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Table Setting Ideas for Holiday
Table setting ideas for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years from Ballard Designs

Table Setting Ideas for Every Holiday

It's the season of entertaining, and nothing brings a festive feel to your holiday party like a beautiful table setting. With classic table linens, striking centerpieces, and a few well-chosen accent pieces, we designed four dining tables to inspire your family gathering this holiday season.

table setting ideas with holiday Tortoise stemware

Set a Color Palette

Rusty oranges, browns, and greens were the inspiration for this table. We used our gilded magnolia garland down the center of the table and tucked oranges into the garland for more color.

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table setting ideas with animal print plates

Accent in Gold

To echo the gold magnolia leaves, we chose a white table runner and napkins with a gold lattice detail, gold cheetah print accents plates, and our café dinnerware in brass.

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table setting ideas using place card magnolia leaves

Take Your Seat

We're big believers that every dinner party should have place cards. Guests never have to ask the host "where do I sit?" and you'll encourage friends and family members to sit next to people they haven't met or seen in a while.

Here, we simply wrote on live magnolia leaves with a gold pen, but place card on simple card stock works too!

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table setting ideas dining table with bright greenery and ornaments

Elegant Black and White

Mix up your holiday décor with an unexpected color palette. We love how vibrant greenery looks on a backdrop of black and white. In this black and white dining room, we added greenery, bright green ribbons, and shimmering ornaments to give it a festive feel.

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table setting ideas with garlands and black candlesticks

Fill It Out

To ground our greenery centerpiece, we used a strip of hounds tooth wool fabric folded into a simple runner. Next, we topped it with our Faux Berry Garland. For extra color and fullness, we added sprigs of fresh olive branches. The olive sprigs have a totally different texture that makes for a more interesting arrangement. Simple black candlesticks complete the look.

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table setting ideas dressy gold and patterned plates

Balance Playful and Elegant

There's no reason to take things too seriously, so we like to mix playful elements with more traditional, elegant ones. Our Yuletide Accents plates have a cheeky otomi pattern, and we dressed them up with Bunny Williams Gold Star Dinner plates and satin ribbon.

Treat your dinner napkin like a gift and roll them into a crisp cylinder, then tie with a bow. Those little details make your table feel special and festive.

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table setting ideas blue and white ceramics and plaid fabric

Splash of Plaid

We love collecting, and even if your favorite collections have no tie to the holiday season, we love finding ways to dress them up so they work with your festive décor. Take, for example, this collection of blue and white chinoiserie. We added hints of Suzanne Kasler's Holiday Plaid so it feels perfectly appropriate for the holidays.

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table setting ideas breakfast patterned and plaid plates

Casual Place Setting

To echo the combination of blue and white and plaid, we used Bunny Williams' Campbell House Dinner plates with Suzanne Kasler's Plaid Accents plates. An unexpected pairing feels fun and definitely makes your table one to remember.

We imagined this table as the perfect setting for a breakfast on Christmas morning, so we kept accents laid back and without a ton of frills. Whipstitch napkins, blue café dinnerware, and juice glasses complete the look.

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table setting ideas blue and white ornaments with ribbon centerpiece

Simple Centerpiece

A centerpiece doesn't need to be elaborate. We kept this one simple with a collection of blue and white porcelain tied with a big bow and a small arrangement of red anemones. Simple, festive, and easy to put together in minutes.

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table setting ideas floral tablecloth and red leather chair seats

Floral Fantasy

For an elegant table that could work anytime of year (or even for New Years!) we had our Fiori Floral fabric turned into a tablecloth to inspire our whole look. Next we brought in gold and silver accents of every variety to up the glam factor.

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setting for table with flowers and silver tray centerpiece

Anchor Your Table

In the center of the table, we used Bunny Williams' Scalloped Silver Tray to group together all of our metallic accessories – Christmas ornaments, vintage bells, and even our flower arrangement. It casts a gorgeous silver light around the table and keeps ornaments from rolling around.

White roses and tulips with plenty of greenery add a lush feel to the centerpiece, while silver and gold place settings elevate the table so it feels worthy of a special occasion.

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table setting gold and silver accent plates and flatware

Mixing Metallics

Don't be shy about mixing gold and silver. If there's ever an occasion to it, we think the holiday season is the perfect time! We chose gold accent plates, silver flatware, and gold ornaments to create this formal place setting.

Simple rectangular place cards are accented with a floral ornament to make each plate feel special – a special touch that sets off the whole table.

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