Simple wreaths at the doors and greenery draped from the chandelier set a holiday mood in the eating area. Light floods the room, where fresh flowers and forced bulbs help keep away the winter chill.
Deck the Doors
Chinoiserie wallpaper sets the dining room mood, which is echoed by cloisonne vases laden with greenery. Tall glass containers filled with fruit have double the impact when mirrored. On the table, a miniature cypress tree, plump oranges, and pomegranates accent the blue-and-white place settings.
Bring the fragrance of evergreens indoors by draping doorways and windows with generous clippings from your own backyard. The window wreath is hemlock, the window swag is cedar, and the framed door is white pine. Wire the garlands first, and hang them from a couple of cup hooks in the top edges of the trim.
Gracious Dining Room
A triple treat of green wreaths with trailing ribbons tops French doors leading outside. Pear-green walls, polka-dot linens, and a traditional Christmas tree add a fresh twist to the dining room, accented by green fruit and fragrant flowers on the table.
Hospitable Dining Room
Beyond the arched doorway, an antique crystal chandelier graces a dining table surrounded by comfortable chairs. Seasonal greenery and festive flowers create a warm ambience in the dining room to mark the start of the holiday season.
Old South hospitality reigns in this dining room, which is bedecked with local greenery. Overhead, an ormolu chandelier with crystal palm fronds sheds light on pineapple-print fabric used on chairs and draperies.
Every guest will feel young at heart with a centerpiece featuring happy elves and delightful drums. Rose-medallion plates and Czech cut glass add more formal notes for balance.
This oversize dining room with an 11-foot ceiling requires equally impressive decorations. Large fruit topiaries and an orange-rimmed centerpiece are opulent beneath a hand-wrought chandelier with blown-glass balls by interior designer Tommy Chambers.
Layer the linens for a homey look during the holiday season. Add stoneware dishes and evergreen clippings to further relax the decorating. Create a centerpiece with lemons, limes, pears, and Granny Smith apples, all tucked in a basket with more green sprigs.
An eclectic blend of furniture goes more formal when dressed with an elegant table runner in gold and cream. Two pillar candles in oversize vases stand sentry over gaily decorated napkins, and even the seating wears holiday garb.
Natural Light, Plus White
Cool blue and snowy white form the background for tables set with miniature trees. Make them by wrapping the roots of tiny cypress trees in burlap, and set them into glass vases. Cover chairs with tailored white slipcovers, and top off the table with formal white linens.
Formal Yet Fresh
Simplicity reigns in this dining room, where dark wood furniture contrasts with creamy white upholstery and fresh flowers. The oversize table is too long for a single centerpiece, but a row of arrangements, punctuated by silver candelabras, is in perfect scale.
Evergreens in Snow
Although this dining room has formal furnishings, it has a casual feeling that comes from light colors and a sisal rug. Lush silks and opulent crystal need little adornment for the holidays; a bowl of fresh-cut greenery is enough.
Deep green evergreens against snowy white linens are a classic holiday combination. Here, nut garlands, chandeliers hung with ornaments, and stockings made from cotton tea towels enhance the simple decorations.
Set for a Crowd
Shades of gold and taupe create understated drama in this dining room with decorative white trim. A vase of amaryllis stems and a deep-tone centerpiece are subtle reminders of the holiday season.
Hacienda Holiday Dining
Two draw-leaf tables set end to end can accommodate a crowd of guests in this rustic gallery dining room. Antique silver, china, crystal, and rustic iron candelabras enliven the table, while a 17th-century gilded mirror reflects the scene.
Warmed by a cozy fireplace, this outdoor dining room also inspires the warmest holiday feelings. Colorful arrangements made from natural berries, greenery, and peppers complement wicker chairs and Southwestern pottery.
Elegant Chair Treatment
Relax and unwind around a country harvest table. Decorations include natural greenery strategically tucked around the room. Mini Christmas trees and potted saplings adorn the table. Replant the potted plants outside after the holidays.
Fragrant Name Tags
Adorn a chair like a gift-wrapped present by wrapping it with a "ribbon" of fabric. Cut two 8-inch-wide lengths of green fabric; turn under and iron the sides. Wrap one length around the cushion and secure it with a safety pin. Wrap the other length around the chair frame, and secure the underside as needed. Cover the gap with a throw pillow.
Each guest knows where to sit when chairs are marked with name tags. Write the name on a paper tag, and secure it at the back of the chair with ribbon and a sprig of eucalyptus.
With nothing more complicated than a pretty damask napkin and fancy ribbon, chairs look their holiday finest. Tie the ribbon around the chair to hold the napkin, then hang one lovely ornament from the knot.