How to Create a Casual, Affordable and Beautiful Holiday Tablescape (All With Target)
House Beautiful asked me if I wanted to show you how to create a tablescape with 100% Target and I said “YES” as an excuse to switch up my vintage furniture in the dining room (remember I teased to switching things up in this post). Everything on the table is from Target and I fell in love with it so much that it’s currently packed up ready to go to the mountain house for Christmas dinner. It’s modern farmhouse in a casual but still special way.
My design plan was rooted in neutrals that can transcend “Christmas” with simplicity and warmth. I wanted to do something that I (or you) could recreate easily and on a budget. I personally LOVE how it turned out and it was a sad moment when I had to break it down. But having a permanently styled out tablescape with a 3 and 5 year old is a hilarious fool’s errand.
Start with a neutral color palette.
This tablescape color palette could honestly be used year-round, minus the dessert plates that feel a bit “winter,” but at the mountain house I could definitely use these throughout the year. A color palette of black, cream, wood, gray, brass and greenery is my favorite for this “modern farmhouse” style. It’s just so warm and inviting. It’s earthy with an edge.
Mix refined finishes with more homespun elements.
The wood of the vase is smooth and simple, and the flatware is matte and edgy. Mix that with the larger dinner plates that feel more like pottery and the homespun linen napkins with frayed edges (of which I’m obsessed) and you have this really warm, inviting, rustic, casual and yet pulled together table.
And yes, we stripped my table to make it WAY PRETTIER. It’s currently unsealed so I need to do something about that, but the raw wood is FAR more beautiful.
Create ambience with candles and lighting.
I can’t tell you how important lighting is to me at a dinner. If I sit down at a restaurant without a candle on the table, I’m bummed and confused and have to stop myself from Yelping about it. WHY WOULD YOU RUIN MY NIGHT BY NOT HAVING GOOD AMBIENCE???
We did a combination of tall taper candles, my new pendant hanging overhead (a relatively affordable find from Chairish I’m pretty obsessed with) and then peppered little houses with candles in them (I found these in the budget bins at the front of the store, which we couldn’t find online to link to in the Get the Look below, but we found some similar shapes that unfortunately don’t hold candles, but do hold the next best thing: flowers). It was twinkly and romantic and so simple to execute. Choose a couple elements and repeat them down the table.
Vary your dinnerware and glassware.
I can’t tell you the importance of mixing two different heights and styles of glassware to create a more curated “expert” look. I like mixing a stem with a non-stem but you could also mix two different stem glasses for a more formal look.
Layer in table linens.
Oh, the eternal debate between when to use napkins versus tablecloths versus placemats…or all three!!!
Napkins are a no-brainer to me, and I personally love draping them over the table underneath the dessert plate. But the debate of tablecloth/placemat/runner is hard. I think there is no real rule, but I like tablecloths that don’t look like catering, so maybe something special either with a pattern, hemstitch, or a really good texture. For placemats, it all really depends on the placemats. I know that there are “placemat” families and “non-placemats families.” We don’t use them on an every day basis but I do like them. I say go for no more than 2 of the 3—I like placemats with runners, placemats with tablecloths (like we did in this shoot) or you could get an oversized runner as we did here and just mix it with napkins.
Keep greenery and flowers simple.
We kept it extremely simple and cheap with flower market ferns and dark berries, and flopped some of the greenery (I believe ours are cedar) a few places on the table. It echoed the garland around the windows and brought in so much life into the tablescape.
We found these really dark berries at the flower market and I loved how simple, moody and yet romantic they are. These branches are incredibly inexpensive and complement the cedar perfectly.
So that’s how you can create this modern farmhouse casual holiday dinner party look. I am transferring it all up to the mountain house because honestly, I loved it so much.
Now, for all of you who are wondering how and why I changed it up, here goes: The light fixture I had was great but it did feel kinda heavy in that room so it’s going over to my friend’s house and instead, I found this brass fixture on Chairish. It has a really cute black and white chord and it looks SO GOOD with the island pendant and the window sconces.
I switched out the chairs which are admittedly not as comfortable but it looks SO GOOD. They are all vintage chairs mixed with a Target bench (no longer available) and cabinet. The only one that I’m not leaving there is the Cherner armchair because it’s too fragile to actually sit on, but my goodness it’s so beautiful. When I walk into this room, I’m SO much happier. The kids like sitting on the bench together and while my former Crypton/linen chairs would wipe up, they would have to be wiped down every week because nothing was a match for old “marinara hands” Henderson. Myself or my cleaning lady would have to wash far too frequently because of the damage that those kids can do. They are currently at my friend’s house.
Okay, there she is. We put together a Get the Look below with all the tablescape product, but I will say that if you love any of this stuff (particularly the holiday/seasonal items) HURRY because literally every time we went back to grab/check the link, there were less and less pieces available. And to read more tips on this look, head to House Beautiful today to check out their corresponding post.
OH, before I sign off, I wanted to let you all know (in the spirit of holiday decorating) about something fun we’re doing on social (and eventually the blog). I can imagine that you all are heavy into decking your halls right now, and we want to see (and share!) everything you’re doing. Be sure to tag all the images you put up on Instagram of your tablescapes, holiday vignettes, trees, fireplaces…WHATEVER, with #ShowEmYourStyled. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing our favorites both on social media as well as in a big roundup blog post before the break, so if you want to see your home in the EHD universe, TAG THEM UP.
1. Large Wood Vase | 2. Medium Wood Vase | 3. Brass 3-Light Chandelier | 4. Stemless Wine Glass (Set of 2) | 5. Glass Goblet | 6. Adjustable Candle Holder | 7. Blue Taper Candles | 8. Gray Taper Candles | 9. Table Runner | 10. Juniper Stem | 11. Stoneware Dinner Plate | 12. Tree Appetizer Plate | 13. 5 pc Silverware Set | 14. Dip Bowls (Set of 4) | 15. House Bud Vase | 16. Napkins | 17. Faux Fur Pelt