As we wind down for the Christmas and Holiday Season – it’s the PERFECT time to share some last-minute tips to host your guests with ease and style. Think about the stand out events or gatherings you have been to – you already know that the secret to a great event is how well you are hosted, so let’s get practicing before your wedding day!
Today, I am joined by host extraordinaire and supremely talented planner Charlotte Ricard-Quesada of La Fete is well versed in planning stylish intimate and lavish celebrations. So she is the perfect person to share some of her top styling tips to help you with your festive hosting over the next couple of weeks.
Gold, silver, red and green are the usual palette of choice to deck your home out in the most decadent decorations, but as much as I love the traditional Christmas aesthetic, I also like to opt for something a bit more modern and streamlined. Rose gold, despite being more subdued still manages to convey the holiday spirit. Don’t hesitate to mix rose gold with silver and yellow gold: not only is blending metallics right on trend, but it also avoids your décor being too matching. It looks especially effective when paired either with a light or white background or a darker environment, such as navy, for extra drama (bear in mind this could also look more formal).
I recommend including as many natural elements as possible to your décor, making it serene and cosy. If you have a Christmas tree (whether real or fake) is an obvious one, but also consider cinnamon sticks, leaves, dried orange slices, branches and even though you can’t include real snowflakes (Nu Bride: lol Can you imagine), you can substitute those with faux snow.
When it comes to your table setting, you can very easily follow the theme of silvers, golds and muted shades with items already in your home.
If you have a gorgeous wooden table, I would advise leaving it as is and not covering it up with a cloth: it will bring a rustic edge to any metallic-heavy décor. You could also use under plates (chargers), which are a little more formal than placemats.
Photo: Anneli Marinovich
White crockery works a treat, but it’s even more effective if your plates have a luxurious detail, such as a scalloped edge. The same goes for drinking glasses, which, if clear, can also have a stand out element, such as a metallic rim or a unique shape.
For finishing touches, consider choosing patterned serviettes, as they will bring detail to each seat. Place cards are also an option and a little gift your guests can take home, so why not opt for something a little different, like customised snow globes or calligraphied baubles.
The centrepiece of your table is key in tying all your chosen elements together and you have numerous options, from something more organised in vases and bowls, to a free-flowing foliage display down your table. Consider your table shape, with a more structured option working best for a round table and a wilder one best for a rectangular table. Just make sure to keep things low, so that guests can easily communicate across the table, and keep space for dishes and food.
On the topic of food, my key word is: comfort. Take all the delicious things you love and bring them together, with the only difference being how you would present them. Change up your regular hot chocolate with marshmallows or flavoured syrups; ice your gingerbread men more intricately or easily ice your cupcakes to look like snowmen. The possibilities are endless.
Your atmosphere will also be hugely impacted by your lighting choices, which is why I’d recommend lanterns, candles and fairy lights to create a cosy feel. If you have a room with a dimmer switch at home, capitalise on that and throw your Christmas celebration in there (provided it’s big enough to hold your guests!).
One of the most fun parts of Christmas is the present giving . It’s not too late to be creative here too! To wrap your gift, and to stay within the aforementioned colour scheme, use rose gold paper and accessorise it. Simple brown string can work a treat for a minimal look, or consider adding holly and/or bells.
At the end of the day, Christmas and holiday celebrations are different for each and every family, and there is no wrong way to style your celebration. That’s the beauty of the festive period!