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We're not sure who decided that red and green looked good together, but we respectfully disagree. If you’re craving more creative, modern, and elegant options, think outside the box and try these tips.
By: Peacefuldumpling.com Photo Credit: Juhea Kim
Think About Your Winter Wardrobe
Deep reds, purples, mauves, forest greens, navy blue, jewel tones ... these all evoke the spirit of the season, without clashing! Our favorite to use is crimson, rich and purple-based. Call it oxblood, wine, or purple-red -- this rich color is just as winter appropriate and less glaring than the usual red-green combo. Crimson flowers in mason jars and Red Delicious apples firmly anchor the color theme; and the complementary tone of deep-green ivy gives a lush, natural look.
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Set up a Dessert Buffet
Instead of thinking of the dinner table as the setting for the entire meal, create a lush dessert buffet like this over a long sideboard. First, guests will be able to admire your pie before they even begin the meal. If they’ve brought any desserts, you can set them up on the buffet, so their dishes can be shown off too. That will look much more impressive and rewarding than just putting them on the kitchen counter until it’s time to serve! Also, you create a better flow through the evening as you move away from the table to the living area, and you’ll be able to enjoy the pie better instead of focusing on clearing dinner plates and switching over to dessert plates!
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Call on Neutrals Like Gray and Black
If you can’t quite let go of the seasonal colors, try pairing just one (!) of the shades with a neutral. For instance, a muted red paired with bold black and light gray turns sophisticated and elegant. A simple black grosgrain ribbon is more chic (and cheaper) than a napkin ring.
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Mix and Match Your Napkins and Plates
Don’t have a matching set of napkins, place mats, and plates? We have it on good authority ("How to Be a Parisian Wherever You Are") that it’s more chic to mix and match for an eclectic, bohemian feel. Pile pattern on pattern, color on color! Just go all the way -- the more you mismatch, the more Parisienne you’ll be!
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Don’t Be Afraid to Simplify
Yes, it’s the holidays, but sometimes simple is more beautiful. You don’t have to worry about whether you need more pinecones or poinsettias -- there’s a lot going on with food already! It’s fun to try different centerpieces, but it really takes only three components to make a warm, inviting, festive atmosphere: flowers, candles, and music. Your favorite flowers cut low (so guests can see each other over the table) and unscented candles are always a good idea. Long, tapered candles are always an elegant choice, but small candles work just as well, and also allow your guests to see each other better. And don’t forget the music -- it’s an essential part of a “table setting.” And just like that, you’re done decorating -- it’s time to enjoy your food and company of the ones you love.