The Insider: How to decorate your festive table
Sunday 18 December 2011
Swish yuletide table settings don't have to be posh or pricey. Don't buckle under peer pressure to panic-buy the White Company's entire window display on your credit card. Instead, press the consumerist pause button and think creatively...
Make your mark
For frill-free place settings, Jane Toft, editor of cool craft magazine Mollie Makes, suggests a brown-paper tablecloth (WH Smith sells rolls; you may need to tape strips together on the underside). With a black marker, draw outlines of cutlery and plates for each guest (a cardboard template for your fork might help). Illuminate with tealights in mismatched glasses. Très utility chic.
Raise your glass
Toft's centrepiece tip is simple, too: fill glass vases or cloches with same-coloured decorations. They shouldn't shape match: mix round, squiggly, odd, chic, giant and mini. Line jars in a row (different shades in each) for maximum impact.
Take a bow
Striking, but stupidly simple: buy a big reel of broad, black ribbon and tie a bow around plate, napkin and cutlery for each place setting. (Not great with red – be bold with less-clichéd monochrome; it'd work equally well with random vintage crockery, as black is a great anchor.)
"Scrabble tiles spelling out place names are fun," continues Toft, "especially if you can ferret out enough tile holders for each guest."
Matchboxes covered in nice paper and filled with little treats or after-dinner mints make a thoughtful touch on plates. At drawpilgrim.com you can, for a few quid, download and print some old-style illustrative covers. Intended as a quirky Advent calendar, you can even upcycle them next year.
Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at yourhomeislovely.com
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 'Necrophilia-obsessed' girl among double murder accused in three-way sex case
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£1036224 - £1513056 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Educatio...
£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Are you a fully quali...
£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...