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Styling Guide

The Perfect Festive Table: A How to Guide

The Perfect Festive Table: A How to Guide

When it comes to the holiday season, decorating the table should be just as fun as decorating the tree. So, get ready to deck the halls and set the stage for memorable gatherings over the festive period…  
To make things a little easier for you, at Summerill & Bishop we have created a step-by-step guide on how to set the perfect festive table using our unique table linens and tableware. Be it for a more informal gathering with friends, or your family’s intimate holiday dinner, here you will find the best tips to bring the magic of the season to your table.  
[ The Tablecloth ]
 A beautiful tablecloth is a must-have and always where we start first. It’s the most important part of the table setting, so we advise to choose something that will make you and your guests want to sit at the table and talk together for hours. At Summerill & Bishop, each of our tablecloths are designed to be their own work of art. We always say that if we wouldn’t hang the design up as a piece of art on the wall, we wouldn’t use it to set the table with. Our stunning range of linens is varied enough to make sure that you can pick and choose your very own capsule table collection to match your style - ranging from cool and contemporary to timeless and sophisticated festive charm. 
Tips for Selecting the Tablecloth: 
For a timeless and quintessential look: Start with a table linen that has masses of white about its design with a touch of berry, burgundy or red, or go for mistletoe green for a nod to classic holiday season styling. These colour combinations will provide a nostalgic nod to a magical winter day and feel instantly inviting. If you want the look to feel more elevated, opt for elegant lace and matching napkins for a touch of vintage charm. You could also mix and match different table linens and napkins by layering them together to create a unique look. 
    For a touch of drama: Opt for unique hand painted linens in deep, regal hues – think Mignight Blue, Gold or Claret Red. To make the look feel elegant, scatter pops of metallics; golds and silvers for an additional layer of texture and add height via tall church candles and candelabras. It's all about adding those touches that take your table from ordinary to extraordinary. As the adage goes, it’s the little things that make all the difference. You could also place little trinkets on the table to make it feel more personal – such objects make for perfect little conversation starters.  
       For a modern twist: Incorporate unexpected elements like pastels and colourful accents. Opt for a soft palette of blush pink, mint green, and champagne gold to create a chic and contemporary festive look that seamlessly transitions into different seasons and occasions.  
        [ The Napkins ] 
        Napkins add another layer of creativity and beauty to your table and are the tableware item that your guest most interact with. So, beautiful napkins are a perfect opportunity to impress your guests!  
        Tips for Selecting the Napkins:  
        Complete the Look: Each Summerill & Bishop tablecloth has a matching napkin to pair together. Complete the S&B look by adding napkins that match the design of your tablecloth. 
        Mix and Match: Create different combinations by mixing and matching different napkin designs. For instance, the S&B ‘Mistletoe Kiss’ tablecloth pairs wonderfully with the S&B ‘Red Stripe’ napkins. Remember, the main thing is to have fun with it and make it personal to you. It’s your table, your mealtime and your loved ones – do what feels right to you and you can’t really go wrong. You can be as creative as you like here!  
        Add Napkin Rings:  Tie the look together with beautiful glass, ceramic, or woven napkin rings.     


        [Another fun way to use your 'Mistletoe Kiss' napkins...]

           [ The Dinnerware ]
          Consider the colour palette of your table setting and choose striking sets to make your dinnerware stand out. For instance, consider star-shaped plates for a fun, festive and special look, or choose gold or red rimmed plates to suit classic holiday season styling.
          Tips for Selecting the Dinnerware: 
          Consider the Occasion: Choose formal pieces for an elegant dinner and playful designs for a casual brunch.
          Mix and Match: Don’t be afraid to combine different sets to create a unique look. 
          [ The Serveware ] 
          The right serveware can make a significant impact on your table setting. Choose statement pieces that are both functional and stylish to enhance the dining experience.   
          Tips for Selecting the Serveware: 
          Layer the Heights: Use platters and stands with different heights to add different dimensions to your tablescape. This will keep your arrangement from looking ‘flat’. 
            Mix and Match: There are no rules for choosing your serveware. Get creative, mix and match, and allow yourself to explore different combinations of styles. 
              [ The Glassware ] 
              Glassware is an essential part of your table design, otherwise how would you make a toast?  
              Opt for smooth, crystal-clear glasses to show the colour and effervescence of your homemade festive cocktails. For a playful touch, add pops of color with colorful water tumblers.  
              Tips for Selecting the Glassware:
              Layer Your Glasses: Use different types of designs and heights to layer your table setting.  
                Planning Ahead: Ensure you have enough glassware for each course, including water glasses and additional wine glasses & champagne coups, after all, we are celebrating. 
                  Functional and Stylish: Choose glasses that are not only beautiful but also practical for your planned drinks menu. If you’re celebrating somewhere sunny or al fresco, you may want to opt for a heavier option like our faceted glassware, to ensure it doesn’t get blown off your table. 
                    [The Cutlery] 
                    Your personality can also shine through your cutlery selection. Whether you prefer a classic look with a silver plated set, or want to add a rustic vibe with a silver and boxwood set, Summerill & Bishop has a variety of cutlery designs to help you find the perfect one for your table. 
                    Tips for Selecting the Cutlery:
                    Planning Ahead: Set aside some time to polish your silver before the party. You'll thank yourself later - no last-minute scrambling to shine dozens of cutlery sets! 
                       [ Candles and Candlesticks ] 
                      Illuminate your table with candles and candlesticks. Place candles in glass holders or use elegant glass candelabras for a dramatic effect. Their gentle light will create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, enhancing the sense of togetherness and celebration around your table.  
                      Tips for Selecting the Candles and Candlesticks:
                      The Scent: Choose a variety of candles that create a balanced and festive scent.  
                      Layer the Heights: Consider having a variety of short and tall candlesticks to create different types of lighting. This will also help you create a sense of depth on the table. 
                          [ Flowers and Foliage ] 
                          Flowers and foliage will bring a touch of nature indoors, filling spaces with their fresh scents and vibrant colours, and creating a warm, festive atmosphere perfect for holiday gatherings. We suggest adding beautiful flowers in bud vases that trail down the middle of the table, this way, your view of the person seated opposite you isn’t obstructed and vice versa.  
                          Perhaps you prefer a statement centrepiece that’s bursting with traditional holiday greenery like evergreens and poinsettias, or a series of smaller bud vases with mistletoe scattered happily down the middle of the table. 
                          Tips for the Flowers and Foliage: 
                          Seasonal Blooms: Choose flowers that are in season to ensure they are fresh, vibrant, and ideal for the occasion. To match seasonal blooms, you can explore our floral collections, including Dahlia and Capucines, to ensure your table is always on season and matching with nature.
                            Mix and Match the Styles: Use a mix of large centerpieces and smaller vases for a dynamic look. 
                              Add Herbs and Dried Fruits to Your Arrangements: Consider the menu you are serving and choose complementing herbs and fruits to bring your table to life via sight and scent.  
                              Forage in Your Local Forest: A thoughtful touch to your table is using beautiful dried leaves from your local forest or park to use as place setting cards. Use a gold pen or marker to further elevate the look.
                                [ Personal Touches ] 
                                Adding personal touches to your table setting can make your guests feel extra special. Consider using alphabet napkins, handwritten place cards, or custom menu cards. These small details can create a warm and inviting atmosphere, making each guest feel uniquely welcomed. 
                                Tips for Personal Touches:
                                Alphabet Napkins: Personalise each place setting with napkins featuring your guests’ initials. 
                                  Handwritten Place Cards and Crackers: Help your guests identify their seats through beautifully written place cards or crackers. 
                                    Custom Menu Cards: Handwrite your menu to add another touch of homemade charm. Your guests will appreciate the effort! 
                                    Creative Napkin Folding: Try creative and fun ways to fold your napkins. Below are some examples. 
                                       [ Souviens-toi de Vivre ]
                                      This is the most magical time of the year, and while the table should be beautiful, it’s not necessarily about a big, stylised event, but rather about focusing on the moment and creating special holiday memories. The table is about coming together and connection, its where life and all its big decisions and conversations happen.   
                                      So put your favorite playlist on, stay close to your loved ones, and remember to live and indulge in the moment. These are the memories that will remain in your friends and family’s minds forever.  
                                      Happy Holidays! 
                                       S&B x
                                      [ S&B Holiday Season Shopping Guide ] 
                                      Tablecloths and Napkins

                                      Napkin Rings







                                      Candles and Candlesticks


                                      Flowers and Foliage

                                      Personal Touches

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