How to Bring Old World Charm to your Christmas Dinner Table

Dining table decorated for Christmas in vintage old world style

Christmas is a time for celebrating our traditions and honoring memories while gathering with friends and family.  I love to incorporate the old with the new in my holiday table decorating, weaving in vintage pieces which have meaning to my family and recall the past.  I also like to add some element of the outdoors into my decorations, mixing fresh evergreens, pine cones and fruits into my faux decorations for a more authentic look which is reminiscent of times gone by.

Read on for my top tips for creating a unique and personal look for your holiday table decorations.

Weave fresh greenery with ribbons, baubles and candles along the center of your table

Christmas table setting
A traditional place setting for your Christmas table with a touch of fresh greenery and cranberry glass

Layer your place settings with vintage plates

Tartan plates for your Christmas table
Tartan china plates can be layered in with white dinner or salad plates adding color and pattern to your table

Add old world elegance with an antique or vintage charger plate

This plain white chinaware with a delicate gold scalloped edge is the perfect complement to the vintage silver tray and silverware.

Holiday place setting with vintage silver tray as charger
Place setting with vintage silver tray as charger

Mix vintage pieces into your center table decoration for a sense of history

I love to combine vintage pieces with organic materials, including fresh evergreens and maybe some horn and other woodsy, rustic pieces.

Vintage china used as Holiday decorating table centerpiece
A vintage willow pattern soup tureen graces the center of this table

Use any inherited or heirloom pieces to create a sense of history and tradition

Christmas dinner table decorating with antique silver
Vintage tea caddies, sugar shakers and condiment sets add a touch of grandeur

Use fruits such as oranges, baby pears and berries in your centerpiece in place of or in addition to flowers

Often simple greenery decorated with fruits looks more festive and original than flowers. They will also make your table look more relaxed and less formal if you are using your vintage or heirloom pieces. The Victorians would have decorated their tables like this.

Table Centerpiece for holiday dinner table
Fresh fruits and greens make a simple but very effective centerpiece
Christmas dinner at Downton
Christmas dinner table decorated simply with fresh greens on Downton Abbey

Add Christmas crackers in a color and design which harmonize with the colors and textures on your table

Christmas crackers are an English tradition which is becoming more popular in the US.  These are simple to make yourself from vintage textiles or even embroidered cloth.

Christmas dinner table with crackers
Christmas crackers in a beautiful green damask velvet add glamour to this table
Decorating your dinner table with Christmas crackers
These hand embroidered Christmas crackers add a touch of whimsy

Make an arrangement of smaller pieces in differing heights for an original and unique centerpiece

Holiday Table centerpiece or arrangement
Your centerpiece can be created from a collection of treasured pieces