How to Design a Holiday Table

The holidays are full of memorable times with friends and family typically gathered around a table full of delicious food and drinks.  In partnership with Lenox, we’re sharing how we plan and create holiday tables.

1. Start with a mood board

We recommend starting by building mood boards where you can group items together that you like.  For pictures that don’t fit the feel, move them to another board.  While we were planning our holiday shoot, I create five different mood boards and ultimately created two.  I knew I wanted to create a tablescape around Lenox’s Golden Waterfall set so I designed everything to fit that classic & elegant look.

2. Decide on your colors

When deciding colors, I recommend choosing two main colors, one accent or complementary color and one metal.  For this setting, I quickly decided I wanted to lean into the ‘all white’ trend with all white and gold plates and flatware.  Our main colors were white and green with gold as the metal and wine as the accent color.

I brought color in through the paper goods and the flowers.  Think of it as a neutral outfit with pops of color through accessories being flowers and paper goods.  In working with Dilly Lily, we designed the garland together to be flexible enough to have flowers with pops of color placed in it or to use all greenery for a more natural look.

3. Find balance among pieces

It’s important to have one or two focal pieces for the table.  If the plates are loud, try to keep the flowers and paper goods at the table more neutral.  If you have a more neutral plate, you can try a more wild floral bouquet.  The plates and flatware were a more neutral, harmonious look for this table so we brought color through with the stunning designs from Bluebird Paper Company.

4. Gather your pieces and play

I can’t stress enough that it’s ideal to pull together the pieces in advance and play around to see the look come together in real life.  Often times, I’ll execute my design with what I expected to bring the mood board to life and certain elements will add clutter or look off.  I also recommend photographing the table setting and reviewing it as well to confirm it matches your vision.  Typically, I give myself a good 60-90 minutes to play around and decide on a final look.

5. Set the table

Up to a day before your event, set the table with everything other than flowers.  This gives you the time to check your vision one last time before the event.  Set out all of the place cards, line up your water glasses, wine glasses and flatware just right.

See my classic holiday table come to life below

This post was in partnership with Lenox, but all opinions and commentary are of my own.  Vendor credits:

Meet Jen

I’ve always had a love affair with creation. Since I was a child, I handmade my gifts or combined toys to design something new. Fast forward twenty years, and I’m still making my gifts every holiday and designing new ways to do things.


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In order to grow my small business, I earn revenue in a few different ways. I publish sponsored posts from time to time, which are always labeled. Sometimes I earn an affiliate commission on the sales of products or business resources I link to. I only feature items I genuinely love and want to share. Thank you for reading and supporting my small business!

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