Holiday Table Settings

Let the plates you've owned forever inspire a brand-new look for your table. Rachael's style and design buddies show you four settings there'll be no forgetting.
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Let the plates you've owned forever inspire a brand-new look for your table. Rachael's style and design buddies show you four settings there'll be no forgetting.

Casbah Cool Table Setting

If your favorite plates are colorfully patterned, build your table around them as you would an outfit around a printed blouse.

Casbah cool table setting

The Designer

Gretta Monahan, Rach's fashion and beauty buddy and owner of Grettacole spas, recommends pulling out two or three main hues and use them in accessories to highlight your statement piece. "Then next year, pick out different colors for a whole new look!"

Gretta Monahan

The Plate

Multicolored dinnerware, like Gretta's Denby Monsoon Cosmic plates, is the chameleon of the china cabinet.

Cosmic Plates

$23 and up, denbyusa.com

The Napkin

Loosely wrap a thin metallic cord around jewel-tone cotton napkins.

Cotton Napkins

The Place Card

Play off the main course: Trim the stems off decorative feathers, then glue them to folded cardstock with each guest's name.

Place card

The Centerpiece

The easiest table topper ever: Fill clear vases with water and varying amounts of food dye -- in one color -- to create an ombreé design.

Vase centerpieces

The Runner

Choose rich-colored burlap and hot-glue a matching ribbon to cover the frayed edges for a showstopper you can use again and again.

Table runner

Country Chic

That classic pattern you inherited from Grandma takes on a modern look against a chocolaty backdrop. The result: a homey look anyone can achieve.

Country chic table setting

The Designer

Evette Rios, Rach's design buddy and correspondent on ABC's The Chew, says, "Blue, white and brown are an unstoppable combo." Yellow, orange and red flowers play up the warm tones; arrange them casually in soup bowls or compote dishes to balance the fancy feel of the plates.

Evette Rios

The Plate

Evette adds to her vintage transferware collection at flea markets. "Your table actually looks more interesting if your pieces don't match," she says.

Country chic plate

Blue Willow plate, $10 and up, rubylane.com

The Tablecloth

A satiny brown fabric looks elegant yet earthy.

Tablecloth

The Bread Plate

Use terra-cotta saucers as bread plates -- and place cards: Simply write guests' names in chalk.

Bread plate

The Stemware

Stick craft-store wheat stalks to the stems of blue wine glasses with floral glue.

Stemware

Libbey Premiere cobalt blue wine glasses, $42 for 12, amazon.com

The Centerpiece

Before arranging flowers, make a scotch-tape grid across the top of the container to keep blooms in place.

Country chic centerpiece

Serious Shine

Metallic-trimmed dinnerware anchors a blinged-out table with shimmery accents and icy colors -- a scheme that works well with colid white plates, too.

Serious Shine

The Designer

Erica Domesk, Rach's buddy and founder of the DIY brand P.S. -- I Made This, says "Gold or silver with pops of puple and blue feels glamorous and rich." With her DIY touches, this display only looks like a million bucks.

Erica Domesk

The Plate

Metallic white china, like Erica's Larabee Road Platinum plates, can feel formal on its own -- but you can offset any fussiness with repurposed household staples and punchy colors.

Plate

The Bottles

Label your drinks: Write beverage names on colorful glass bottles in dry-erase or metallic paint markers.

Bottles

Giara bottles, $13, whisknyc.com

The Centerpiece

Fill large glass jars or bowls with anything shiny: foil-wrapped candy, costume jewelry or, for a Christmas table, ornaments.

Centerpiece

The Napkin Rings

This dazzling cuff was once a paper-towel roll! To make: Cut 2-inch rings from the roll with a sharp blade and coat with glitter spray paint.

Napkin Rings

The Placemat

Sold on a perforated roll, bright cotton mats add a big kick of color behind white plates.

Placemat

Natural Selection

Create a table based on the season's theme of harvest and bounty, without a pumpkin or gourd in sight! Bright leaf plates (or any dishes with a botanical feel) set the tone.

Natural selection table setting

The Designer

Libby Langdon, Rach's interior designer buddy and founder of Libby Langdon Funiture, says "Most of what you need can be found at the grocery store or in your backyard."

Libby Langdon

The Plate

Plates that feature foliage or flowers -- like Libby's Foglia Fresca set -- can be used year-round by mixing in seasonal accessories.

Natural plate

$168 for 4, graciousstyle.com

The Candles

Tie green beans and asparagus around pillar candles with ribbon, or remove the core of an artichoke and pop a candle inside.

Natural selection candles

The Runner

A bamboo-inspired cloth unifies the table items without distracting from the display.

Natural runner

Chilewich "Bamboo" runner, $55, blooming dales.com

The Centerpiece

Write what you're thankful for in marker on small rocks, then place them in wooden bowls around the table.

Centerpiece

Piccoli bowl set, $13, crateand barrel.com

The Candlesticks

Bring some sparkle to the outdoorsy elements with silver candlesticks.

Candlesticks

More Decor, Please!

table setting zen