CREATE YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS TABLESCAPE!
Let it be known that I am a complete sucker for Christmas! One of my favourite things to do at this time of year is forage for beautiful pieces of nature to decorate my home with.
To me, there are few things quite as satisfying as foraging for sloe’s to make my own sloe gin, or collecting damp smelling woodland pinecones to fill my fireplace. Every year I go to a local grower who cuts down my hand-picked Christmas tree, and with that they also load me up with bundles upon bundles of pine tree offcuts which I use to make wreaths, garlands, and dress my favourite area of all…my Christmas dining table.
So here’s a little ‘how to’, to show you how you can create your own Christmas dining table worthy of the pages of a lifestyle magazine!
It’s important to choose your colour scheme for your tablescape. I’ve chosen gold and white as my main ‘theme’. Mixing textures and materials is a great way of creating depth, so I start with a crisp white muslin table runner which I keep long, draping it over the table and onto the floor at either end (for added drama, of course!)
Next, take your pine branches and cut with sharp secateurs so that the ends are neat, (it doesn’t have to be pine, you could use any hardy waxy foliage that lasts well out of water). Lay your branches on top of the muslin one by one, starting from the inside of the table and moving outwards to the ends.
Candles are the perfect way to create ambience, and I’m a huge fan of clustered candles at varying heights. Here I’ve used some beautiful antique gold and brass candlesticks, offset with pure white candles and a few metallic gold ones to mix things up a bit.
Nestle your candle sticks among the foliage along the entire length of the table. Balance is important, but if you know my style you’ll know that precise symmetry is definitely not my thing!
Don’t over complicate your table setting, and keep in mind leaving ample space for the piles of food that are about to descend upon it! I’ve kept the floral elements very simple, filling cut crystal tumblers with white helleborus, and gold goblets with deep burgundy astilbe, cow parsley, and my favourite; bunches of pink peppercorns, which create beautiful movement.
Tableware is just as important as the purely decorative elements. I know they will soon be smeared in gravy and overflowing with festive nectar but, choosing the right tableware can finish off your table impeccably. Be adventurous with your choices too, as long as the elements of your table complement one another, nothing has to be too matchy.
Instead of place mats or chargers I’ve used three sizes of gold and white china plates, and stacked them on top of one another. I’ve selected a variety of gold, silver and wood handled cutlery, and a mix of antique cut crystal glasses.
To finish off, it’s always nice to dress each place setting, so I’ve laid a sprig of sprayed gold fern and some eucalyptus ‘gum nuts’ on each plate. Handmade miniature crackers are also a nice touch, and that way you can personalize them for each of your diners.
Voila! All that’s left is to light you candles, toast with some champagne, eat and be merry!