This year I’ll be hosting Christmas day at my house. My husband and I moved into our new home earlier this year and haven’t hosted Christmas since around 2005, so it’s kind of a big deal. I’m both excited and terrified! My husband is the designated cook in our household, so the food planning is more his department, which leaves me plenty of time to the plan my favourite task of styling. Styling isn’t just pretty decorations, it’s also about having a well planned, functional space. Of course, the heart of Christmas is about being with loved ones, but why not do so in a gorgeous festive environment if you can. Here are my Christmas entertaining styling ideas and tips:
Work out your number of guests who will be attending and how to best seat that that many people in your entertaining space. We will be seated on our back undercover deck which is a long, narrow space. I am planning one long row of trestle tables with a gap in the centre for access. I’ve even drawn a plan to scale to ensure everyone is going to fit.
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This will depend on the number of guests you are hosting, but I’m a big fan of buffet style. It allows people to choose what they want to eat, grab seconds if they desire and best of all, it leaves the tables clear. Our kitchen/ dining area adjoins our outdoor entertaining area, so I am planning on using the dining table (chairs removed) as a buffet servery which people can walk around.
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It’s a good idea to have an area set up with everything drink related close to where you will be entertaining for guests to help themselves. I love the look of metal drink tubs, so I’ll have a few of those full of ice. I’ll set up a table with a pretty glass water dispenser (to which I’ll also refreshing sliced lemon and mint) and cups/ glasses and a bottle opener. I’m also going to pinch a great idea from my Aunt, which is having a sharpie pen on the drinks table to write on plastic cups so they don’t get mixed up, which is especially great for kids.
Image credit: 100layercakelet.com
Choose colours that complement the décor of your home and any Christmas decorations you already have. I tend to gravitate toward neutrals and metallics. Our house already has a lot of gold decorator accent items, so I’ve chosen Gold and White as my colour scheme.
Image credit: homes.ninemsn.com.au
I adore decorations suspended from above. If you will be entertaining under a pergola like me, use those rafters to your advantage, or hang them from trees. I’m going to hang paper stars directly above the tables. You could also hang lengths of tinsel or ribbon with a bauble on the end or there lots of great, cheap wreaths in shops at the moment you could use. If you’re into DIY, make your own -there’s loads of craft tutorial online for paper decorations. Whatever you choose, hang at varying heights to create interest and a feeling of intimacy, keeping in mind you don’t want to restrict vision or bump into heads!
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Begin with draping tablecloth over the table; I can never go past classic white. Then add a table runner with either a festive print or simply burlap. I have dreamy thoughts of laying out individual place settings with real china, silverware and beautiful napery… however the reality of washing up for 20 odd guests means I’ll be using the prettiest disposable plates, cutlery and napkins I can get my hands on! I’ll spruce them up by tying festive tags around napkins and cutlery with string. Find attractive bonbons in your colour scheme, or make your own if you’re crafty.
Image credit: redonline.co.uk
Lighting and candles
Lighting really sets the festive mood in the evening. There is every type of Christmas light you could think of around right now, but for your entertaining area, I think simple is best. Hang fairy or festoon lights above if you’re outside. Place candles on the table for a delightful Christmas twinkle.
Adding fresh greenery will bring softness to your decorating. Use olive branches or twigs of rosemary. Holly gives an extra festive touch, but watch out for the sharp edges! Add lengths of foliage along the tables entwined around candles, place stems in multiple vessels or jars, or hang pieces from above. I especially love suspended wreaths made from olive branches.
Image credit: theglitterguide.com
Merry Christmas Adeladies!