The holidays can be a busy and overwhelming time of year, but it’s also a time to slow down and celebrate with family and friends over good conversation, food and libations. A celebration is made so much more special when a dining room table is thoughtfully arranged, bringing in hand-selected, seasonal elements.
If you’re tasked with being a hostess this season, there is no need to break the bank on expensive table decorations, centerpieces or place settings. You can create a beautiful and festive holiday tablescape to impress your guests using items you already have and inexpensive finds.
Choosing to forego a traditional flower centerpiece can be a great way to design a visually interesting and unexpected table display. Fill a mix of glass containers – vases, apothecary jars and hurricane lampshades – with seasonal items to create a beautiful, last-minute centerpiece.
Vary the heights and consider filling some of the glass containers with treats that guests can enjoy before and after the meal. For added ambiance, incorporate tea light candles in the display using smaller glass holders.
Who doesn’t love gathering with family and friends to assemble a seasonal gingerbread house? Have guests help build gingerbread houses before dinner and use the finished products as your centerpieces for the table. This is a fun activity for your family and friends to enjoy and acts as a great conversation starter when guests gather at the table admiring the different houses designed.
Encourage guests to eat the gingerbread houses after dinner and spread some extra treats through the table in decorative containers for guests to enjoy – you can never have too much candy!
Using elements of found in your own backyard – trees, branches and greenery – can help set the tone and act as a sophisticated and rustic centerpiece. Whether you choose to lay a single branch across the center of the table and dress it up with votives, or gather evergreens to display in small vases, the table can be transformed using nature. Get crafty and try spray painting a single branch white, silver or gold to add a chic and elegant feel to your display.
Source from your own kitchen; local, farm fresh produce is rich with colors that celebrate the season. Arrange a colorful assortment of winter squash and have them run down the center of the table. Or dress up each place setting by adding a fresh pear or pomegranate to celebrate the season, adding personal place cards for a more formal arrangement.
After spending an afternoon exploring flea markets and antique shops, you’ll realize that there are a plethora of beautiful treasures waiting to be discovered and made new again. Mason jars, antique bottles, candlestick holders and metallic vases can all be found while thrift shopping. Keep an eye out for pieces that match the feel of the space; if your style is more modern or contemporary, look for metallic vases and mason jars to complement the table. These thrifty finds are inexpensive and add a unique, eye-catching touch to your arrangement.
You don’t need to bust your budget to create an effortlessly beautiful table display. Whether you snag branches from your backyard or pick up vintage glassware from an antique store, you can create an impactful and festive tablescape without spending a fortune.