In this post, I’m sharing ideas on how to create a modern, elegant, and natural winter table setting, perfect for upcoming holiday season gatherings, such as Thanksgiving dinner.
I’ll link everything I used at the bottom of this post, along with some other curated essential home decor products for perfect winter tablescapes. If you are interested seeing how my dining space come together, check out my dining room page.
Beautiful Low Cost, Easy and Fast Winter Table Setting Idea in A Few Easy Steps
Let’s talk about something that’s close to our hearts – table settings! I mean, who hasn’t spent some time setting up the table for a family dinner or a special occasion?
Growing up, I remember setting the table was a daily chore, but during the holidays, it was a special task that made me feel like I was contributing to the celebration.
You might think that setting the table is a mundane task, but trust me, it’s not! A well-put-together winter table setting can do wonders to set the mood, create lasting memories, and even enhance the flavor of your homemade holiday meals.
It’s like a little craft project that can make your Thanksgiving or anniversary dinner stand out.
Now, when it comes to special occasions like Christmas or New Year’s, you want to go all out on the table setting. I mean, who doesn’t love a beautifully arranged table with all the trimmings? If you search for winter table setting ideas online, you’ll find a bunch of beautiful and creative ideas, with vintage seafood forks and glasses of all shapes and sizes. It can be overwhelming!
But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
This guide will show you how to set a natural Thanksgiving tablescape or winter tablescape for a dinner with family and friends. Just bear in mind that these are merely suggestions, and you can always modify the tablescape ideas for your own home based on what you have on hand!
Winter Tablescape Setup Video
Winter Table Setting Step by Step
The holiday season is coming up and I want to share how I set up my dining space from scratch, specifically around my dining table for the upcoming holiday parties, dinners and gatherings.
I’ll walk you step by step and share the whys behind it, so you can recreate it for your own home and impress your guests in this winter season.
Step 1: Setting the base (tables, chairs, tablecloth or table runner)
The first step is to set up your dining table and chairs. For my dining room, I already have a pair of dining chairs along with my dining banquette. If you are hosting a larger party for your winter gatherings, you can add a few more chairs.
To set the table,I’m going to use a linen tablecloth to cover my table since it’s a large space, and adding a tablecloth will help create a plain slate and also brighten the color of the space.
I’m using a linen tablecloth, which is my go-to tablecloth since it is so classic for a farmhouse/cottage style.I want my dinner party to be less formal, so wrinkles on the linen tablecloth are perfectly fine.
Now I have a very clean slate on my table, I’m going to set up a centerpiece, and that’s where I’m going to anchor everything else.
We are working to set a winter tablescape, it would be really nice to have some winter greenaries. In my case, I’m using eucalyptus. It’s a tree that’s evergreen and has a very nice scent.
There are eucalyptus trees in my neighborhood, so I can bring my pruners and just clip a bunch of branches for free, talking about affordability. I’m going to use eucalyptus branches to serve as a table runner to create a long centerpiece on my dining table, then I can add some small decorations among the greenery.
If you don’t have access to eucalyptus branches or leaves, you can always turn to the supermarket, as they are readily available year round , such as from Trader Joe’s!
When I’m laying out the eucalyptus leaves, I like to place the leaves pointing out toward the edge of the table, because it gives a very nice finish.
Step 2: Setting up a centerpiece
Now it’s time to add some centerpiece decorations among the greenery. I like to add candles since they add a really nice warmth to the space and you can see the little flames flickering. Candle lighjt is just really nice for winter time.
I have two candle holders with very cohesive style, one with a nice height and one that is slightly smaller. I’m going to start with a smaller one, just make a little hole between the branches where I can place the candle holder.
I like to fluff out the leaves around the candle holder so you can see how they overlap each other, and that works pretty well because it creates interaction between your decor.
After setting the two main candle holders, I like to add some more little candles in between and just tuck them in. This is to create a height variation to this winter tablescape will look more interesting.These small candles are pretty affordable, and you can easily find them in most of the home decor shops.
Step 3: Add Your Plates and Cutleries
Now that we have the centerpiece all set up, it’s time to add the plates and cutlery. For this winter tablescape, I set it for 4 people with 2 dinner plates each (one smaller plate above and inside the bigger plate). This creates a more special occasion feel in my opinion.
Next, we’ll proceed with the knives and forks, placing them right beside the plates.
Step 4: Easy and perfectly folded table napkins
Next up are the napkins. I use this white square napkin which features a cute scallop embroidery detail in a natural soft texture.
To fold it,I first fold it twice so it’s a quarter of the original size. Then I am using a napkin ring. I’m pulling the corner through that, and as I’m pulling it, I’m also twisting it so it creates a nice fold shape. I then place it in the center of the inner plate.
Step 5: Adding drinking glasses and pitchers
Our winter tablescape looks more complete, but we’re missing some drinking glasses and a water pitcher, so I’m adding those. You can add several water pitchers around your winter table setting and serve different types of drinks, such as lemonade, sparkling water, or even eggnog!
A well chosen set of glasswares can really amp up the elegance of your table tablescape.
Step 6: Adding the final touches
To elevate our elegant Thanksgiving tablescape, I’m going to add some baby’s breath. They’re really cute, and they add more interest. I’m going to place them in a way that’s facing each guest so that they have some nice cute flowers to look at.
Also, I’m placing some to fill up any holes in the greenery at our winter table setting. Baby’s breath is one of my favorite flowers. If you have any extra flowers, you can also save them and dry them, because they can be good decorations, even if they are dried.
Step 7: Decorating the dining space
Our winter tablescape looks very nice and well decorated. The next step is to add some decor and around the dining area. Since we are going for a winter holiday theme, I’m adding a lumbar pillow that’s a dark gray color in a plaid pattern. It’s soft texture works well with the winter season.
I also have this nice winter wreath that I’m going to hang between my art here. The muted brown color works really well with the furniture in my dining room, and it works great for both fall and winter. I love how it instantly becomes the focal point of the space.
Since we already have the eucalyptus branches here, we can stop with the greenery there; However, I decided to add more plants to add more life to this space. I have a rubber plant that has dark leaves. The color and shape works well for the winter.
I place my rubber plant below my wreath, but it doesn’t look very substantial. Since it’s a bit low, I’m going to add a prop below to raise the height a bit.
It’s much nicer to have some organic forms around the dining space, and it adds a nice interest to look at.
Step 8: Light the candles
The table is pretty much set. The last step is the fun part, which is to light the candles.
When candles are lit, you can see how much impact they make on a space. It immediately feels cozy, nice, and warm. They are definitely essential for any winter dinner party!
To light candles, my favorite tool is an electric candle lighter, and it is rechargeable.
I hope you enjoy seeing the behind the scenes of how I set up my dining space for the holiday gatherings to create a modern and elegant tablescape with tons of natural materials and textures. Plus take away tons of table setting ideas!
This is great for Thanksgiving, Christmas dinners, New year’s party, l and all of those winter gatherings. Have a great holiday season and enjoy a cozy winter time with your friends and families!
Winter Tablescape Verdict
The answer to the question “Why bother learning the proper method to put dishes and cutlery on the table when the food will taste the same either way?” is because it shows your visitors that you value their opinions by setting the table well. You’ll be establishing a general tone by saying that it’s a pleasure to eat with them.
Additionally, a nicely decorated table can enhance the appearance of the dish.
I love how 90% of the materials that we used are already available in our home, which saves us a lot of money.
This winter season, it’s not about how much you spend on your table setting but how much effort you put into it.
Cost does not matter; a few small shimmering touches will do!
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