How To: Create Your Holiday Tablescape

Set The Table With Me


With the holiday buzz officially here and Thanksgiving days away, my mind has been busy working up fabulous tablescape ideas for all the dinner parties, family gatherings, and celebrations in the works.  When it comes to decorating a table I’m a Daydreamer.  I’m practical and come up with a structured plan, but within that I love to allow myself to be inspired: by nature, walks through the park, visits to the Farmer’s Market, what I already have stored away that I can upcycle, and second hand shops.  I’ve been throwing dinner parties for a decade now so my formula of combining aesthetic inspiration with structure works well.  Here’s how I do it, with the critical elements you’ll need and should consider for your own holiday table shared below.


I always start with candles when setting my table.  They add mood lighting, a nice scent if you choose to go down that route, and a warmth unlike a standing lamp or overhead lighting.  The most gorgeous tables are lit only by candle-light but there is definitely a time and a place for that type of setting based on how casual or fancy your event it.  If it’s black-tie, go candle crazy!  If your holiday event is filled with family and is a bit more relaxed, anchor your table with candles but use supporting elements like flowers and fruits to create additional places for the eye to go.

I know that for the holidays a taper candle with holder is standard, so I like to go with something totally different for my setting that will surprise and delight my guests.  This year I’m choosing a variety of scents from Bijou Candles, the Parisian-inspired company known for their gorgeous floral candle holders and their French inspired scents.  The floral-shaped bases are made from reusable resin and are inspired by vintage milk glass vases.  The combination of scent and style here makes them the perfect choice for my festive holiday table.

I’ve chosen three scents: the Tabac Noir Bijou with notes of smoky tobacco leaf and rosewood, Ambre Tubereuse Bijou with bright, clean mandarin zest and deep amber, and Bois de Vanille Bijou with woodsy notes, sweet vanilla bourbon, and lime.


Once I’ve found the perfect candles, I begin to consider color.  It’s critical to think seasonally but just like the choice of Bijou Candles instead of tapers I like to surprise my guests with a color palette that’s unexpected.  Red and green, or blue and silver are classics for sure, but why not go with something a bit more special?  My color palette for this year’s holiday table include black, white, gold, many shades of yellow and green, with some muted brown and grey thrown in.  Very fall harvest, oui?


Black is a shade that you don’t see gracing the table often, but considering how dramatic it can be I’m not sure why it’s not more prevalent!  My table is a dark wood, and my black Tabac Noir Bijou candle lights up beautifully on it, creating a glow that’s almost amber.  I absolutely love the combination of yellows too, the milky yellow of the Ambre Tubereuse Bijou pairing nicely with the mustard yellow of some Asian pears placed deliberately disconnected amongst some leaves and loose floral arrangements.  I’ve chosen gold tableware over silver, and am using simple french linen napkins to sit in guests’ laps.

Finally, green always delights me – in every possible shade.  The greyish green of my lavendar Christmas tree goes nicely with the hints of grey in the flowers, and creamy Marcona almonds tie everything together with a hint of caramel here and there.

Unexpected Elements


Even though I’ve been upcycling for years without knowing the terminology, there are always recycled elements on every tablescape I create.  The upcycled item you’re most familiar with?  The mason jar, of course.  Not a regular in me repetoire anymore however, I’ve moved on to bigger and better items!

This year my upcycled pieces are Bijou candle holders used as salad and snack bowls!  When your candle has come to the end of it’s lit life, simply pour out the remaining wax and give them a good scrub and wash, and voila – bowls!  I’ve placed almonds, raspberries, and other tasty treats in the petite Bijou holders, and small salads in the classic sized holder.


Now that you know my tricks for setting the table, it’s your turn to own your very own Bijou Candles for your table too! We’re giving away one large Bijou, one petit Bijou and 2 refills of your choosing from the Boudoir collection to a lucky reader! Enter below after heading over to Bijou to browse the scents and taking their candle quiz to identify your favorites!
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