The biggest party of the year for me is a Christmas dinner I host with my long time group of girlfriends, our 12th year this Christmas! I’ve always been the host and loved every minute of it, they know that I love it and they always make an effort even with busy lives, babies and moves to make it, and for that reason I try to make it one of the most fun, beautiful and memorable nights of the year.
This year I’ve collaborated with Ballard Designs (pinch me) and I couldn’t be more excited and honored to show you the set up for Christmas dinner and inspire you to host one – with new or old friends.
I also want to share some tips on how I host and ways you can save money and select the right pieces for your parties, if you’re low on storage space like I am. Are you ready for some Christmas delight? Let’s get in the spirit!
Where do I start? Rarely do you see red in my home but when it comes to Christmas, it’s SO festive and if you’re a neutral lover like myself, I’m going to encourage you to pop in the red! It’s only for a month, or two depending when you put it up. It’s not permanent and you might find yourself really loving the change and pops of color!
I suppose I’ll start with the place setting – I used old chargers I’ve had for a while and added some plates to layer. Because our evenings go way into the late night, early morning, food is being reheated and the metallic plates while so pretty didn’t work for my needs so I gifted them and decided these Bunny Williams Melange green trellis dinner plates were perfect – for holiday and every day so I didn’t have to worry about storage and only using them once a year. I can use them year round (and they will easily work for Thanksgiving as well).
The florals! Ok, so here’s a huge tip, go to Trader Joe’s as soon as they open in the morning. Grab as much fillers as you can, mixed bunches if they have some unique floral pieces in them, and a dozen red roses (at least). I spent about $40 on so many florals and then headed to Camelback Flowershop for their Friday happy hour where florals are 50% off and I bought the really unique pieces (I have no idea what the flowers are called so we’ll call them unique haha), spending another $50.
The Bunny Williams Rectangular Metal Cachepot is so perfect for tables capes and also has a removable wire frame so you can put florals in so easily and they stay put! I am all about disposable decor (florals) and trust me, when florals aren’t present, you notice.
The glasses one for water, one for one or punch, and the 5 set of mercury votive candle set is so affordable. My tip is to put battery operated tea lights in there as it can get really hot quickly and plus your florals! Oh and remember so you don’t burn a hole in your table like I did years ago with a candle accident. Mercury candlestick set also comes in 5, similar to what I have pictured above, mine are from Anthro and so are the glitter Christmas trees.
New flatware (also comes in gold but I already have gold flatware) called Paris Flea Market Flatware and double walled pitcher, and a 3-piece serving set, also from Bunny Williams. I think Bunny and I would be good friends.
I added a sprig of rosemary from my garden and tied it with some twine.
So now onto the cocoa bar!
How darling is this sackable tree shelf? You can also mount it on the wall and for storage the pieces nest in each other. I have this rule, a few tubs for Christmas decor and if it doesn’t fit, something has to go. I don’t want to keep adding stuff and suddenly I have 10 tubs (I mean it’s fine if you do but we don’t have the space).
I also should confess, that Christmas tree that’s up is our new tree from last year and I love where it’s at now. Maybe I want another which would then put our tree count at four. So maybe if I just gave away the pink and silver tinsel tree…
Florals here too! Loved this Bunny Williams Lattice Cachepot when I first saw it! Be sure to add a floral frog so your florals go right where you want them. I’m not sure how I arranged florals without them! Watch the video on how to arrange florals with one, your flower arranging game will change!
The cup and saucers from the Jacqueline Dinnerware are sooooooo cute! The little dots on the top are like confetti! SMEG makes some of the cutest products so I picked this 50s style SMEG kettle from Macy’s, it also comes in cream and white but I love the red!
We all need a dessert area – and this Patisserie Glass Serving Stand comes in brass and pewter. You can take it apart when not in use but since we host small group every week (and dinner is served) maybe it’s a good idea to keep it up year round!
Can we talk about how cute this tassel garland is? It also comes in gold, and imagine hanging this along your fireplace or like I did, over a painting to be a little extra.
The cute Santa ornament I picked up in Stockholm and the wooden heart spoons are from my trip to Thailand. I love picking up things that remind me of my travels. And below, the brown gingham looking ceramic is from a cute boutique in Prague.
Everything in our home tells a story – usually anyway.
I recently picked up this handmade in Germany Richard Glaesser Pyramid from Home Goods! Can you believe it? It reminds me of the cuckoo clock I bought in Switzerland (which was from Germany) and you know me and handmade. I’m all for craftsmanship and I bought another one as a gift. I also saw one that was 3 stories tall (in little wood people land not lifelike 3 stories) and I wanted it so bad but I didn’t know how we’d store it in the off season.
But like they say if you keep thinking about it… just kidding husband. Anniversary gift?
Our dining room table is from Restoration Hardware and the slip covered chairs are from Ballard Designs on caster rollers (remember the slipcover is separate from the chair itself)! It’s so convenient to slide in and out on our finished flagstone floor and it was great decision to not have an dining area rug.
The vintage champaign buffet is from One Kings Lane, and the light fixture as well (which is trending everywhere since we installed it), and the handprinted oil painting from eBay (crazy story of overspending on it here), framed at Aaron Brothers. Wood shelf brackets from Ballard Designs, which are no longer available. If you want to see our dining room makeover here it is.
Photography by Diana Elizabeth Photography + Instagram husband.