Hey, buddies! Guess what! We have an actual dining room to eat Christmas Eve dinner in this year. I know that might not be earth shattering to you (and truth be told, it’s a blessing to have food to eat at all #perspective), but I’m pleasantly surprised that we got our act together enough over here to make it happen in the new (old) place.
This week, Lory from Designthusiasm is hosting a whole new round of the Styled + Set Holiday Entertaining Blog Tours, so there are tons of beautiful inspirations at the bottom of this post if you plan on hosting a big Christmas fete this year. If you’re visiting from Julie Blanner’s gorgeous home, welcome!
This year, we’re hosting 15 people for Christmas Eve dinner, so we’ve been crazy busy rushing around trying to get as many projects done as possible. But I took a break from the painting and electrical fixes and the not-so-fun plumbing jobs (all the usual fixer upper house gigs) to play around with a mini-version of a Christmas tablescape that I’ll set for our crew in a few weeks.
You’d never guess that there are still piles of half-unpacked boxes in the next room, right? Home wasn’t built in a day, but putting together a glistening red and green tablescape sure makes you feel better about the not-so-pretty stuff, ya know?
So here’s how to whip up a fancy Christmas tablescape without spending a sleigh-full: (Some affiliate links are provided below for convenience.)
1. Look through what decor you already own first and stick to the classics.
I really put the whole table together just using what I already had in my stash. The more I keep “the classics” in a decor capsule wardrobe, the more I realize what I already own is way more versatile and cheaper in the long run.
You can never go wrong with mercury glass, especially in the winter. I LOVE how it plays with candlelight and adds so much warmth to our house during the dark and cold months, but it still works well year-round. (It’s kind of my weakness.)
Silver and brass candlesticks are great for adding some extra glisten too. (I see them constantly at thrift stores and consignment shops.)
I actually found these silver taper candle holders at the thrift store 3 years ago for $2 each, and I’ve been attached to them ever since. I have no idea where they originally came from but I saw similar ones at IKEA recently.
And I snagged this set of mercury glass votive holders on a major sale at Kirkland’s last year.
2. Stay away from “theme-y”.
I picked up this red stripe table runner and napkin set at World Market on sale last Christmas, but I get way more use out of their simplicity since the red works great for Valentine’s and July 4th. (I used the napkins in my patriotic tablescape this past summer.)
I try to avoid buying table linens with Christmas trees or pillows with “NOEL” stamped on them because they create limitations. Think about how you can use something year-round before you buy it. And you won’t have as much stuff to put in storage either.
3. Find multiple uses for items.
The only thing I bought new this year was a vase and this jingle bell bowl filler. I mindlessly stuck a bell on one of the plates while I was arranging candles around and then realized they made perfect place card holders! Ha! Happy accidents rock.
But if I don’t want to stick to the place card holder idea, I can scatter them on the table runner, put them in a bowl on our coffee table, string them up with some garland on our staircase banister, hand them to Olivia to ring them all and make the dogs go crazy… ya know, all that.
4. Take advantage of the produce aisle and greenery from your own backyard.
Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs to cook with, and I always have it either out in our herb garden or in our fridge, so I tossed a bunch of sprigs all over the table with some fresh cranberries from the produce section along with a couple of sprigs on the plates. It sort of reminds me of a miniature Christmas wreath.
5. Save your tree trimmings.
And as for the greenery, I’m by no means a pro flower arranger, but this $6 bundle of greens I picked up at Trader Joe’s was super easy to just stick in a vase and be done.
Tree lots are usually willing to let go of their tree trimmings for free too, if you ask. We currently have a giant pile of tree trimmings hanging out in our garage for me to turn into fresh garland.
The other day, we picked out our live Christmas tree from our town’s farmer’s market that has now ended up in the corner in this dining room, so I can’t wait to show how this space has changed since putting that up. More about that later though.
If you want to know about any of the sources I used, you can find them all here:
- Wall color: Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal
- Trim color: Benjamin Moore Simply White
- Red striped linen runner (Good for Valentine’s and July 4th too.)
- Red striped linen napkins
- Mercury glass pillar holders (mine from Kirkland’s have been discontinued but these are similar)
- Mercury glass votive holders (or I bet you could DIY some using this tutorial, if you’re feeling ambitious)
- Mercury glass vase
- Wood charger plates (I’ve had these for a few years now and use them ALL the time year-round.)
- Jingle bell bowl filler (doubled as place card holders)
- Gold silverware
- White porcelain dinnerware (Ours was given to us as a wedding gift and it never goes out of style.)
- Slipcovered dining chairs
- Dining Table ($100 Facebook marketplace find for us, but you can find similar ones here, here, and here.)
- Curtains (My favorite white panels I use on almost all of our windows.)
- Curtain rods
- Bleached jute rug (I noticed the reviews are iffy on this one online, but we’ve had no issues so far.)
We still have a ways to go in this dining room makeover, starting with that chandelier and eventually adding wall decor, so I’ll be sharing more about that later as we figure out everything.