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Holiday decorating can be overwhelming. You have to take care of the Christmas tree, outdoor lights, the mantel, stockings, and so on. And if you’re hosting a meal during the season, you have to set the table, too.

Today, I’ve put together four table settings for the holiday to help you create your own magical tablescape. As I walk you through each, I’m going to offer designer hacks for setting a unique and beautiful table.

I have lots to share, so let’s get to it!

Hack #1: Pick a color scheme.
In this first place setting, I used red and white to guide the look. If you limit your color palette it’s much easier to make things cohesive. It also helps when you’re shopping. You can focus on “your colors” rather than get distracted by all of the holiday awesomeness.


Photo by Inspired by Charm

10 Designer Decor Hacks: Holiday Place Settings
Photo by Inspired by Charm

Hack #2: Use dishtowels as napkins.
I learned this years ago from Ina Garten. Dishtowels often make the best napkins. Aren’t these beautiful? Not only are dish towels available in a variety of colors and patterns, but they tend to be a bit larger, and they usually launder well. I prefer towels made from a fabric similar to traditional napkins rather than the common terry cloth variety.


Photo by Inspired by Charm

Hack #3: Give a sweet treat.
I always recommend giving guests something to take with them after the celebration. I found these chocolate peppermint stir sticks in the gourmet section at HomeGoods. They are an inexpensive treat that doubles as decor for your place settings.


Photo by Inspired by Charm

Hack #4: Embrace pattern.
In my next table setting, I embracing pattern. Here, I used plaid and buffalo check for inspiration as I shopped for and styled my table. Even in various sizes and styles, it all works together to create a fun and playful look.


Photo by Inspired by Charm

10 Designer Decor Hacks: Holiday Place Settings
Photo by Inspired by Charm

Hack #5: Use wrapping paper as a table runner.
You might be surprised to know that my “table runner” is actually wrapping paper. Save the hassle of washing your best linens and by making a table runner or placemats from wrapping paper. Customize the size, and you’re good to go.


Photo by Inspired by Charm


Photo by Inspired by Charm

Hack #6: Shop your backyard.
To add a little green to your table, shop your backyard for pine branches. Then just tuck them into a small or large vase. Not only is it festive, but it’s free!


Photo by Inspired by Charm

Hack #7: Try an unconventional color.
As much as I love the traditional red and green of Christmas, I also like to use new and unexpected colors. Here, in my third table setting, I paired shades of aqua with gold. It still looks festive, but it certainly stands out from the crowd. Try using your favorite color or coordinate with your existing home decor to create something outside the box.


Photo by Inspired by Charm

10 Designer Decor Hacks: Holiday Place Settings
Photo by Inspired by Charm

Hack #8: Sprinkle in the ornaments.
I am extremely fond of glass ball ornaments (and I have quite the collection to prove it!). Ornaments often come in handy when I’m decorating. By simply scattering an assortment of them down the center of my table, I was able to create instant holiday appeal and seasonal sparkle.


Photo by Inspired by Charm

Hack #9: Mix vintage with new.
In my final place setting, I combined the new and the old. Doing this creates an interesting, meaningful, and personalized tablescape. Here, I started with brass coupes. They pick up the touch of gold in the edge of my plate. I then used this vintage “Merry Christmas” cardholder to corral some greens down the center of my table.


Photo by Inspired by Charm

10 Designer Decor Hacks: Holiday Place Settings
Photo by Inspired by Charm

Hack #10: Get creative with napkin rings.
My go-to for napkin place (as seen in the first three table settings) is sandwiched between the dinner and salad plates. I simply love the look. However, with so many beautiful napkin rings available, I couldn’t resist a different approach. Here, I used gem-shaped marble napkin rings I found at Homegoods to display my napkins in a more casual way.


Photo by Inspired by Charm


Photo by Inspired by Charm

With four place setting ideas and 10 hacks, I hope you’re feeling energized and inspired to set a festive holiday table. Enjoy!

Michael Wurm Jr. is a paid blogger and founder of the popular lifestyle blog, Inspired by Charm, where he shares his love for a decorated life. Whether it’s ideas for easy decorating, a delicious recipe, entertaining inspiration, or a unique DIY project, his goal is to provide tools and tips for everyone to live a happy, colorful life. You can also find Michael on InstagramPinterestFacebook, and Twitter


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