4 Expert-Approved Holiday Table Settings
We gave four experts a single plate and a challenge: to create a pretty, pulled-together table for party season. Let their ideas inspire you.
Natural elements and layers of texture elevate a neutral color scheme, while warm wooden accents prevent it from seeming stark. If you choose to add in color, keep it simple with just one shade (like aqua or yellow). Create a centerpiece of artfully arranged woodland accents, such as pinecones, faux antlers, and feathers, and finish off each setting with a mini wreath and place card.
- Plate: Swedish Grace dinner plate, $22; jungleeny.com.
- Flatware: Wood handle flatware, $16 for 5 pieces; worldmarket.com.
- Cheese Board: Large cheese stone, $195; farmhousepottery.com.
- Striped Napkin: Gray striped chambray fringe napkins, $40 for 4; pehrdesigns.com.
- Tablecloth: Threshold natural linen kitchen tablecloth, from $22; target.com.
- Bowl: Beechwood peasant bowl, $225; farmousepottery.com.
- Antlers: Faux taxidermy white antler décor, $35; nearanddeer.etsy.com.
- Striped Cup: Grove cup, $49; etsy.com/shop/awaysaway/items.
- Blue Plate: Coupe Salad plate in aqua, $29; heathceramics.com.
- Linen Napkin: Oliver napkins, $95 for 4; pompomathome.com.
- Teak Candleholder: Medium teak tea light holders, $65 for 2; dearkeaton.com.
- Woodland Tree: Woodland tree, from $24; farmhousepottery.com.
“A white plate provides the perfect canvas for a neutral, Scandinavian-inspired table.”
—Camille Styles, founder of camillestyles.com
Combine burlap, raw wood, and terra-cotta accessories with jewel-toned glassware, cutlery, and linens to create an enchanting garden-inspired tablescape. These items don’t all have to match—an eclectic assortment enhances the relaxed, boho feel. Go wild with a runner of greenery and autumnal blooms, using the leftovers to make flower crowns and boutonnieres for your guests.
- Plate: Bambu fancy plates, $14 for 8; bambuhome.com.
- Flatware: Kip & Co. 24-piece fruits-of-the-forest mixed cutlery set, $289; kipandco.com.
- Place Mat: Preserved boxwood place mat, $34; shopterrain.com.
- Cup: Bubble glass tumbler, $14; shopterrain.com.
- Napkins: Hudson Grace linen napkins in pear and barnwood, $18 each; hudsongracesf.com.
- Napkin Ring: SIN napkin ring in terra-cotta, $12; virginiasin.com.
- Place Card Holders: Wooden slice place card holders, $16 for 4; shopterrain.com.
- Floral Platter: Wildflower series square platter, $198; shopterrain.com.
“Don’t downplay this disposable dinner plate. Instead, highlight it with a ‘Plant Lady’ theme.”
—Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson, sisters and coauthors of A Beautiful Mess Weekday Weekend Cookbook
A color scheme of peach, pink, and soft green is a break from traditional holiday colors. Ground your design with a few more saturated items, like a piece of burnt orange pottery and a patterned napkin. Incorporate classic elements with a twist: A whitewashed charger and dip-dyed flatware make the arrangement feel more contemporary. Fairy-tale pumpkins (find them at your local grocery or nursery) make a charming centerpiece; add dusty green eucalyptus and in-season fruits to complete the look.
- Hue green dinner plate, $6; crateandbarrel.com.
- Jaipur cutlery set in off-white, $86 for 5 pieces;canvashomestore.com.
- Charger: Wood-grain chargers in gray, $30 for 4; surlatable.com.
- Napkins: Palette linen napkins, $34 for 2; leifshop.com.
- Candleholder: Betty pink tea light candleholders, $18 for 6; cb2.com.
- Vases: 3-piece Amici vase set, $17; cb2.com.
- Image: Feast Your Eyes by Brittany Wright; $20; amazon.com.
- Bowl: Flared bowl medium in pink, $51; us.mudaustralia.com.
“Your pastel dishes become unexpectedly seasonal when combined with fall fruit and greenery.”
—Roxy Te, founder of Society Social
Enhance a simple blue-and-white color scheme with metallic touches, like gilded flatware and gold-rimmed chargers. To keep traditional dinnerware from feeling ultra formal, pair it with more casual items, like fringed napkins and clean-lined, modern glasses. Skip napkin rings and place cards altogether and instead blanket the table with soft candlelight and milky white blooms (choose anemones with a dark center for drama and contrast).
- Plate: Mottahedeh blue lace dinner plate, $90; williams-sonoma.com.
- Charger: Nevaeh White by Fitz and Floyd Grand Rim dinner plate in gold, $16; bedbathandbeyond.com.
- Champagne Flute: Elin wineglass, $13; crateandbarrel.com.
- Flatware: Malmo gold 5-piece place setting, $90; katespade.com.
- Candleholder: Cobalt blue votive holders, $4 for 4;jamaligarden.com.
- Postcards: Rinne Allen postcards, $20 for 11; sugartoolsshop.com.
- Envelope: The Maryn stationery collection for Dempsey & Carroll, $55; themaryn.com.
“Balance out the formality of a traditional patterned plate with some laid-back elements.”
—Nicole Gibbons, Interior Designer