Whether you host a big Christmas Dinner or an intimate gathering for your immediate family, it’s fun to set a beautiful table this time of year. If you don’t use your most stylish trappings during the holidays, when would you use them? This year, we played with color and pattern to give our dining tables a merry makeover. See our favorite looks below.

Emerald and Onyx

Black is certainly not a color you think of during the holidays, but when mixed with evergreens, it feels surprisingly festive.  Inspired by our black and white Yuletide Accent Plates, we brought in shimmering golds, vibrant greenery, and green satin ribbon.

One of our favorite, inexpensive ways to play with color during the holidays is with ribbon. You don’t need to buy tons of new, colorful holiday decor each year when just a roll of green satin ribbon and some live garland can give your favorite staples a whole new look.

For this table, we folded and rolled our napkins into cylinders, then tied them with a pretty ribbon. That little detail makes the table and guests feel like they’re unwrapping a present when they sit down. What’s more festive than that?

Pairing Patterns

Take your favorite collection (in our case blue and white ginger jars) and add a little holiday cheer. We love how the angular lines of a classic, red plaid contrast blue and white chinoiserie patterns. They’re opposites, so they play up each others strengths. With simple white napkins and blue flatware, we brought these two bold patterns together to create a Christmas table that works for an easy breakfast on Christmas morning or an evening meal.

Don’t have a collection of ginger jars? Any pottery gets a holiday makeover with gorgeous ribbon or you could group together an ornament collection in a bowl or hanging from a chandelier. 

Large ginger jars make for a dramatic centerpiece, but we firmly believe that every table needs something alive. A few small cups of red anemones play up the holiday cheer, as does red ribbon on chinoiserie ornaments.

Dressy Accents

While a vibrant floral pattern may not seem Christmas-y, any pattern can feel festive when decorated with ornaments and metallic accents. We loved the coral color of our Fiori Floral Fabric, and gave it a holiday spin with a tray of ornaments as our centerpiece. Gold accented dinner and glass ware add an elegant feel, perfect for Christmas Eve dinner or even a New Years Eve gathering.

One of our cardinal rules of table settings is to use a place card. Otherwise guests loiter around the table, unsure where the hostess wants them to sit. Make it simple and pretty with a metallic pen on simple white card stock. For extra credit, we added floral ornaments to each card.

No matter how you dress your holiday table this year, we hope you’ll give it some extra festive accents — especially ribbon and ornaments. 

Find more place setting inspiration, or browse our table top accessories.

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply

    Julianne Mudric

    January 8, 2020

    These ideas are so helpful. Even if you don’t use everyone they are a great way to get started.

    • Reply

      Abbey Nolte

      January 9, 2020

      Thanks, Julianne. So glad you found these tips helpful!

  2. Reply

    Leaetta Rushing

    December 19, 2018

    I love this Onyx and Emerald table scapes very calming and elegant great ideas thanks for sharing

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      December 19, 2018

      Thank you so much, Leaetta!


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