breakfast buffet table last year. Didn’t she do a great job?  It actually looked gorgeous with the morning light shining through it.


Here’s another easy way to create drama on your buffet table. Besides using different heights, decorate your table in layers. Add a sheer, sparkly fabric on top and put white lights underneath. That’s it. And it’s so pretty at night.  This is a photo of Mary’s dessert table being put together.

It’s also nice to put utensils and napkins inside Christmas baskets or pretty jars.

I love this glitter-dipped mason jar for example. Wouldn’t you love to pull out your forks and knives from this pretty thing? Silver for Christmas, maybe gold for New Years?


You can see how to make this jar HERE.

And finally, don’t go crazy worrying about a centerpiece. I think Nature is your best friend during the holidays.



via crush cul de sac

We didn’t have time to run to the store for flowers for one of the tables so this is what I did…


I wrapped red ribbon around several candles and went outside and clipped sprigs of rosemary to tuck inside. Then it all went on a pedestal with fresh garland underneath.

So easy and it looks so pretty.

I could go on forever with pretty pictures but I’m off to wrap presents with my Mom. I hope I gave you a few ideas you can use.

Bye for now,



I’m linking up with these friends





Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

love everything you did. Nice and easy ideas.

Unknown said...

Beautiful tips! Makes me want to entertain for the holiday.

Anonymous said...

Just gorgeous! I love the snowflakes hanging from the chandelier. My favorite tablescape is the first one with the white reindeer. Where can I find reindeer? I want those!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Leslie, you have so many beautiful ideas and tips here! It's often the little details and touches that take a tablescape over-the-top!

Kathy Olson said...

I loved all your ideas, but especially the ones about adding height to the table and the lighting under the tablecloth. Those are great ideas! Everything was beautifully done:)

Debra@CommonGround said...

just beautiful! love all the wonderful tablescape ideas!

Sew a Fine Seam said...

Love all the great photos! Styling is so fun and it's so great to see all the inspiration out there!

Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

Hi Leslie,
Hope you and your mom had fun wrapping presents! What a treat! Those of us without moms anymore are jealous! I will always have a mom, just not here, in this world.

Your ideas are wonderful. Simple, creative ideas go a long way!
Take care,

The Divorced Lady's Companion to Living in Italy said...

Wow eighty people! I think I am a better guest than host, but I love your ideas. We will be rocking up to Nonna's place for tortellini in Vicenza and it will be simple and lovely. Enjoy!! And thank you for all the beauty. Xcat

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...