Christmas Tabletop Accents

Holiday tables can dress up in style -- from formal to casual. Browse these photos for style cues you can apply to your own pretty table settings.


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pink holiday place setting
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Small Table, Big Style

    A small gathering is the ideal place to pull out an alternative holiday color, such as the fuchsia napkins and Christmas balls shown here. Twelve place settings of the bright color would be overwhelming, but here it's just right.

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Casual Holiday

    Here's a casual holiday table set in a breakfast room. Candy cane motif candles burn brightly over silver pots of holiday plants. The pink tablecloth provides an unexpected shot of color under the white napkins tied with gingham bows.

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Fruit Under Glass

    Elevate votive candles by placing them in a fruit-filled glass vase. Tiny bits of greenery will add to the holiday effect.

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Showcase an Ornament

    Holiday ornaments add a burst of color wherever they are placed. This red ornament takes on the look of a cherished heirloom when embellished with a knot of gorgeous wide ribbon.

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A Country Christmas

    Table runners laid perpendicular across a table dress up a white tablecloth for the holidays. Red vases and greenery make a simple centerpiece, and bows with holiday ornaments attached make easy chair decorations.

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Garnished Cedar Trees

    Pick up some miniature cedar trees (from about 6 to 18 inches tall) at a florist or garden center. Once they're in decorative pots, you can cover the soil with Spanish moss or green moss and attach ribbons or tiny decorations to the branches.

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Crazy for Amaryllis

    Proof that nearly any container can be turned to holiday use, these pretty white pumpkins (left over from a Thanksgiving table) get a new look with holly and amaryllis. Simply insert a vase into the pumpkin, fill with water, and add your arrangement. A bow ties the red and white together.

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Wrap It Up

    Small packages get the look of luxury when wrapped with golden papers and wide satin ribbons. Your guests will be delighted to find such a party favor at their place setting during a holiday dinner.

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Simple Style

    Never underestimate the impact fresh flowers have on a table setting. Here, flowers in holiday colors stand in a lush arrangement on the dinner table. Christmas balls in coordinating colors on the buffet complete the look.

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Custom Container

    Create a custom vase or plant pot by attaching holiday ornaments to the outside of another container. This mix of blue decorations in both shiny and matte textures creates an eye-catching display for an entry table.

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Three Tiers

    Here's another centerpiece idea that can easily be customized to fit a decorating theme. Fill it with pinecones and natural elements or pine boughs and sparkling ornaments. Or add miniature trees, cellophane bags of candy, or even rows of cupcakes -- whatever you like that will make a pretty display.

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Beribboned Setting

    Silky ribbons tied to the back of each chair add decoration and holiday color to the table.

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Highs and Lows

    Collect elements of silver and white for a cool centerpiece look. Arranging items that are high, medium, and low will give the display added interest and personality. Also, pay attention to texture by alternating shiny, rough, and mottled items.

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Formal Coordination

    If a formal holiday meal is your cup of tea, go all out by coordinating fabrics for the table runners, napkins, and chair decorations. Then, continue the scheme by attaching small flowers in your star color to a candelabra for an elegant centerpiece.

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Candles Wrapped

    Decorate pillar candles with wired crystals, beads, or faux cranberries. Like an accent pillow on a chair, it's a way to add color and interest to a neutral item. A few sprigs of fresh greens make this centerpiece sing of holiday goodwill.

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Paperwhites

    Tall candlesticks look even more graceful when they flank a bowl of flowers or a flowering plant. These paperwhites add springtime freshness to a winter table, though their strong fragrance may be best appreciated in the living room rather than near food.

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Traditional Whites

    White and red are a classic Christmas combination, so you can't go wrong by pairing white candlesticks with red tapers and fresh greenery for an impressive centerpiece.

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Country Style

    Bits of greenery and some color-coordinated holiday ornaments bring Christmas style to this country cupboard. The display's simplicity and restraint add to the charm.

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Showcase a Collection

    White bowls turned upside-down serve as impromptu pedestals for a small collection of miniature houses in green and white. Swagged below, five white stars hang from a green garland.

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Berry Bright

    A glass bowl filled with bright red cranberries creates both color and texture on the table. They also neatly hide the utilitarian pot overflowing with fragrant paperwhites. Sprigs of fresh holiday greens form a beautiful base underneath the bowl.

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Floral Fantasy

    Black and white may not be your first thought for holiday decorations, but the look is both fresh and contemporary. Silver mixes perfectly with white flowers and a silver satin bow, while framed sheet music sings out more of this musical theme. Add more holiday style with fresh greenery, or turn it into a New Year's party look with sheet music from "Auld Lang Syne."

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