Bust out your best china and forage some pinecones to create a holiday rustic table!
I love a table that combines elegance and rustic charm. We recently did a segment on our local news station here in Los Angeles, and we had several requests from our boe.- lifers on how to create the look we did, so here are a few tips.
The elegant rustic look plays so well for the holidays and creates a table that is playful yet elegant enough to hold a dinner party. To recreate this look, just take your cue from the outdoors and what's available around you. Find a favorite piece from your existing décor, and let it help lead you to your perfect rustic table.
We chose from vintage china to push us in the direction we wanted to go, but you can draw from a tablecloth handed down, Waterford glasses you love, silverware, or your favorite holiday ornament can also bring inspiration. The key here is, find what inspires you and let it show you the way.
Once you have picked that item, you need to look at colors. What color(s) are in the piece? If you are using something that is all white, you'll need to decide on three colors that you want to incorporate into your rustic tablescape. If you choose white as the way you want to go, you will bring these colors in by floral accents because every rustic table should have something from nature. Because it's a holiday table, we tend to gravitate towards red and green. It's okay to do this, but get creative with your colors — more on how to do that later.
Back to your key pieces and color choice, for our table, we chose the small vintage plates with a floral design, one plate is green, white, and gold, and the other plate is blueish green, white, and gold. Even though the dishes are completely different, you can see that there are similarities in color and design. Both plates have a floral design, white, gold, and a shade of green.
Because the one plate has blue tones, I knew we needed to pull that color into the other place setting. I did this two ways, a table runner that has a blueish-green hue and also by pairing the plate without blue, with a larger bamboo plate that has both blue, green, and orange stripes.
The second place setting was a little harder for us to match because we were only pulling from the items we carry so we could feature them. We decided to use a very neutral bamboo plate that was cream with thin brown stripes. Brown is a very neutral color and plays off the rustic outdoor look, and the lines show continuity in the two larger plates, this was tricky but ultimately worked. We put both place settings on a wood charger to ground the place settings and keep it cohesive, and this works great with that white tablecloth we talked about earlier because it will bring the white tablecloth down-to-earth, so to speak. The wood chargers are essential in giving your table that earthy feel. You can also achieve this with placemats or a real leaf. Be careful when opting for a faux leaf because they can move you from elegance into an overdone table.
The two settings were married by utilizing the same silverware, napkins, and napkin rings. Everything about the table settings matches except for the two plates, one of which was our inspiration. This allows it to stand out as our inspiration piece and makes the table feel eclectic and fun.
Every holiday table should have a little shimmer! Shimmer is easily achieved with candles and glassware. We showed an outdoor holiday table and wanted to feature our "cut glass" acrylic glasses, which beautifully reflect light even though they are acrylic. I adore cut glass, but simple glassware still gives you a shimmer. To amplify the shimmer, place your votive candles near the glasses to reflect the light but not to close that you burn your guest. We also added gold sprayed Magnolia leaves to our table. We purchased ours, but these can be done by picking leaves from your back yard and spraying with a gold floral spray found at your local craft store.
That brings us to bringing the outdoors to your table and finishing your rustic look. Let's go back to those holiday colors of red and green. To incorporate these colors elegantly, use flowers with a deep red color and utilize foliage for the green. These colors convey Christmas but take it from vibrant red and green to rich natural burgundy and evergreen.
Chose how you want to display your flowers, a vase, a bowl, etc. You don't have to be a florist to make a lovely arrangement. You can float flowers in a beautiful bowl and make a great impact. Because we only had minimal time to set up our table before we aired, we had to do something quick and easy. This gave us the perfect opportunity to feature our beloved Tiny Pots! These beautiful Tiny Pots made by a local artist, Sara Pilchman, allowed us to either pick stems from around us or buy stems to display.
We did this by hitting our local floral mart. Look in your area for a floral mart and see if they allow the public to visit. A floral mart will give you access to growers and flowers you may not see in your local florist shops. We were lucky enough to find deep red peonies that happen to be my all-time favorite flowers and Anthurium, the ultimate Christmas feel. The Peonies and Anthurium would represent the red of Christmas with two shades of red, and now we needed green. We chose eucalyptus leaves, gold sprayed Magnolia leaves, which also mirror the Magnolia plates that were our inspiration, and green ball Dianthus which create fullness and are whimsical in a Dr. Seuss way. I filled the rest of the Tiny Pots with Silver Brunia Balls, think silver bells, and air plants. You could also use succulents to give your arrangement fullness and different shades of green and silver. Finally, we added pinecones that we literally pulled over on the side of the road and plucked off the ground on a very rainy day. You can also add twigs that are found and lay a few on the table woven between the Tiny Pots or purposely placed within your arrangement. Be sure to be aware of your guest's eating space and eye level. You don't want any floral getting into their food or impeding their ability to have a conversation with you or your guest.
With all these elements in place, you will have an easy rustic elegant table to enjoy with family and friends. The key here is to make it easy, beautiful, and fun for both you and your guest by personalizing it with something you are inspired by, the beauty outside, and with items you can either gather from around you or from your local shops.
It's the holidays, so make it easy on yourself, enjoy the party, and have a wonderful holiday season!
- Choose an inspiration
- Choose 3 colors
- Select items to make it cohesive
- Shimmer with glassware and candlelight
- Look to the outdoors for elements to add
- Make it easy so you can enjoy your party