The biggest party of the year for me is a Christmas dinner I host with my long time group of girlfriends, coming up on our 14th 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.
Two years ago I collaborated with Ballard Designs and while most of these products aren’t available any longer, I have linked to similar and also hope this can be inspirational to you. I can’t believe that window is no longer there and we have a new garden room area there – and by the way all the light in these images are all from studio strobes I set up (outside windows) to give the illusion of sunlight. I love studio lighting and my house used to be so dark and so I set them up to look like daylight.
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 bought new plates 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).
I used red linen placemats paired with red embodied napkins (similar and here). I folded them in a way so you could see the adorable deer accent plate (similar, and set of 4 here) which is also the dessert plate. If you are looking for an accent plate, check out these red Jacqueline Holiday accent plates, I love them!
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.
A low profile vase is so perfect for tablescapes (similar in gold and silver) 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 (she follows me on IG and I just about died).
I added a sprig of rosemary from my garden and tied it with some twine.
So now onto the cocoa bar!
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!
The cup and saucers are festive (similar)! I love decorating with red for Christmas because you rarely see it in my home and when it’s Christmas I want it to scream, IT’S CHRISTMAS in my home.
SMEG makes some of the cutest products so I picked this 50s style SMEG kettle, 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 and I 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 can’t wait to put out my goodies I bought from the German and French Christmas markets.
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.
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.
Happy setting the table for your holiday party – tag me so I can see it!
This post was originally published on December 5, 2017 and modified on November 29, 2019.
Diana Elizabeth needs to make a to-do yearly list so she knows what to do like clockwork, order the food, party favors, etc. She will have to decide how to set the table this year – she thinks red will definitely be part of the tables cape.