Wednesday 28 September 2016

Christmas entertaining

Gold and Glitzy, cool and sparkly, monochrome and moody or Nordic with a twist... What's your party season style

Ciara Elliott

Published 20/12/2015 | 02:30

Tea lights and greenery can dress up your festive table. Photo: Marks and Spencer.
Tea lights and greenery can dress up your festive table. Photo: Marks and Spencer.
Chevron pillar candle, €3, Penneys
Black glitter-edged bauble, €7, Marks and Spencer
Hanging stars, set of three, €7.50, ie.nextdirect.com
Pack of six candles, €25, True Grace at amara.com
Nordic look. Photo: Murmur.
Nordic look: White mason jar candle, €5, Penneys
Nordic charm: Candle holder, €175, Kartell Abbracciaio at houseology.com
Nordic look: Dip dye paddle board, €35, thewhitecompany.com

With the presents all wrapped and the big day ahead of you, there's something infectious about the party season that makes you want to, well, party. That doesn't have to stop with the dull-as-dishwater (and irritatingly expensive) office bash - what better time to have an impromptu neighbours or old-friends get-together?

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Even if you'd prefer to keep the house pristine in the run up to the 25th, consider upgrading your night on the couch with Jools Holland and invite people over for a New Year's Eve dinner.

"The best thing about New Year's," says party planner Tara Fay, "is that everyone relaxes a little after Christmas so festive tables don't have that big pressure on perfection that everyone aims for at this time of year." And although the timeless appeal of a roaring fire, a twinkling Christmas tree and flickering candlelight never gets old, there are a few contemporary spins, Tara suggests, that you can easily add to the traditional look in order to give it a bit more of an on-trend feel.

"The biggest impact you can make to a festive table, and with the smallest amount of effort and investment, is to use battery powered tea lights. Intertwine them into fresh hand-picked greenery, set them under bell-topped glass jars and create a wonderful and impactful entranceway with them by using them in stand-alone glass terrariums. We are seeing these styling trends more and more now and they are just so easy to achieve."

Echoing ideas that are there in interiors anyway - natural wood and metallics, strong graphics and a darker, moodier aesthetic - decorating for dinner has never been this interesting!

Dark and graphic

Translate the trend for dark and moody interiors onto your party table with a colour palette of shadowy blacks and blues along with pops of playful monochrome.

Scandi chic

Set the scene for a Nordic-look get-together with cosy candlelight, muted colours and pared-back paper decorations. As well as the odd pompom or two...

Outside in

Fresh greenery and natural light as well as a softly-scented dining table create the perfect atmosphere for a festive lunch at home this festive season.

Vintage gold

Think traditional, sparkling and festive with a sumptuous table set with long-stemmed candles and accents of white, gold and silver.

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