Whether you are hosting the big holiday dinner, having a small party to sing carols, or just enjoying meals at home with your family, having a festively set table brings a special feeling to the meal. Creating that unique look doesn’t have to involve ornate flowers or hours of planning. Jacin Fitzgerald of Lovely Little Details collaborated with photographer Jessica Burke to share three simple yet festive holiday tablescapes that you can pull together using items you already own plus a few quick additions. Here’s Jacin’s tips for creating a beautiful holiday table of your own. 

A Cozy Winter Wonderland

Inspired by the relaxed, laid back feel of chambray mixed with the comfort of faux fur, this tablescape incorporates elements you wouldn’t necessarily see together at a dinner table but that work nicely to create a cozy holiday ambiance. You don’t have to have beautiful handwriting to create your own place cards either – simply print out a pretty font in a light colored text on some heavy card stock and trace the names with your favorite pen. I love using metallics like golds or silvers, but the white goes nicely with this overall tablescape, too. The table runner is some chambray/denim fabric I picked up from Joann Fabrics and cut in half to fit the table nicely. No need to hem. We rented our flatware, glasses, and china from Frances Lane but incorprate your daily favorites into the look.

I love how rosemary is the herb of remembrance and it has such a festive scent, so I created a garland-esque runner along the center of the table and tied sprigs loosely around each napkin. The faux fur “chair backs” are actually rugs from ikea and they bring the table to another level completely, making the guests feel comfortable and warm. I just love the soft texture it adds – and at $9.99 each, they’re a steal that can be repurposed around the home (or kept on your chairs!). Lastly, the birch bark strips worked wonders to bring that outdoor element in to the overall look. Plus, doesn’t birch just go so nicely with fur?

Natural Red and Green

Although Christmas colors are typically red and green, that doesn’t mean we have to go overboard. I like to bring them in subtly with natural elements like greenery, ribbon, florals, and fabric. I always love the look of natural wooden tables, but they are especially appropriate this time of year! To me, they showcases such a beautiful, rustic essence. For this tablescape, again, I went to Joann fabric for a pretty plaid fabric to act as our table runner. I was going to cut the fabric in to napkins but it was just too lovely not to use as the runner itself. If you decide to use the fabric as napkins or placemats instead and still want the center of the table to be covered in some way, consider using cheesecloth. It’ll add a beautiful texture and color to your tablescape.

We didn’t want to create another greenery runner, though you could, and instead tied cypress pine sprigs to the outside of the chairs with burgundy velvet ribbon. Instead of putting a menu in the napkin, we placed our holiday cards inside – a fun way to give your guests their cards (especially when many holiday meals are served family style and there may be many sides brought by guests thus making it hard to type up a formal menu beforehand!) We brought the velvet ribbon back in by wrapping it around the napkins. Next, we added tree slabs with cranberries and a few more pine sprigs to the table center, and ikea lanterns served as our candlelight. Simple clover flower and bunny grass added a pretty pop of color and texture without requiring an expensive centerpiece. My family has a tie to cardinals so I added a few to our table to add a whimsical, fun accent. Lastly, long cinnamon sticks tied in gold shimmer ribbon finished it off in the center.

Simple and Chic Holidays

When it comes to any dinner party, I always like to think that simple is best. You don’t have to go over the top to make your guests feel welcome or create a magical setting – it’s all about the company, conversation, and time spent with loved ones that create the overall atmosphere. For our final tablescape, I used a black and white ticking tablecloth that I had purchased from La Tavola Linen’s warehouse sale and paired it with pretty pops of orange, green, white black and gold. I love kumquats in floral arrangements this time of year. Fresh citrus just makes me think of the holidays so I love to incorporate this natural element whenever possible. The florals also feature ranunculus, paperwhites, privet and… carnations. Yes! Carnations. Though they may get a bad rep, they are an affordable and beautiful addition to floral arrangements! I love how the textured arrangements are really all this tablescape needs to create a “pull up a chair and sit a while” feel. I gathered a few kumquat branches to accent each plate. You could bring in the faux-calligraphy here as well, and tie a place card to each if you wanted, but we were trying to keep this as simple as possible. Light a few golden candlesticks and you’ve got yourself a lovely little dinner party waiting to happen.

Time to go write our guest lists!