The key to creating a Christmas table that you’ll love to share with your friends and family is to use things that are meaningful to you. To me the magic of Christmas lies in the holiday rituals I’ve created with my children. It’s so special because it’s only once a year. In Australia we don’t get the feeling of Christmas from the first snow fall and roasted chestnuts that we hear about in the Christmas carols. I imagine that it must feel a lot like Christmas in the northern hemisphere just from the weather. Here it's sunny days at the beach and it's quite funny to be cutting down a Christmas tree in 37 degree heat! To create the magic of Christmas I decorate my home and pay special attention to how my table looks. My main goal each Christmas is to avoid it being stressful. I have a few tips on how to create a table that’s beautiful without taking hours to put together. After all, the real joy is in being with family and friends and creating memories with them.
Start with a neutral base.
I have a wooden table top which is stunning all on its own. Even so its nice to add some texture and warmth with fabric. My go to for tablecloths is linen. I never bother to iron it, I like the creases, it makes it feel more friendly. This year I’ve found this stunning throw in a golden sand tone that I’m using as a table runner. You can find it at Once Was Lost.
Choose items that are inherently beautiful.
I love vintage cutlery, it’s worn and tarnished with age. It has a rustic beauty that shiny new cutlery doesn’t have. There’s something so special about objects that get more beautiful the more they’re used. I think about this often, our perception we have of objects and their value. Most of the things we buy brand new tend to become worth less when they’re aged, damaged or marked. Like a new kettle, if it gets a scratch or a ding we see it as worth less than what we paid for it. Compared to an old copper kettle, it’s the dings and scratches that give it character and soul. I aim to use these types of objects in my table styling, it brings a feeling of ease that we don’t have to be precious when we’re using them.
Use things that are meaningful to you
Handmade ceramics have a soulful feeling that can't be replicated by similar items mass produced. Setting your table with plates that are made by hand, gives you a connection with the maker that's grounding and calming. It enhances even the most simple dishes.
Glitz and glam isn't my usual style, but Christmas is an exception! It’s nice to have a bit of sparkle this time of year. You can’t go wrong with classic silver and gold, I’m using these pretty copper decorations to add a bit of fun to the table. I've chosen gold hued vintage glassware to give an extra hint of metallics.
Go foraging for foliage.
You don’t need buckets and buckets of foliage to create a feeling of beauty on your table. I had a bunch of berzillia that has dried out and they still look so pretty (the blooms look like little baubles) and a bunch of native broom for a bit of green. I love to forage around my neighbourhood and pick leaves and branches for my table. It’s a really lovely way to spend a morning, grab a basket and a pair of secateurs and go for a wander, you’ll be amazed at what you see when your walking that you completely miss when you drive past. Bunches of herbs in glass jars from the garden look gorgeous and smell amazing, rosemary is perfect to give a feeling of Christmas.
What’s the feeling you want to convey?
When people come to sit at my table I want them to feel special and loved. That I made an effort to create a space for them to enjoy that’s beautiful and thoughtful. I’m not going to try and make everything perfect or too fancy, I want my guests to feel comfortable. It’s hard to relax if you’re worried about spilling food on the expensive linen. Think about the feeling you want people to have at your table, is it cosy and warm, excited and glamorous, wholesome and nurtured. When you’ve got an idea of the feeling you want to share, it becomes easier to choose the tableware and decor to match.