Set the Holiday Table

We’ll acknowledge that entertaining can be stressful. However, setting a beautiful table doesn’t need to be a source of anxiety. Here, the experts at Charlottesville, Virginia-based home store Roxie Daisy—which carries a selection of carefully chosen tabletop items from around the world—share tips for preparing a simple yet elegant table perfect for a festive gathering.

  • Keep it simple. Start with a tablecloth in a neutral shade, like white or natural linen. Use what you have in your cupboard—plain white (or even black) dishes can be just as elegant as expensive china, and not every table setting requires three forks per seat. Don’t crowd the food or make it hard to see who’s sitting across from you with an over-the-top centerpiece. You know your guests and what you’re serving; use only what you need.
  • Layer on texture. Texture goes a long way in making a table setting look luxe, and layering allows you to build from a neutral base and add pops of color. For the holidays, seasonal hues like aubergine and crimson in the right doses will allow you to subtly emphasize your theme while keeping your table setting classy.
  • Aim for personality, not perfection. Add in elements of nature for understated drama, or use items that are special to you that you’ve collected. Conversation pieces are never wasted, and your centerpiece does not have to be a perfectly arranged bouquet to be beautiful. Go outside with the kids and see what you find. If something is meaningful to you, it will become meaningful for your guests.
  • Pace yourself. You don’t need to go out and buy all new everything to have a beautiful table. Invest in one stellar upgrade per season and your table will come together organically and be a true reflection of you (and your family). Don’t sweat the small stuff—your guests will remember the experience more than they will remember that your serving spoons didn’t match.
  • Add metallic accents. You can’t go wrong with metallic accents during the holidays. This can mean investing in some gold serving utensils or flatware, or simply spray-painting some pinecones gold for the centerpiece.
  • Soften the light. Add candles wherever you can. Candlelight will add a little magic to your evening and cast everyone in a more flattering light.

TSG Tip 182 from Roxie Daisy in Charlottesville, Virginia. Text adapted from the Roxie Daisy blog and used with permission. Items featured in photo available from Roxie Daisy. Shop the look here.