Holiday Centerpiece Ideas

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My holiday table bonanza continues today with this divine setup from Sophistiplate, one of my favorite resources for chic, elevated paper pieces. Y’all know I love to use paper goods to make entertaining a little easier, but I firmly believe that that doesn’t mean your table can’t still look fabulous and polished (with the added benefit of really easy cleanup). In fact, the day we photographed everything, I hosted my mom’s bookclub for dinner at this exact table and everyone lost their minds. Blue and white is always right, and there’s something about combining it with festive greenery that gets me every time.

Speaking of greenery, I’ve been getting lots of questions from y’all about seasonal decor, and figured that this is a great opportunity to share some of my best tips and tricks for Christmas-worthy centerpieces. I think that people get intimidated about decorating the table for holiday dinner, but there’s absolutely no need to stress or spend a fortune. Read on for a ton of ideas that will help you keep your sanity and make everything look gorgeous!

Go green(ery). Greenery is the ultimate holiday centerpiece, so just remember this easy formula: 2 types of greenery + berries. Keep layering/tucking until you like the basic shape, and cut things to fit any gaps once you’ve added your candles and décor (this formula works well for mantles, too). Hypericum berries from Trader Joe’s are perfect for filling in the holes. I used a combination of cedar and magnolia branches from a wholesale florist, but definitely scavenge your yard for anything seasonal. You can also add pinecones for extra oomph.

Choose interesting vases. If you have cool containers, the flowers can be super simple. Here I used blue and white pottery I’ve had for years, but for the holidays I also love anything mercury glass, gold, or textured. Here’s a whole roundup of fun vases that would look amazing with nothing more than big bunches of greenery.

KISS (keep it simple, silly!). When I’m doing the flowers myself, I often use hydrangea + roses as a base because I can get them for a great price at Trader Joe’s or Kroger. A TIP: look for garden roses at both stores (they call them “country roses” so ask for that when you’re there). They look very luxe and holiday-ready; these red and white blooms are the “country roses” from Kroger. Once you have your hydrangea + rose base, tuck in berries (ilex, hypericum, something from your yard) and greenery (magnolia leaves, pine, cedar) to add dimension and seasonal flare. The berries and greenery can even be faux.

Fruit is your friend. I love decorating with pomegranates, clementines, persimmons, apples, and oranges. It’s budget friendly and long-lasting which is great. I’m sharing a table next week where I fill a large pedestal bowl with pomegranates, hypericum berries, and magnolia leaves; similarly, I used mini apples + magnolia leaves for my outdoor Christmas table last year. Pile fruit into big bowls and/or scatter it down your table with greenery, pinecones, and candles for a gorgeous look.

Candles, candles, candles. You can create a beautiful centerpiece with nothing more than greenery and lots of candles in different shapes and heights. Dim your overhead lights and let your centerpiece glow. Weave battery-powered fairy lights into your greenery for extra sparkle, and if you need candlesticks, I love these from West Elm. Pottery Barn makes my favorite votives.  

Go through those Christmas bins. I promise you have décor that you’ve forgotten about. For all of my tables this year, I re-discovered everything from mercury glass Christmas trees to preserved boxwood topiaries in my holiday storage bins. Start with what you already have and think about new ways of using it; for a recent segment I taped, I incorporated glittery pinecones (that I usually hang on my front door) into my tablescape.

Think beyond your table. Tie mini wreaths or Christmas bells onto the back of your dining room chairs, add a wreath to the mirror above your buffet, and make sure the food table has some décor, as well, even if it’s just a trio of vases with some greenery. The whole room should help set the mood, not just your table!

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