Table linens for Holiday Dinner

lizhDecember 2, 2005

After I read the thread where no one "dresses up" the table anymore, I got to thinking....What is everyone doing as far as table linens for their Holiday Dinner?

Are you using a tablecloth, placemats and runner, or something else? Casual, formal or in-between?

I'm looking to do something casual elegant, like maybe hem-stitched placemats but I haven't seen any I like yet. May have to go on-line.

So, let us know how you plan to set the table and where you found your table linens. Thanks!

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I am beyond traditional....
It will be white damask, sterling flatware, crystal wines and water, and red English transferware......for thanksgiving and other times.
For Christmas, it's red placemats, Mikasa Christmas dishes, white damask napkins ( some things never change!), green Christmas water glasses......and wine charms for your nose or wherever!!
And silver candleabra.....and a silver bowl of poinsettia, and a dog or 2 looking for a hand out.....and a few kids balancing spoons on their nose, and maybe an adult ( bwahaha!!) son opening still another bottle of wine.......and more cookies......and a lot lf laughs.
The damask are from household auctions and sales......the red placemats from Tuesday Morning.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 10:59PM
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I love your taste. Sounds very pretty. I'm unusual in that I don't like the color of traditional red which can really put a kink into Christmas decor. Usually I do a "White" Christmas with creams,gold, silver and sage thrown in and maybe a teeny bit of burgundy.
For Thanksgiving I use my Villeroy & Boch "French Garden" patterened china on white table cloth and that works out well.

But for Christmas, I like to bring out my white with gold rimmed china that I inherited from Germany and it doesn't look as good on a white tablecloth.

Its funny because even though I'm a decorator, I'm a bit stumped about this table because most people would go with red placemats like you did, which would set off the white.

Other than red, what color would you put the white china on? Its nice to get some opinions for a change instead of always being on the other end :-) Thanks for any input.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 9:22PM
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How about burgundy? My daughter bought me the prettiest solid burgundy table cloth that has a pointsettia design in the material. From a distance, it doesn't look like a Christmas type table cloth. I didn't want to use plain white napkins, so I found some off white cloth napkins with burgundy pointsettias and emerald green leaves. That combination would be pretty with your white china.

For our Christmas morning brunch, I have a set of dishes with red and green holly. I use an emerald green table cloth and in this case white napkins and I have holly napkin rings. It is not a real formal table, but festive with my set of Christmas dishes.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 10:03PM
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Liz, for my china (platinum and gray band on white with a little pink and gray in the center), a white cloth is not the most becoming either. A pale pink or grey sets the china off beautifully. I have used a white damask cloth, but brought in pale pink or grey accents.
For my Christmas china, (my Christmas tree pattern and village red mix quite well) I use a hunter green cloth. I have little brass horns I use for napkin rings, and use matching green cloth napkins.
I know you like sage green, is there any way you can work that in with your china? I have also seen white damask cloths overlaid with organza squares, or placemats in a color that goes with the china. Would gold organza be too much for your table? Karen

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 10:08PM
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Thanks for your replies...I like hearing what everyone else is doing.

Your table decor sounds really nice. I can picture how it would look. I thought about burgundy but for me it would be too much strong color. I only like it in small doses.

But the green has potential. I could go up a notch from sage to a more evergreen color it could work since my bread and butter plates have some green and it would be a nice backdrop for the white and gold plates too.

I can definitely see a pale pink or grey tablecoth with those plates...would be beautiful. Love white classic. Yes I've seen the organza overlays. They had one with medium and light blue squares over white cloth at Design Center lunch. Really pretty and a good idea. But for my purposes I think it might make the table almost too "dressy" with the white and gold rimmed china. The setting is really more European country. But its a good look to recommend.

I think going with the green (maybe a bit darker) might be the best overall.

Have a great Holiday and hope to see you both over at the decorating forum!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 7:49PM
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Since a predominant color in my house is burgundy, cherry, deep pink, cerese or whatever......when I say red I mean wine color. I use pink poinsettias and a pine/sage green and cream. I have a big bag of pink silk poinsettia flowers that I touched with cold paint and tuck in the garlands around the house.
But I do have some bright red placemats, that I use with plain white Havaland....with green napkins.....because sometimes you just have to get out that bright red!
And bizlady....I think I have that same tablecloth! I use either off white linen or deep sage linen ( both of which need to be ironed! Better get with it!)
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 11:13AM
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I don't have china, but do have colbalt blue glassware. I use white damask when doing a more formal table, but have bright yellow that I use for more casual settings.

For Christmas, I use earthenware dishes, with snowmen or snowflakes on them (mostly shades of blue and white). Just this year I found a cloth that has silver snowflakes embroidered on a white background. I found glass snowflake ornaments that I will personalize for placesettings and will most likely use dark blue cloth napkins. Glasses will be clear, plain stemmed, but I am considering making some wire stem charms to personalize them. (It depends on my MIL -- if she comes we will be "dry". If she does not come, dinner will last much longer and and the wine will flow!).

I found a paper mache snowman (a bit more off white than I really wanted, with blue and gold accents), about 25 inches tall holding a bowl on his head. He is sitting in the middle of my table right now with some bright red apples and a few (they were tasty) dark red grapes drapping out of the bowl.

I also have snowmen egg cups, but instead of eggs they are holding round candles (like little snowballs) in the cups.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 5:18PM
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Here's a picture of my table, not fully set yet but this is what it will look like:

Here is a link that might be useful: Christmas table

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 1:15PM
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I love the grain showing on your table. It is beautiful.


    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 5:48PM
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Thanks Susan!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2005 at 11:20PM
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My dining table is 120" long to accommodate every member in the family. I use a deep green damask tablecloth, with 2 gold glitter candelabras and greens strewn down the center altrnating with 4 little gold candle lights with glass shades with red and white stripes. I use a lot of candle light. My chandelier is decorated with greens and red christmas balls hanging down.

I use gold chargers and white Butler's Pantry dinnerware, Butler's Pantry flatware, red damask napkins to match the tablecloth pattern and red and white stripe napkin rings. For my glasses, I use the snow forest goblets that you can get at Arby's each Christmas season.

One group that we trade Sunday meals with each month voted to have Christmas at our house every year. They loved the festive look.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 7:16PM
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There may not be much left but this is the perfect time to go shopping for beautiful holiday table linens. Most are 1/2 price right now. You can always use red for Valentine's Day!!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 1:32AM
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Twinkledome, where do you find a cloth for a 120 inch table? The largest cloths I find are 126 or thereabouts...
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 12:09PM
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You would need a tablecloth measuring about 144 inches lenght (366cm) for that table. There are lots this size at Purple & Fine Linen

- June G

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 7:03AM
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Oh! My!! What a thing to show me!! Be still my heart!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 10:28PM
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