How to Set a Holiday Table Like a Stylist

Christmas, Entertain, Hanukkah, On the Table



A creatively set holiday table does more than provide great Instagram fodder for you and guests—it can set the mood for the entire party, start a conversations between guests, and let you share a bit of your personal style with everyone at the table.


For inspiration, we turned to a dream team of Williams-Sonoma stylists, who make it their job to set beautiful tablescapes for photo shoots and parties. From clever DIYs to nature-inspired centerpieces, here are some of their best ideas for setting a striking holiday table.



1. Choose an Unexpected Color


“Festive” doesn’t have to mean red and green—Geraldine Muñoz, a prop stylist in Sydney, Australia, set her table with everyday white plates, then added dark linens, a gold-trimmed salad plate and a sprig of winter berries to transform an all-white place setting into something suited for a holiday party.


2. Set Your Centerpiece Strategically


“Flowers and foliage are a must, but not too much and not too high,” advises Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd, a food and prop stylist in New York City. Her rule of thumb? “Make sure your guests can still see—and flirt!—with the person opposite them.”


3. Mix Vintage with New


Stylists spend plenty of time scouring vintage markets for perfect props, so it’s no surprise that, what it comes to setting the table, they love to blend modern pieces. Alison Attenborough used a gold-rimmed French Limoges plate she found at a flea market in San Luis Obispo for just one dollar. Don’t worry if you don’t have a full set—tie together mix-and-match vintage finds by using a coordinating base—Attenborough used our white Eclictique porcelain plates.


4. Go Organic


Not with the food, necessarily, but with the décor: A twig or branch tucked into a napkin ring, a bundle of fresh herbs to freshen each place setting, or a homemade “runner” of everygreen foliage will do the trick. “It can feel freshly plucked from the garden and really natural, in addition to adding a fresh fragrance,” says Marcus Hay, stylist and director at Studio Marcus Hay in New York City.


5. Get Creative with DIY


Lynsey Fryers, an Australia-based stylist, discovered many opportunities to create a dark and glamorous Hanukkah table using a can of black spray paint. She used it to paint an old picture frame black then hand wrote the menu on it with a metallic gold pen. Then, she sprayed a timber chopping board black and used it to house candles and serve tableware.


6. Include a Take-Home Gift


Attenborough, who is also a food stylist, made salt blends and recipe cards for each setting, while Redman-Lloyd included small polar bear toys at each setting that guests could take home as mementos. “I like to keep my table relaxed and fun, and all the glasses full,” says Redman-Lloyd. “It’s the formula for a good party!”


One comment about “How to Set a Holiday Table Like a Stylist

  1. Is She Flirting With Me? - Nishmantra

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