Now that the holidays are in full swing, it's time to start planning one of the best parts of the season: holiday entertaining. In addition to menu planning, specialty cocktail-crafting, tree trimming and other tried-and-true holiday traditions, the holiday table is the place where everyone is going to gather together. It's where you'll show off your newest cooking skills and catch up with old friends and family who you haven't seen for ages. In a season that's all about food, it's the epicenter.
If you're hosting a group of friends and family (or maybe even your new in-laws) for a special dinner, there are so many ways to approach setting the table so it feels warm and inviting. While we love the old-school red and green palette, sometimes the holiday cheer can get a little overwhelming at this time of year (just step into any department store and you'll know what we're talking about). The overload of Christmas-centric decor can also be somewhat alienating to some people of different faiths and traditions who might celebrate the season in a variety of other ways. And when it comes to greenery and florals, it can be nice to feature elements that are more native to your area (think succulents or citrus for warm-weathered climates).
A wintery palette, soft lighting, and a range of natural materials will make your table feel chic but still totally approachable. Don't be afraid to mix and match your china, try out unusual materials, and play with non-traditional hues like soft grays, deep blues, and rich purples. Add in some pretty linens, modern metallic flatware, and lush centerpieces and you'll be ready for an evening of merriment.