This Kildare company makes setting the perfect Christmas table a breeze
The season of festive gatherings is almost here.
And this year, unlike last Christmas, we can finally gather our friends and family around the table again. And I don't know about you, but I all about setting the perfect Christmas table this year.
Gathering around the Christmas table, inviting friends around for a festive supper or cocktail party or having the neighbours over for a New Year's Day brunch... no other time of year serves up so many opportunities to celebrate with food, family and friends.
Yep – Christmas 2021 will be the year of celebration, I think, and so as well as planning the menu, I am also planning how to decorate the table – as I want this year's celebration to feel extra special.
Lucky for me, an Irish company has just made it so much easier to set truly magical tablescapes – and will literally take the stress out of setting your Christmas table.
A pandemic business, Tara O’Connor set up The Designed Table in 2021.
With more than 20 years experience in the PR and events industry, and having styled countless events and tables, Tara's passion for tablescaping led her to create her own range of table linens and accessories inspired by the countryside and forests near her home in Co Kildare.
Filled with vibrant colours and prints that all work together, creating the perfect table for your party just became a whole lot easier, whether a formal dinner or a laid-back family feast.
The new glittering table linen collection in Irish-inspired shades sees elegant patterns teamed with sparkling new accessories for the ultimate festive tablescape. The inspiration, Tara explains, came from a desire to bring a sense of occasion back to everyday dining.
“I love setting the perfect Christmas table, this is my favourite time of year,” Tara explains.
“This season, for me, means time with family and friends, sharing food and conversation. When designing this new collection, I wanted to bring tradition back to the Christmas table. It’s a time to bring out the fine china or crystal and really celebrate.”
Perfect for Christmas festivities, the new collection includes The Designed Table’s recently launched white with scalloped edge tablecloths in deep, rich shades of red, green and navy alongside embroidered scalloped edge napkins in the same three shades as well as a white napkin with gold embroidery.
For more formal gatherings, I am obsessed with the elegant white floral jacquard tablecloth, and for New Year's Even, I have my eye on the navy tablecloth with silver stars.
For that extra wow factor, go for napkin rings too, I love the red, gold and silver beaded options, or the adorable velvet bows, or, for a more fun look, the wooden beads with velvet pom poms.
The red-trimmed jute placemat are newly added to the collection, which already includes green and navy options, as well as cotton napkins in red and green – ideal for layering up your tablescape with the season’s favourite shades.
Setting the perfect Christmas table
We picked Tara's brain about setting the perfect Christmas table, and here is what she had to say:
1. Get creative with your Christmas table
This is one of the most wonderful times of the year to show your creativity at home with your tablescape. Choose a colour first, or two, and then decide on whether to go floral or just add foliage with some centrepiece.
2 Set the table on Christmas Eve
One less job to do in the morning.
3. Don’t over-style your table
Just add the plates you need for your first course on each place setting. Tapered candles are great for adding height to your table. Then, create layers and depth with placemats or charger plates.
4. Use place names and menus at Christmas
It adds a sense of formality to the proceedings. Use foliage or fruit if you don’t want to use paper – pomegranates and a gold Sharpie are all you need.
5. What to do for a cocktail party
If you’re hosting a cocktail party, where guests are sitting or standing throughout your living areas, you can still dress up your dining table to act as a central table for food platters or hors d’oeuvres.
The Designed Table's scallop print table cloth in red, green or navy is perfect for this. Add candlesticks of varying heights and some fresh seasonal floral arrangements down the centre of the table to really dress it up.
6. Mix things up
"For Stephen’s Day, I like to do a completely different look for my table," Tara explains.
"If I go gold or silver for Christmas, I go red and green for St Stephen’s Day. I always reuse the floral arrangements from Christmas, so normally choose ones that work for all my entertaining needs over the festive period."
Gift the perfect table setting this Christmas
If you are looking for a special gift for someone who loves to entertain – or need a little help deciding on what accessories to pair with your chosen tablecloth – look no further.
The Designed Table’s Tablescape in a Box makes setting the perfect Christmas table easy and comes complete with an entire look for the table, with a tablecloth, placemats, napkins and napkin rings in quantities to suit 6, 8 or 12 people and is available in the Hydrangea, Jaipur Blue Paisley, Check Collection and Navy, Red or Green Scallop print.
Designed and curated by Tara, and lovingly packaged and delivered to the recipient’s door, it’s the ultimate one-click gift purchase that is sure to bring a big smile to someone’s face and be cherished and enjoyed for many years to come.
Prices start from €40 for a set of four cotton napkins; €24 for a set of four napkin rings; €55 for a velvet table runner; €12 for a red trim natural jute placemat; and €48 for a set of four linen/cotton napkins with embroidered trim; while tablecloths start at €85 for a small table size up to €170 for a larger table.