A beautifully laid table creates the mood for a stunning Christmas.
Fun al fresco lunch
Image (below, right): Food by gastronomy.com.au; turquoise oval platter, $130, thebaytree.com.au; white tablecloth, $130, lmhome.com.au; table runner, $75, bonnieandneil.com.au; wooden beads, 110cm, $16.95, Mrs Hargraves; wooden bauble, $4.95, lincraft.com.au
STYLE TIP Set a strict colour palette (a maximum of three colours) for your table. Here the runner is the cue, with accent colour from the platter and cutlery. The eye-popping pink is on-trend and makes the table fun for celebrating.
SAVING GRACE It's no secret Christmas can get stressful. Sometimes it's good to have a time-saving secret weapon in your hosting arsenal. Gastronomy in Sydney will deliver a baked ham and other festive foods to your door.
Keep centrepieces minimal, nothing that obstructs the view of the person opposite. Large felt tree, $59.90, small felt tree, $39.90, papaya.com.au
Fab flowers are a must for the festive table. Vase, $95, studioenti.com.au
Neutral plates make the runner and napkins the heroes. Dinner plate, $53, mudaustralia.com; dessert plate, $40, studioenti.com.au; napkins, $125 for a set of six; leather keyring used as napkin ring, $49.95, thedailyedited.com
Add accent colour with beautifully hued serving dishes. $90, thebaytree.com.au
Gorgeous glassware adds style. Wine glass, $54; water glass, $33, hayshop.com.au
A cut above
Gift yourself gold-accented cutlery. The trend is here to stay. $260 for a four-person set (each set includes a dinner fork, knife, spoon, entrée fork and teaspoon) kinnowcutlery.com
It's not Christmas without crackers. $35 for a set of six, papierdamour.com.au
Learn how to create a chic evening soiree. Photo: Maree Homer
Chic evening soiree
Image (above): Vintage silver cutlery (stylist's own) similar available from thelostandfounddepartment.com.au; silver platters available for hire through gastronomy.com.au; tart server, $35, thebaytree.com.au; vintage crystal drops used as placeholders, $5 each, thelostandfounddepartment.com.au; tablecloth, Zodiaco fabric $220 per metre from Busatti; place cards, $2 each, pulpcreativepaper.com.au; calligraphy, $2 per card, writtenbyhand.com.au
STYLE TIP Blending old and new elements combines family history with modern sensibility.
MADE WITH LOVE A touch of DIY makes for a heartfelt table. Name cards are the easiest way to personalise the setting. Get creative. Recruit crafty family to sew, paint or stitch.
This cut-glass vase adds interest without overpowering the table. $69.95, papaya.com.au
Monochrome adds drama to the table, while the pretty floral adds cheer. Large charcoal plate, $39.95; floral dessert plate, $49. Montmartre, Mosman. (02) 9969 5456.
Velvet is the trim of the moment, while hand-stitched embroidery adds timeless detail. Lavender napkin, $42, busatti.com.au; velvet ribbon $7.99 a metre, lincraft.com.au; piecework embroidery (POA) by stitchshop.com.au; silver bauble $11.95, lincraft.com.au
Soft candle light, through coloured glass, provides gentle support to the main event. Tea light, $85, busatti.com.au
Hand-cast porcelain bowls, with a wash of subtle colour, are the last word in understated elegance. $55, busatti.com.au