Spruce up your holiday table setting with these festive decorating tips from Decorating Specialist and Inglenook member, Diana McCoy. Owner of Bloom Containing Gardens, Diana creates unique and vibrant holiday decor for the home, office or special event!
As with any creative project, start with a theme and expand from there. Pinterest and magazines are great sources for ideas and inspiration. Once you have a name for your vision, you will find that you can easily make decisions that will lead to a beautiful and cohesive table setting. Look for elements indoors and out. You will be surprised by how much of what you can use will be found around your home.
From the garage, we retrieved the classic flyer sled to create variation in height and add a pop of color. From the linen closet, we pulled a tartan blanket to use as a table runner and grabbed a couple of house plants. Make it a family affair and send your children to gather pine cones and greens from the yard.
Little touches make a big impression. Diana tied a sprig of rosemary and cinnamon stick both left over from holiday recipes with kitchen twine. Old family photos were added to the arrangement to spark conversation between young and old.
The holidays can be just the time to pull out much cherished wedding presents and family heirlooms that spend far too much time in the closet. I like to say holidays are the perfect time to granny it up. The trick is to mix the old with modern items, keep it clean, and use plenty of organic material to keep it fresh and festive rather than frumpy. Dress all your surfaces with multiple layers.
Use plenty of greens in your centerpiece, which mix up the texture and provide a wonderful holiday scent. Fruit and vegetables are beautiful and can add an element of surprise.
Diana also added greenery to the chandelier and the backs of chairs. Layered with Eucalyptus nuts, they add a gorgeous hint of blue. Granny’s silver is sprinkled throughout but the crystal is kept simple.
The location of the bar will determine your party flow, so think very carefully about where to set it up. I like to choose the furthest point from the entry with easy exit room. Guests will seek it out and tend to linger in front of it. A well-stocked bar should have gin, vodka, and a good array of brown spirits—a bourbon, a blended whiskey, and a scotch. Tropical spirits are also key—a great golden rum and of course, tequila. Add a hand juicer, olives, fresh citrus, fizzy water, and you’re all set. However if you are having more than a dozen guests keep it simple with beer and wine, and a signature drink will carry the day.
Tip for the Perfect Party
Cater to all the senses. The most frequently forgotten element is the music. Craft a playlist on your iPhone or pop on a channel from Spotify that will reflect the mood of your party. Keep the volume low enough so that guests can comfortably speak without shouting.