Table of Plenty - Festive Season Styling

Heather Nette King

Heather Nette King is a Melbourne-based interiors stylist and writer for many leading interior titles and newspapers. The hallmarks of her styling are colour and vibrancy, and she writes passionately about peoples’ homes and how they live in them.

Setting the scene – tips for this festive season’s most beautiful tables

I think this year, when we all sit down to celebrate the festive season with our families, you will be able to hear the collective sigh of relief. We made it through 2020 and now it is time to come together and celebrate. My anticipation levels around setting the festive dining table always run pretty high (my daughters know that setting the table is my job, and I am not quite ready to share it yet), and this year I know I will be making an extra effort to shrug off all those worries and go all out to show my family how happy I am that we are all celebrating together. I love creating cheery moments all around my home, so read on for my top tips for making the most of your festive season decorations.

Dream up a theme

Festive schemes that have the most impact are those that carry a common theme – whether it be a pared-back Scandi-inspired look that features a lot of white, pale timbers and very pale, muted hues of green, blue and grey; or a traditional scheme of bright red and green with lashings of glistening gold. This year, I am looking forward to using a lot of emerald green, bright pink and gold, as rich sparkling colours feel so jubilant and merry, particularly when they are lit up with candlelight.

Set the scene

Setting the festive dining table is a given. Lots of us also love to decorate the mantlepiece above a fireplace, the front door and a tree, but I am not one to stop there though – no space is safe from my festive decoration endeavours. I like to create little festive ‘moments’ all around my home, hanging baubles and decorations off door handles, in windows that face out to the neighbours, and off hallway hooks and hangers.

Fabulous festive table settings

To me, minimalism is the natural enemy of festive table décor. This is not a time for paring things back. Rather, it is a time for wonderful abundance and generosity, so look to set your table with lashings of serving platters, glasses for all occasions, a fabulous centrepiece of florals or maybe even a cake stand piled high with baubles. Giving your table height as well as layers of beautiful objects will create the ultimate feast for your eyes.

Fabulous festive table settings

To me, minimalism is the natural enemy of festive table décor. This is not a time for paring things back. Rather, it is a time for wonderful abundance and generosity, so look to set your table with lashings of serving platters, glasses for all occasions, a fabulous centrepiece of florals or maybe even a cake stand piled high with baubles. Giving your table height as well as layers of beautiful objects will create the ultimate feast for your eyes.

Take it outside

We’ve all probably spent more time cooped up indoors this year than ever before, so if the weather behaves, one of my best festive table ideas is to simply lift it up and carry it outside. A glorious celebratory meal taken al fresco may be the best thing that has happened all year!

A little old, a little new

I adore festive traditions like bringing out the decorations that were passed down to me, but I always add a few new ones to our collection to keep the look fresh and a little contemporary. A mix of the old and the new will give your festive décor the perfect balance.

Bringing joy and light

I am simply addicted to fairy lights and festoon them from wall to wall, up the staircase bannister, everywhere…

Giving doesn’t just refer to gifts

Abundance and generosity doesn’t need to be expensive. Little actions will speak volumes to let your family and friends know how much they mean to you. A little note left at their place setting, a special drink made in their honour, or even adding a few of their favourite tunes to the playlist will make the 2020 celebrations even more memorable.

Finally, remember to sit back, take a look around your table and soak it all in. This year, more than ever, you deserve it.