Create a formal table for holiday entertaining with these ideas for a semi-formal table setting and buffet. This table decor will take you from Thanksgiving to Christmas without skipping a beat!
Formal table setting
Hooray for the holiday season! I love to dress the table for Thanksgiving and Christmas and this year I got a fabulous update from Hayneedle. com. You may remember I worked with them earlier this year to create an outdoor entertaining space, so I was equally as excited when they invited me to partner with them again on a dining room update.
I concentrated on a few key areas for this project: update our dining room seating, set a beautiful table, coordinate the food buffet, and dress the bar cart. Let me tell you all about it below, and you can shop the look here.
This holiday tablescape is perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas
- I’ll begin with the table setting which is a mix of gold and copper. I started with my own gold flatware and napkins, plus a fun runner I recently received as a gift. From there I chose the gorgeous gold-rimmed dinner plates and 2 different sets of salad plates that coordinated but don’t match. This gives the formal setting a down-to-earth feel, and the motif will work for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.
TIP: Set your table with coordinating dishes instead of all matching ones. It adds an interesting, collected feel.
- I was thrilled to get new glassware too. The huge red wine glasses have been on my to-buy list, and the gold-rimmed white wine glasses match the dinner plates and are simply stunning. I already own a set of silver trimmed formal dinnerware so you can imaging this home entertainer was super excited to add a gold set as well!
- For holiday meals we always have a buffet set up but also have items like the main entree and bread on the dinner table. I used the set of copper trays to display these items so they look beautiful and are easy to pass around if needed. The gold handles are a nice accent which helps me coordinate with my existing gold pieces.
- To round out the tablescape I created a monochromatic flower arrangement in white. Keep it low for easy conversation back and forth.
- Place cards are simple copper tags paired with gold-foiled feather-shaped tags. This echos the gold and copper combo seen throughout the entire dining room, and the feather shape coordinates with the pheasant salad plates.
Mix up the seating around the table. It’s okay if everything doesn’t match!
I was really excited to update the seating around the dining room table. It’s been on the to-do list for a while but I haven’t focused on it until now. There are lots of options to choose from and I knew I wanted a mix-n-match look that included a bench on one side.
PARTY TIP: Mix-n-match your dining room seating for an eclectic and interesting look. Add a bench for a casual vibe, which can be pushed against the wall to save space if needed.
- My husband and I were both immediately drawn to the leather tufted chairs for the ends of the table. They’re very comfortable and I love the nail head detail.
- For one side of the table I chose to have coordinating upholstered chairs in gray. This adds texture, more interest, and the color gray which is throughout the house. They also have the same nail head trim as the leather chairs.
- The other side of the table gets this fabulous bench that’s long enough to seat 3-4 people. I love how sturdy the bench is, and the edges are cut with small curved details. To soften the seat I added a couple of sheepskins (faux) to it.
- Finally, to decorate for the holidays even more I added a couple of Fall themed pillows to the end chairs.
Set up a bar cart for serving holiday drinks and appetizers.
- The bar cart is the perfect place to set up a small drink station and appetizers. I made a signature family-friendly drink to serve in this set of Moscow mule cups. I’ll be sharing the recipe for my hot Russian Tea soon.
- A cheese plate is a good light appetizer to serve before a holiday meal and these appetizer plates with built-in drink holder are one of my favorite things! They’re the perfect solution for holding a stemmed glass so you have your hands free to hold the plate and eat.
- I used the copper ice bucket as a champagne chiller for this setting. It’s a great way to chill the bubbly when you don’t need it to hole ice cubes.
TIP: Don’t have a champagne bucket? No problem. Just use your ice bucket instead!
Get this corny spoon bread recipe here
Set up a self-serve holiday buffet using chafing dishes to keep dishes warm
If you entertain at home a lot then you probably need a chaffing dish, or 4! I have a few silver-toned chaffing dishes but as I found last year when hosting our Christmas party, they clash with the look when I’m going for a more glam and gold look. I can’t wait to use my new copper and gold toned chaffing dishes for this year’s party!
I chose two different designs and sizes for different needs. I love how they coordinate with the rest of the room and help complete the look.
TIP: Use a chaffing dish for cold foods too! I served salad from one of the dishes so it blends in seamlessly with the rest of the buffet.
I hope you’re inspired by my dining room update. The setting is formal for the holidays but casual enough for comfortable entertaining.