Recently, I presented a creative workshop on decorating a table for holidays and festive occasions. The mentioned workshop took place in Lesnina XXXL in Zagreb, Croatia. I would like to thank all those who have co-operated with me on this creative workshop – Callegari – the Italian Fashion and Design School, Lesnina XXXL, dom2.hr, Pavle Condric, Valentina Vasic, and all the participants who made this workshop even more creative.
Here are a few photos from the workshop as well as holiday table arrangement ideas.
Festive Table Setting Ideas for Joyful Holiday Gatherings
At the beginning of creating the holiday table design, one should choose the colors of tablecloths, table toppers, napkins, tableware, and chair slipcovers. These cheerful colors should be matched and complemented by floral and fruit arrangements or decorations made of Christmas tree ornaments, glass, porcelain etc. These decorations can be placed at the central part of the table (as a centerpiece) or at the end of the table (depending on their height) and next to each plate (for example, decor-gift for every guest).
Red tablecloth is always such a lovely choice, especially for decorating a festive holiday table. Its fiery appearance can be “cooled off” by combining red and white table decorations, placing glass ornaments and crystal glasses, white plates, and silver or white napkins. “Icing on the cake” can be a silver candlestick – in a glamorous version or the combination of green branches, red ornaments, and sweet cookies – in a traditional version of a holiday table arrangement. Glittering stars, scattered on the tablecloth, make this decorative holiday story, even more magical.
A marriage of energetic red and relaxing green color creates a complementary color scheme that is traditionally linked with holiday decorations. Namely, these two colors complement and highlight one another, thus creating a very strong color scheme. When it comes to dishes and decorations that contain both of these colors (or even more than two colors), it is recommended to combine them with a single-color tablecloth and napkins (or those of a simpler design – like this one in the photo). If you choose fabrics in neutral colors, colorful dishes will become more accentuated.
Red plates in combination with green plates create a festive holiday atmosphere, especially if decorative motifs on them are holiday-related ones. These colors are also symbols of love. Therefore, if you wish to “warm up” the atmosphere for a romantic dinner, place two red scented candles on the table and add a couple of romantic decorations, such as hearts. The language of flowers is also a very important element in creating the right atmosphere. Red roses are always welcome, especially when it comes to romance since these floral beauties speak of love.
Chair slipcovers, tablecloths, table toppers, napkins, and dishes in the neutral color palette (white, beige, brown, gray), set the foundation on which the colorful dishes and holiday decorations come to the fore and refresh the dining table setting.
If your holiday table design consists of monochrome fabrics and dishes, festive touch to the design can come in the shape of decorative napkin folding or napkins decorated with the Christmas tree ornaments, ribbon or lace, napkin rings. The centerpiece can be a miniature Christmas tree, a lovely flower bouquet, glass vase or a bowl filled with gifts, candles placed on the mirror or some other reflective surface, Christmas tree ornaments on a metal or glass platter etc.
Decorating the holiday table is an opportunity for creative expression in the comfort of your home. Your guests will enjoy the beauty of decorations, in addition to your culinary skills.
Table Setting Etiquette
Here are a few table setting rules.
- Each person at the table should have up to 70 cm of space, and behind the chair should be at least 50 cm of free space.
- Glasses are placed at the top right corner of the plate. The main wine glass should be exactly above the knife used for the main course.
- Cutlery is set according to the order of use – starting from the outer edge inwards.
- As a rule, the fork is placed on the left side of the plate, but not always. For example, when serving spaghetti, fork and spoon change places.
- The signal for the ending of a meal – the fork and knife are placed parallel on the plate.
Since this is a wide topic, I have listed only a few basic table setting rules in this article. Find out more about this and other topics at our creative workshops.
Have fun in the world of creativity, find out about beautiful things around us, be inspired by design trends, think in colors, and discover your unique style of interior decorating.
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How to Set a Table
Would you like to know how colors and scents affect mood and appetite? Are you interested in getting more table setting ideas, or learning more about decorative napkin folding? Styles, trends, design tips, dining etiquette, table arrangement – theory and practice. Join us for creative workshops.
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Photographs by Valentina Vasic