How to Set a Festive Table

‘Tis the season for hosting parties. While we all love to have our friends and family over during the holidays, sometimes putting all of the pieces together for that “fun” get together can start to make your life a little stressful…but it doesn’t have to.



Setting a table that is beautiful is about creating a space that you love and that shows off who you are. Alex and I were at a luncheon a while back where Charlotte Moss spoke and she said something that we love to live by when it comes to entertaining, “Don’t forget to treasure hunt around your house to add to a centerpiece or tablescape. You’ve spent time collecting odds and ends, so use them.”

There are a few fun and special ways to easily create a table that will have everyone oohing and aahing.


The Eclectic Table

For this one we say throw the rule book out the window. Disregard the strict rules you learned in debutant class (don’t tell your mother), as table setting doesn’t have to follow a formula anymore. If you are having multiple guests over and pulling extra chairs to the table, use that to your advantage to create a fun and eclectic look.

Go ahead and mix and match candles, flowers, flatware, and china. Of course, make sure it all has a similar feel so it feels purposeful, but be creative and again…use what you already have in your house.



The Traditional Table

Don’t save the china for a “special day.” Consider anytime you’re bringing people into your home a special occasion and bring out your china, crystal, and silver (it’s no fun if it’s in the cabinet 95% of the year).

Tablecloths are always a great, traditional way to add personality, but we also love to use chargers to change up the table’s look. There are so many varieties of chargers in different shapes and finishes and they can really help create a festive feel. We also like to add monogram linens to a traditional table setting – it adds a nice finishing touch.


Remember your house tells your story. Use the items you love and be prepared to explain and tell the story of those keepsakes and heirlooms and share why you chose to include them. It adds that final personal touch and will create a memorable get together for all.


  • The latest from Courtney

Alex Deringer and Courtney Cox combine their formal training in design and fashion with their renowned sense of style in Ivy Lane, a full-service interior design firm that curates casually elegant family dwellings that are elevated by a unique spark. Whether an entire house renovation or a one-room makeover, Alex and Courtney’s extensive experience and collaborative dynamic inform a successful design philosophy: thoroughly understand the client’s lifestyle, bring a thoughtful spatial perspective, and enliven the space with the freshest aesthetic interest.

309C Cameron Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314


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