The holidays are filled with so many fun moments, but they can also be a major source of stress for many of us. When your to-do list is a mile long already, finding easy table decorations that’ll wow your Thanksgiving dinner crowd of 25 just feels…..overwhelming.
We’ve all been there when it comes to holidays, right? Everything on your list sounds so great at first, and then as each activity draws closer, we start getting all panicked about everything we’ve committed to that season.
Don’t get me wrong: When it comes to hosting holidays, I LOVE planning menus, cooking for a crowd, and setting up beautiful table decorations for my family and friends (the last activity is my fave, but I bet you could’ve guessed that, right?!).
But all of it takes time and energy and thought. A lot of it.
So when my sweet and insanely talented friend Cameron of Cameron Jones Interiors recently asked me to share some tips on setting a table scape this holiday season, I thought I’d take a bit of an unconventional approach. And those tips are exactly the ones I’m going to share with you here.
When it comes to holiday gatherings and decorating, I’m going to tell you a secret:
You CAN host a fun, beautiful gathering for friends and family without losing your mind.
And my #1 rule when it comes to decorating for the holidays?
Don’t over-complicate your holiday table decor.
Keep it simple! Don’t panic about having to dust off the fine china you received as a wedding gift, and forget about the 85 kinds of DIY place settings that you could make (while sitting in your car waiting for your kid’s piano lesson to end, because….. let’s be real, that’s probably the only “free” time you have).
Instead, use what you already own, and then add one or two seasonal additions to make your home look festive.
You do NOT need to earn a gray hair or two over holiday decorating prep. It’s just not worth it!
So keep it stress-free, and follow my easy rules…..and then step back, enjoy that glass of wine, and revel in the company of your friends and family!
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Here are my three tips for creating a beautiful table scape for ANY holiday without losing your sanity, or spending a bajillion dollars at HomeGoods:
Take advantage of what you already own, and add a seasonal touch.
Just because you’re setting a table for say, Thanksgiving, doesn’t mean that your table scape should only include traditional fall colors. There’s so much more to fall’s palette than orange, rust, and brown! A pumpkin here or a few rich jewel tones there – think sapphire or evergreen or even a deep magenta — are enough to bring a festive feel. Otherwise, make an effort to use things you already own and love, throwing in a few seasonal additions. For example, I sprinkled faux pumpkins around our dining table (I’m digging these small metallic faux pumpkins, by the way), which is enough to make our table scape feel festive while using our usual white and blue dishware (it’s from Target’s melamine dinnerware collection — and SO affordable). Take a look:
Bring the outdoors in.
If you need seasonal decorating inspiration, your backyard is an awesome place to start. If you wanna go a step further, go check out the florals section of your local grocery store (PSA: Trader Joe’s has THE best selection of seasonable, affordable blooms – if you have one near you, you can’t beat it!). A simple seasonal bouquet can bring just the right amount of color and warmth to your table. And if you have a brown thumb and just aren’t into fresh flowers, then find a single faux bouquet that you can reuse each year. This fun fall bouquet from Crate & Barrel is one of my favorite finds, and it always has a home in a Chinoiserie-style vase on our bar cart each year!
Don’t be afraid to use melamine, or even disposable dishware.
I’m just gonna come out and say it: There are no “rules” that say you must use fine China on holidays, despite what your mother-in-law told you. Sure, your grandmother probably does it, but I’m telling you to throw that traditional playbook out the window and use elements in your table scape that make your life EASIER. I’m talking melamine dishware for gatherings with young kids (because we all know that something is going to hit the floor!), or even disposable dishware for when you’re hosting a crowd and don’t want to spend hours at the sink scrubbing everything later.
These stunning blue and white disposable salad plates are from Caspari (one of my favorite brands!). I bet you didn’t even know that they’re made of paper! And the drinkware? It’s plastic, and I scored it on Amazon (heyyyyy, two-day Prime shipping). Now, if you have a beautiful serving platter that’s been in your family for generations, or high-end dishware that makes your heart go pitter patter, by all means…..use it. My point is that it’s okay to mix and match elements and create a table scape that works for YOU.
So the moral of the story is this: Play by your own table setting rules, my friends. I’m giving you permission! Get creative, come up with a table design YOU love, and you AND your guests are sure to have a happy, fun, and beautiful gathering.
Oh, and your sanity will remain in tact, which is really the most important thing of all.
By the way, you can read the full post from my pal Cameron on table decorating tips right here, which includes advice from Cameron, me, and several other talented and inspiring ladies!
Promise me something: Let’s all vow right now to keep the holidays simple and as stress-free as possible for each of us. Pinky promise? Because creating a beautiful, happy home doesn’t need to be complicated. Heck, it can’t be complicated — our lives are way too busy for that!
Want more easy and simple holiday decorating tips? I’ve got lots for ya!
10 Easy Seasonal Decorating Ideas Under $10 –> Click here to read!
Easy Fall Dining Room Decor: Seasonal Additions Under $20 –> Click here to read!
30+ Affordable Holiday Pillows for Every Decor Style –> Click here to read!
P.S. Did you like this post? I’d love it SO much if you’d pin it. Thanks a bunch!