Rustic Woodland Holiday Table

I can hardly believe it, but December is here! Is it me or did this year just fly by? I’m a huge fan of the holidays; the decorations, the festivities, right down to the music, I love it all. Give me a Christmas carol or just about any holiday special that includes Michael Bublé, Josh Groban or Harry Connick Jr. and I’m in Christmas happy place.

I don’t have a cottage or a farm and we don’t have snowy white Christmases here in sunny California, but we do know how to set a mean rustic holiday table. And, like the rest of the universe, I’m mad for plaid this season and I’m bringing black and white buffalo plaid to the table, for a setting as warm and cozy as a plaid flannel shirt.

Think lots of evergreens, pinecones, deer, woodsy accents that naturally say Christmas and pay homage to your favorite winter scene. These are a few of my favorite things and what inspired this Woodland Rustic Holiday table.


Black & white Buffalo plaid. I wanted my runner to pop from my black dining room table, so I created a double-layered runner using a white tablecloth folded to the width I wanted and leaving enough room on each side of the runner for my placesettings. I centered the plaid runner on top of the white and centered it left to right and “top to bottom”. When I couldn’t find the runner in the fabric and color I was dreaming of, I made it! Runners typically run 72”-108” long and this fabric runs 44-45” wide. I wanted the length to be about 5-6 inches from the end of my table, so I had the fabric cut 90” long, making a 2.5-foot runner. I kept it folded with the double thickness in case I wanted to use it in a different way at another time.

I made DIY matching plaid napkins, cutting 2 feet of (doubled) fabric into eight 17” squares, trimmed the edges and rolled them as shown. For the napkin rings, I used 3” Grapevine Wreaths I found at Michaels, wrapped them with fresh thyme, tied them with a black 7/8” grosgrain ribbon, tucked in fresh evergreens and gold “Merry Christmas” stir sticks I found in the dollar section at Target. Cute, right?


For the most fun, layer, layer, layer! I started this setting with Lipper wood bark chargers layering each one with a white Marchesa Shades scalloped dinner plate trimmed in gold, a kate spade new york Oliver Park accent plate, a kate spade new york slate castle peak dessert plate, and since I was serving soup, topped the setting with these adorable small gold dot bowls I found at Homegoods. I paired the table settings with gold flatware to coordinate with the gold edged dinnerware and patterns. I wanted to keep the glassware interesting and on the casual side, so I used a combination of TAG clear bubble glass goblets for water, Lenox gold rimmed stemware for wine, and my favorite black champagne flutes for a bit of drama. Mine are vintage, but you can find similar at Z Gallerie.

Can we talk about the snowflake charms from Hester & Cook? I’m BIG on details and these are just, well, charming! They’re double-sided, arrive as a set of twelve, include the ribbon and would make adorable placecards or personalized wine charms for a cocktail party.


The evergreen garland was the main attraction! I folded a 25-30 foot fresh garland in half, doubling it for fullness and laid it down the center of runner, dropping it to the floor. Down the runner, I tucked in white roses; to warm the look, and scattered pinecones, gold jingle bells, votive candles, birch pillar candles for a bit of woodsy, a single pair of brass candlesticks with tapers, and one sparkling reindeer. Don’t miss the Merry Christmas glass votive holders. They’re vintage Design Ideas, but with their selection of candlelight and candles, I always find something new and interesting.


I made the dessert table pretty simple and with my Hester & Cook black and white striped paper runner, that was easy to do. Adding a printed table runner can dress up a table in minutes. I added the “Santa Said You Needed A Drink” Buffalo plaid cups (Homegoods score!), TAG whiteware rectangle plate on a Chilewich Dahlia gold placemat, and for serving, my CRU Monaco 24kt gold rimmed dessert plates. These have extra special meaning because they’re designed and made by friend, Darbie Angell, who gives back every, single day, and isn’t that what this season is all about?

Also on the table were cupcakes and cookies, along with homemade biscotti with dried cherries, fig Torta (Dina style), Italian Wedding cookies (aka Italian butterballs) and chocolate peppermint bark served on a Hester & Cook Evergreen table runner, cut to size and fit for our Woodland theme.

‘Tis the season to enjoy and no matter how you set the table, I hope your holiday season is merry + bright!

xx, Deborah