When you think of a vintage table setting what comes to mind? Frou-frou lace tablecloths and flamboyantly patterned dishes anyone? That’s the old school way to decorate vintage-style.
Vintage doesn’t need to be frilly or fussy. Incorporating select vintage elements (think classic silver candlesticks and eclectic tableware) into your holiday table setting can create a timeless tablescape that wows. Fancy up that family table vintage-style this year with a few decorating tricks.
Mix n’ Match
When it comes to vintage, embrace the imperfections. Who says all of your plates need to match? Set the table with assorted china for an eclectic look. Pair your flowered dinner plates with striped salad plates and solid colored bowls. A hodgepodge mixture will create a textured tablescape—that isn’t so fancy everyone’s afraid to eat off of it.
If you just can’t handle too much mismatched dishware, stick with china in the same color scheme with different patterns. Set the table with dishes you already own or head to a thrift store to pick up a mixture of dishware for cheap. And while you’re at it, don’t worry about using the same set of silverware. Mix and match your family heirlooms with vintage finds to craft a shabby chic table.
Give your table a retro covering by using an old vintage tablecloth or even a prettily patterned vintage sheet to envelope your table. Cheery vintage tablecloths paired with modern dinnerware will create an inspiring style that’s all your own.
If vintage patterns are too vibrant for you, use a plain white tablecloth and add just a touch of flair by crafting do-it-yourself placemats from a vintage tablecloth. Simply use a pen to trace the shape of a placemat you already own on the tablecloth and cut out one placemat for each guest. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, give them a quick hem.
image: Dinner Series
To add just a touch of vintage finesse to your holiday table setting, look no further than your jewelry box. Vintage trinkets, such as bracelets, bangles and even necklaces, can make adorable impromptu napkin rings. Whether you choose sparkly jewels to complement an elegant table scheme or retro bangles for a bit of fun, feel good about your crafty re-use, you repurposing junkie.
A bit of nature
When it comes to vintage centerpieces, keep it simple. Your everyday winter wares work beautifully as centerpieces. Fill your favorite ceramic pitchers or teapots with evergreen boughs or other winter greenery and artfully arrange them in the center of your table. The mixture of seasonal foliage and timeless tableware makes the perfect centerpiece for a table of eco-minded family and friends.
For a classic holiday centerpiece, locate your best hardy vintage bowl. Fill it with an assortment of Christmas bulbs and ornaments that you long ago retired from tree duty. Place the bowl smack dab in the center of your table for a splash of instant holiday cheer.
With candles as a centerpiece, you can never go wrong. Find an assortment of candleholders you adore and plop in your favorite eco-friendly candles for a super simple table centerpiece. Vintage candleholders are easy to come by at thrift stores, antique malls and flea markets. You could also make your own candleholders from vintage finds. Either way, dinner by candlelight just adds a layer of magic to a table.
Follow Kirsten on Twitter @kirsten_hudson