Set a Sparkling Table

Table SettingJill Winninger

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is host a dinner party for family and friends. So that everyone enjoys the evening, including me, I like to choose food and table settings that are delicious and gorgeous but also are easy to execute. Remember the three Ls to make your holiday table unforgettable.


Layering is the detail that takes a table from ho-hum to stunning. Start with your table and finish with luxurious accessories. 

Use tables linens — a tablecloth, runner or placements — as a layer. Table linens include napkins, which also add to the look of your table setting.

Dishes, including chargers, dinner and bread plates, soup bowls, glassware and utensils come next. Dish patterns can be mixed and matched for interest. Choose stemware to complement your dinnerware. 

For the top layer, accessorize your table with floral centerpieces, candles, bowls of fruit and even small gifts or party favors placed near or on top of the plates.


Make sure your table sparkles by paying close attention to the lighting, which sets the mood for your diners. Add ambiance with dimmed overhead lighting, intimacy with lots of flickering candles and coziness with colorful pendant fixtures.


Luxury is the grand finale. Choose linens that are versatile but unusual. Fold napkins to highlight their design. Fill a centerpiece bowl or tray with ornaments. Add fresh greens for a festive detail. Pure white china or china rimmed with glittering gold or shimmering silver works well during the holiday season. Crystal goblets also are a nice touch. Silk ribbons can be stunning. Tie them around the gifts for each guest and/or don your chairs with ribbons and a small, fresh wreath.

Jill Winninger, Allied ASID, CID, Senior Interior Designer

Seaside Home

1055 Wall St.,
La Jolla, CA 92037


Categories: Home Design