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Hints & Tips
Organizing Holiday Tablescapes
Author Lea Schneider, a columnist for What’s
Cooking America, is a freelance writer and organizational expert whose organizing ideas have been published in many magazines including Woman’s Day,
Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, as well as numerous newspapers
and websites. She is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.
Getting organized is all about living simpler and making things easier. The bonus is it often leads to saving money.
Lea Schneider's kitchen organizing columns tell you how to organize the many things that relate to kitchens, menus, meals, and special food events.
Check out all of Lea Schneider's helpful home and kitchen columns at
Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.
Beautiful table settings or tablescapes,
which combines the words table + landscape, begins with a bit of
organization. Organization and creativity go
hand-in-hand. Nearly every creative project begins with some kind of
planning, organizing or gathering. A beautiful holiday table is no
different. The basic rule of organizing applies to
planning a tablescape. That rule, that like items go together, helps
you set the theme.
Pull out your box of decorations and see
what kinds of like items you own. It could be based on color, such
as a grouping of blue items or red items. Or, it could be a grouping
of things, such as angels or elves. This is the time to showcase
what you collect.
A big part of your table décor will be the
table covering. If you don’t own a tablecloth in the color you need,
consider if you have a sheet, quilt or piece of fabric that works.
On the first table, is a theme built
around snowmen, which I collect. This also means white is a theme
too. Snowballs are not only white but are round so shapes helped set
the theme. I began to gather things that were, white, round or
Different heights add to the appeal of a
tablescape. This way, the eye is not bored as it roams. I add a bit
of height by planning a few vases in the scene. I use evergreens
plucked from my yard and some carnations, which are white and round
so as to repeat my theme’s tone.
For this table, I used a white tablecloth
and white napkins tied with white ribbon. I added various snowmen I
have collected over the year, a garland of “ice,” white glass
ornament balls and the small vases of greens and carnations. To add
to the effect, I dug through my Christmas ornaments to find some
snow-related ornaments such as the green ice skate pictured or a
Bright Red Holiday Theme:
On the second table, I wanted to make use
of some cute holiday statues or figures. As I set them out, I
realized that they all had touches of red.
I began with a traditional red poinsettia
tablecloth and topped it with a puddle of red satin. The satin is a
remnant from fabric store. It is un-hemmed so the raw edges were just
tucked under the puddle. Puddling the fabric gives you a variety of
After the satin was puddled some small
vases of red carnations were added. The figurines were grouped about
the table so that each place setting had a few to look at. Then red
glitter pine cones and beaded garland were tucked here and there for
Napkins were tucked into napkin rings
featuring Santa. You can easily replicate this look by tying napkins
with ribbon and attached a small ornament to the ribbon.
Want to organize a tablescape - Here is a
Decide on a theme.
Decide on a color.
Choose a tablecloth or other table toppings
Plan on tucking in some greens or flowers in a vase for height.
Go tall for a buffet tablescape
- but low for a conversational
Arrange tallest items first.
Add medium height items next, spreading them down the table.
Add short items to the front last, so they are sure to show.