How to Style the Perfect Holiday Table

Whether it’s a few family members or a party of one, your home can still glow this season with a few holiday items that’ll leave a space — and you — feeling rather merry and bright. Let your dining table celebrate and toast to new traditions and memories made amidst this holiday season. A little intentionality and a little scene-setting may be all it takes to help you and your guests forget about the burdens of this year and gaze instead at beauty, gratitude, and delight.

Here are four things to keep in mind when setting your table for all the festivities:


What mood are you aiming for? Intimate? Light and airy? A table for two? Grandparents and in-laws? A romantic table may call for assorted candles and dimmed lighting, while a more family-oriented gathering may require style with practicality.

Think about what theme best matches the vibe, and roll with it. If it’s cheery and festive, make sure it’s light and happy, using neutrals and pops of color when needed. If it’s more romantic, consider deep, velvety textures of scarlets and emeralds, throwing a fun table runner or adding strung lights around the room.

Transform your dining table into a moment, and let its presence encourage the kind of conversations wanted, be it intimate or laid-back.


After deciding the theme and mood, add elements that cater to the idea. For example, take a look at the table above. It’s warm and welcoming, inviting natural conversation to its surface. We chose earthy elements like wooden trees and fresh wisps of leaves strewn atop to evoke the mood.

Select or create decor that makes a statement, whether that’s a subtle hint towards informal talks or louder proclamations of a special, more formal moment. Consider brassy and pewter platters with tiered marble cake stands for the latter, and thick, wooden candlesticks with wicker chairs or woven bowls for the former. The aim is to incorporate different elements that cater to your theme instead of detract from it.


So now that you have the theme decided and elements gathered, how do you arrange your decor? There will, of course, be the necessities like silverware, plates, glasses, and linens. If possible, make sure to match the plates with the color palette and mood you’ve chosen (i.e. fine china may not be what you’re going for if it’s more casual and informal). Set the table first, establishing where there ought to be blank space (in-between plates) and what areas need decor (the center). Try finding a happy medium between using too much or too little space, taking advantage of the table’s landscape. Play with heights, widths, symmetry, and the center focus. Consider height variation in the candles you use, different widths and shapes of trees or festive objects, and floral centerpieces.

We chose a full, even look in this photo, using symmetry and natural colors with purpose. We went with matching, clear goblets and identical place settings that make the space feel full, yet clean. Chic, yet classy. Joyful, yet serene.

Find what arrangement works best for your surface. Bold mix-and-matched goblets, an artistic centerpiece, tiny mason jars with winterberry or jasmine. Fill the space purposefully, transforming your idea into a creation that both you and loved ones can delight in and admire together.


All that’s left now are the fun touches of you here and there. We added festive, silver jingle bells, cursive name cards, and clear ornaments to our arrangement. Any unique, last minute ideas before guests arrive or items lying around the house can add that final splash your table needs. Let the accents and fine details help cater to your theme and the celebration. Get creative, pulling off tree toppers or picking a few flowers out front to really fill in the gaps.

Remember your theme, choose your elements, set the scene, and leave behind a little bit of you in the process.

We can’t wait to hear your holiday table ideas. Drop any photos or comments below so that we can celebrate with you.


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