Day 7: How to Create a Simple, Elegant, Holiday Tablescape


To me, there is nothing more satisfying than playing hostess.  I love inviting people in, I love cooking for them, I love setting the ambiance,  I love playing with the decor, and I love knowing that in the end people really and truly enjoyed themselves.  I love doing all of that to the enth degree, but as life would have it... I don't exactly have loads of spare time laying around at the moment.

So for now, I love finding really simple ways to upgrade the setting and decor so I don't have to spend a lot of time and energy on it.


Today we're sharing a few really easy steps to building a rustic, elegant tablescape for the holidays.  I hope you find it helpful!

To create this look (for table to seat 6) you will need:

  • 4-8 stems of fresh eucalyptus (preferably the type with the flat round sort of leaves. Trader Joe's carries these all season long)
  • 2-4 evergreen branches (we got some cuttings from when we got our Christmas tree)
  • A few sprigs of Berries, a handful of Baubles, or a sprinkling of other small colorful decorative pieces
  • 3-5 antique candlesticks
  • 3-5 taper candles (burgundy)
  • 6 gold chargers (plus 6 place settings)
  • Assorted cloth napkins
  • oranges (preferably with leaves if you can find them!) 

To Assemble:


1) Lay a Lush Foundation:  To make a tablescape feel like it's really a little landscape atop your table, start by laying down some fresh eucalyptus branches.  If you you're going to run the tablescape the full length of the table this is definitely the stuff you'll want going all the way to the edges. Add to your foundation by laying evergreen branches on top of the eucalyptus.  leave some room around the edges for the eucalyptus to poke out and be seen all on its own.

2) Add Festive Baubles, Berries, or Pops of Color:  my favorite addition is sprigs of red berries. It can also be fun to add some sparkly or glittery baubles or to intersperse some frosted pinecones.


3) Intersperse Antique Candles:  Cast some romantic and moody light on the table with some dark burgundy candles in antique (or antiqued!) holders.

4) Add Gold Chargers to Each Place Setting: Every year at Christmas my mom would bust out gold chargers to go underneath our plates... back then I didn't exactly get it..."mom, why is there a second plate under my plate?" and even now they don't exactly "fit" with my decor style. But this is one of those non negotiables to me. Something about chargers reminds me of childhood and yet makes me feel very much like an adult. This small touch will elevate the whole setting!


5) Add an orange FTW!  Adding a bright citrus fruit to everyone's place settings will add some playfulness to the scene and will also make a yummy snack for guests.


6) HAVE FUN!!! Don't forget to still enjoy yourself, oh yee merry hostess!!!

And it's that simple! How do you decorate your table for the holidays? Any favorite traditions (like me and my chargers!) you can't let go of?

Whether you're hosting or being hosted, we hope you enjoy a restful season!

With Love From Chicago,

Daniel + Jennifer