The holidays are my favorite time of year because I get to totally shift all my focus to my true love: entertaining! Setting tables during this busy season helps me to find joy and inspiration even when I’m totally burnt out because it means that delicious food, friends and family are about to gather together, and that makes it all worth it. BUT. I get that all of this gathering is not always easy.
Planning out place settings and creating centerpieces for all your tables can seem a bit overwhelming, but not if you have a little strategy up your sleeve! With some help from Overstock, we put together three simple tabletops that use the same glassware, flatware and napkins, a few sets of dishes, and one centerpiece (with a few items switched out!) to create totally different looks that will make your guests feel special at any gathering.
While we like to keep the dishes fancy for any holiday tabletop, at a more casual gathering it’s important to balance them with a few relaxed elements, and a lovely linen tablecloth is the perfect foundation. And speaking of fancy dishes, how much do you love these these blue dishes in the most perfect Tiffany Blue? They pop so perfectly against that soft grey.
Even though the rim around the blue dishes is accented in silver, don’t be afraid to mix metallics by adding gorgeous gold. These 24k Gold dishes were used in every place setting we put together for this shoot, and you better believe I’m going to be using them on the regular around here! They shine so beautifully in natural light and candlelight!
You’ll also notice that we didn’t use any chargers for this setting – that helps keep it all simple!
At each seat, we put together a super simple DIY box for a tiny treat or gift topped by bottlebrush trees and monogrammed with stickers (because not all of us have a calligrapher at the ready – am I right?). I’m a big believer in place settings and small gifts at your table!
Now here’s how to take a few of these elements right on into a more traditional setting…
If you’ve been following this blog long enough, then you know that I never do traditional holiday tabletops. But when I saw this buffalo plaid tablecloth, all of that went right out the window! This bold black and white calls for a major dose of classic green and red, and the red striped plates make it so fun and graphic!
With so much pattern on the table, everything else is kept super simple. Notice that we’ve used the same flatware, napkins and glassware? For the centerpiece, the blue-toned juniper and eucalyptus pods were swapped out for red berries while all the greens stayed the same. Since greenery will generally last a longer time, it’s easy to keep an arrangement going if it’s got a lot of greens and you can simply update the florals!
While these first two tabletops were on the more casual side, this last one is for those of you who want to dress things up a little! The trick? Doing things up in major black and white!
Not to play favorites, but I have to say I’m pretty partial to this dapper table. It reminds me of a setting you’d find at a fancy hotel or restaurant with its crisp white linens and gilded details. Of course, we’ve taken some liberties and modernized things a bit with those fun deco style dishes and DIY tassel napkin rings!
The benefit of a white backdrop to this setting is how much you see the detail of each beautiful piece on the table – just look at how graphic that two-toned flatware is!
We’ve minimized the floral arrangement to just green and white, adding roses this time for a bit of classic romance, and swapped in some crystal glassware. We’ve also formalized the place setting, adding the coffee cups and spoons to each seat.
You know it’s a fancy party when there’s so many cups and flatware on the table that you don’t know where to start! Ha! But how lovely do all three of these look together?
And since it ’tis the season to be nice, here’s your one stop shop for all of these items tied up with a nice big bow…