Decorist’s head of design shares her expert advice for pulling off flawless holiday party decor
1 of 9Julia Van Arsdale
Create low centerpieces
When creating centerpieces for holiday table settings, think about the height. Be sure to select arrangements that are low enough to talk over and don’t hinder conversations. Nothing is worse than centerpieces that are so large that you can’t see the person across the table from you!
2 of 9Julia Van Arsdale
Keep it neutral
A table setting in a neutral color palette is always an elegant and timeless look. Winter whites accented with modern metals is a perfect combination at any time of year, but is especially glamorous around the holidays.
3 of 9Julia Van Arsdale
Mix and match your china
Don’t be afraid to mix your china collections. Create an interesting tablescape by bringing out your wedding china or your grandmother’s prized plates and combining them with your favorite current pieces. This creates a curated and timeless look.
4 of 9Julia Van Arsdale
Glam it up with metallics
Bring out the metallics! Every holiday table setting needs a hint of metal. Accent your color palette with silver, copper, brass, or gold--or better yet, mix them. Metals are the jewelry in design and add much needed dimension.
5 of 9Julia Van Arsdale
Use candles for ambiance
Candles are a must for every table setting and are especially important during the holidays. For instant ambiance, candles can transform a space making it feel cozy and special.
6 of 9Julia Van Arsdale
Give texture to your florals
Create arrangements with texture and balance by selecting winter branches, leaves, and natural ferns and mixing them with florals in the same tone as your place setting. Subtle color variation creates the perfect balance to a neutral place setting and a metallic vessel ups the glam factor.
7 of 9Julia Van Arsdale
A touch of tea lights
Use tea lights across your table setting to extend the ambiance to all your guests without overloading the center of the table. Glass, metal, vintage glasses…there are a multitude of creative ways to incorporate these candles into your tabletop design.
8 of 9Julia Van Arsdale
Create a show stopping arrangement in your entry hall or by your front door to greet your guests and set the tone for the style direction for the rest of the space. The arrangement should complement the table setting using similar colors and textures. Don’t be afraid to go tall!
9 of 9Julia Van Arsdale
Build a beverage station
Creating a dedicated beverage station is always an elegant way to welcome guests during the holidays. Repurpose an existing console, bookshelf, or vintage bar cart and fill it with festive glassware, assorted drinks, and a low-key arrangement. Winter branches or simple magnolia leaves are sophisticated and quickly transform the feel of the tabletop.