This year, I’m taking inspiration for the table from the asymmetrical wreath I made earlier this month and using the same combination of preserved nicoly leaves and dried grasses from the garden. I love the combination of colours and textures, and the nicoly leaves fill the air with a wonderful festive scent. For a simple yet striking look, I arranged a few sprigs of each in a trio of glass bud vases, which I then dotted along the length of the table. You really could choose any kind of foliage you wanted for this – in the past I’ve used eucalyptus, white ranunculus flowers and even sprigs of fir snipped from the back of the Christmas tree, and I reckon festive berries would also look fantastic. Just make sure you remember to add water if you incorporate anything fresh!
The tablecloth I used is from EUNA’s new range of table linens, and I love the way it drapes. The natural beige colour echoes the grasses while at the same time offsetting the dark green of the nicoly leaves, and I chose large matte-black stoneware plates for a bit of additional contrast. The linen napkins are also from EUNA, and to style them I used one of my favourite tricks: holding each one from a corner, then tying a loose knot in the middle and draping it across a plate. It creates a relaxed yet elegant look, and it means you don’t need to worry about ironing, folding or being precise! For an extra little touch, I tucked a sprig of greenery and a grass stem into the knot of each one.
Of course candles are a must on any Christmas table. I interspersed tall dinner candles in minimalist black holders and tea lights in fluted glass jars between the vases of foliage, taking care to make sure no leaves were dangling too close to the flames. I know that last bit sounds obvious, but I once went to a wedding where the candles set the centrepieces on fire and I certainly don’t want that to happen at home!
Finally, I added a few festive touches to the shelves in the corner of the dining room in the form of a paper star, pine cones and a cluster of paper decorations that match the ones used on our tree.
So there you have it: a beautiful Christmas table with dried foliage and grasses. I hope it’s given you a bit of inspiration, and if you’re looking for more ideas you’ll find my previous years’ tables here, here and here. I’ve now tucked my vase arrangements and napkins away in a cupboard, but they’ll be coming out again on Christmas Eve and I can’t wait…
All photography by Abi Dare