Simple Holiday Tabletops

P. Allen Smith
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P. Allen Smith holiday table decor

One of the highlights of the holiday season is decorating. I love creating something beautiful for my friends and family to enjoy and the right décor really sets guests up to feel the holiday cheer.

Now, some people don’t enjoy decorating when they entertain, but I think one of the reasons for that is because they try to go too large with it, too close to the time of the party. They lose themselves in the minutia instead of focusing on simple, but big-impact pieces.

I like to rely on classic themes—evergreens, candles, red and green— but incorporate unexpected colors and twists to keep it new. For simplicity, I use pre-arranged greenery. The multi-purpose greenery first adorns my mantel then I move it to the center of the table.

P Allen Smith tabletop decorTwo baskets of greenery that would traditionally be used on a smaller table bookmark the longer centerpiece on the table. I generally have kept the two smaller baskets of greenery on end tables for a few days before incorporating them into my holiday tablescape. Accented with pinecones, holly and red berries, these evergreen holiday pieces add elegance to a table setting.

P. Allen Smith Christmas tabletop basket

Moreover, cut greenery is also incredibly aromatic, enhancing the home with the scents of the holidays. Who doesn’t love to walk into their home and smell fresh evergreen in winter? I can’t get enough of that fragrance during the holidays.

A main dish, endless sides, plates and glasses all fill a holiday table, so it can be quite crowded. I rein myself in and don’t go overboard with decorations. I add things that naturally go on the table to enhance the style: festive plates, candles and of course, the centerpieces.

Small-space but big-impact items like candles and ribbon garnish the table. Working my way out, I complete the theme by placing a wide ribbon underneath the plates and tying bows using the same ribbon into my centerpiece. If I’m feeling fancy, I add name cards with gold writing. And voilà! A stress-free, stunning holiday tablescape.

Images courtesy of P. Allen Smith

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