Hosting your first big holiday dinner party together as a newly engaged or married couple is exciting, albeit a tad bit intimidating. You want the food to taste great and everything to look absolutely perfect, particularly if it's his side of the family you're entertaining. Set the table in style and impress your guests by putting these five festive table decorating tips, courtesy of lifestyle expert and event designer Jung Lee, to the test.
1. Add some dimension
Think different shapes, colors and textures and lots of layers. As Jung points out, one of the keys to the perfect holiday table is adding an element of dimension. "You can easily do this by incorporating large and small objects with varying heights to bring life to your table and to draw the eye."
2. Break the "rules" with your serving vessels
Personally, Jung prefers to use beautifully unique items to inject some creativity into any dinner party. For example, a clear teapot in place of your average gravy boat makes such a stunning statement on the table. "Really think outside the box for fun but simple ways you can repurpose the traditional serve ware," she suggests. It also goes without saying that you should bring out the best quality serving pieces you own, such as trays, glasses and small plates.
3. Mix and match china
Definitely don't be afraid to mix high and low, vintage and new, and colors and patterns together. "Table settings should be a blend of visual beauty and function," explains Jung. Be cautious of going overboard though, and keep it as simple and clean lined as possible. "A table setting can feel busy when there's too much on it or everything is embellished."
4. Break out the cloth napkins
Oh you fancy, huh? Not only are cloth napkins more durable, but they provide a more upscale experience for your dinner guests as well, notes Jung. If your china is already patterned and mixed, she recommends opting for simple white linen napkins with a small design element, like a pine leaf, ornament or magnolia flower. "Make these accents double as placeholders by simply adding names with a gold pen."
5. Incorporate natural elements
Always, always use something fresh when designing your holiday table, advises Jung. For the holidays, there are so many festive, organic options to choose from: long pines, pinecones and magnolias really tie the season into any gathering, she tells. "To add to the ambience, incorporate some fresh fruit in bright and vibrant colors into your table décor. I like to use red grapes or figs cut in half for that beautiful contrast or even green pears."