Tablescapes for holiday entertaining used to be a hobby reserved for the wealthy, but with the help of the internet, now anyone can get into tablescapes. This style of table setting became popular in the western world around the beginning of the 18th century as a form of expression for aristocrats (thus the stereotype of tablescapes for holiday entertaining being meant for the rich). Towards the mid-18th century, centerpiece became a popular way to show off wealth. People would use silver baskets, flowers, and candelabras as common centerpiece items.
Tablescapes and Feng Shui
In today’s interior fashion, tablescapes for holiday entertaining are focused on elements of Feng shui. Where decorations are placed in relation to one another, color, and space are all important elements to consider for a successful tablescape.
There are certain rules in place that serve as a guideline for people who are interested in this style of home decoration. First, experts recommend one of each:
- Light source: candle, candelabra, incense, lamp, etc.
- Hard line accent: frame, book, picture, etc.
- Fabric item: runner, ribbon, tea towel, etc.
- Plant/living item: flowers, succulent, herb, etc.
There are some basic tips that can act as a check list for any tablescape enthusiast. Experts recommend:
- Objects with different heights
- A variety of textures
- Only use 1/3 of the table
- Use complimenting colors
- Don’t over-clutter the space
Tablescapes and Holiday Color Themes
Using these general rules, we can now design tablescapes for holiday entertaining. First, this would depend on what “holiday colors” mean. If the person decorating celebrates Christmas, this may mean colors like red, green, and metallic. If the person decorating celebrates Hanukah, then the colors would be more blue and white. If the person decorating celebrates Kwanzaa, the color palette would be black, red, and green. That being said, a holiday tablescape would likely use holiday colors but it is not necessary.
Assuming the color pallet to be red and gold, an example of a holiday landscape would include:
- 1 tall and skinny red candle
- A few, small holiday themed books with gold accents
- A golden square tea towel for a center
- Poinsettias in a gold vase
- Some sort of small, holiday themed decoration
In this example, there is an equal balance of both colors and a hint of holiday theme without seeming too tacky. For a non-specific outdoorsy style tablescape, this may be a better option.
- 1 short, white candle in a gold holder
- A book about growing herbs
- Gold runner
- Living herb plants in rustic pots
- Plant themed holiday decor
The cool thing about this tablescape idea is that the herb plants can be used as seasoning for holidays dinners. Place rosemary, basil, thyme, and mint on the table to give off an earthy aroma that enhances both the table and the food. This idea is great for people who don’t necessarily celebrate a December holiday, but still want to decorate for the winter.
Tablescapes Bring the Outdoors Inside
A lot of tablescape hobbyists take to the outdoors to find the best (and free) inspiration. Why buy a glittery branch for $30 when you can go for a walk and find these elements in, well, the elements. Pine branches, pine cones, twigs, tree bark, and various winter foliage are all beautiful additions to a tablescape. White birch chunks of different heights give an earthy touch that accomplishes varying height and textures. Pinterest is also a great place to find DIY inspiration on how to preserve decorations from the outdoors. Paint, mod podge, and glitter are usually the only things you need when turning a tablescape into a winter wonderland.
Tablescapes can be easy to figure out, but the difficult part of tablescapes for the holidays are floral arrangements. That’s why florists exist! It can take countless hours trying to figure out what flower scents, colors, and shapes go best with one another. Call a florist and for under $50 you can have the perfect bouquet for your tablescape. Once a florist has shown what goes best together, fake versions of these flowers can be purchased and set-up into the same bouquet. This is a little less authentic, but much more cost and time effective.
Tablescapes are an up and coming design trend for 2018, so get started now and have fun! With just a few key items, anyone can be a master tablescaper. Use this as an excuse to go outside and enjoy winter. Invite guests over to wow them with your new tablescapes for holiday entertaining. That’s what they’re for, isn’t it?