How to style a vintage tablescape – perfect for hosting over the festive season

With the festive season in full swing, it’s likely you’ll be welcoming friends and family into your home over the next week or two.

As a result, we’re all setting our homes up to host guests.

If you’re planning your table, you might be keen to tie in some second-hand elements for a vintage-inspired tablescape.

In fact, vintage plates, glasses and tableware have been growing in popularity this year – not only for the look but for the sustainability factor, too.

Zoe Newson, an interior designer and Vinterior consultant, says: ‘Consumers are considering how to amplify what we already have and understanding that you don’t have to buy every tablescaping element new every year, you can just change up one or two variables – such as the candle colour or use of styling props.’

If you’re keen to create your own vintage tablescape for the festive season, but have no idea where to start, Zoe has some handy tips below.

Pick a theme

Zoe explains that, when using vintage elements on a tablescape, always consider a theme.

This might be a colour or a certain pattern or design.

She says: ‘I typically use a specific colour as my theme, as vintage glassware and tableware particularly varies. I would advise choosing either the tableware or glassware as the main feature and the other can be used as a plain backdrop. It’s important to not have too much going on in your scheme when considering you will have a lot of elements on your table.

‘I normally choose a colour that can easily reoccur in various elements of the table – whether that’s glassware, matching napkins or mixing the same colour with other small styling elements such as serving spoons.

‘Then add a contrasting colour or pattern within the textiles of the table, such as napkins or a tablecloth to make the contrast pop.’

Tie everything together with smaller decorative elements

Once you’ve got your theme in place, then pick decorative items such as display bowls and candle holders to tie it in together. 

Zoe adds: ‘Don’t forget that smaller items on a table, like the cutlery or napkins, can also make a big impact.

‘I particularly love stripy napkins, and you can even personalise them as your table settings by sewing the person’s name on the napkin.’

Add foliage

Zoe adds: ‘Always add foliage or flowers to fill gaps, this makes the placement of items on a table look more organic.’

This can be as simple as grabbing some bits from your garden, or on a local walk.

Play with height

If you’re hosting over Christmas or on New Year’s Eve it’s likely you’ll have lots of food on the table – so experiment with height to ensure there’s lots of room.

Zoe says: ‘If you have a lot to put on the table, layer with height. Use little plant stands or plates.’

Also, don’t forget about tall candles to create more depth and for a dramatic finish.

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