Happy one week until Christmas!! It’s that time where we’re all desperately trying to slow down enough to enjoy our Christmas tree and bake our favorite Christmas cookies, yet hustling so hard to finish our to-do lists before the big day. Gifts STILL need to be purchased, allll the gifts need to be wrapped (I’ll help you with that tomorrow), Christmas groceries need to be purchased, suitcases packed for traveling, and the list never ends. I hope that you are truly able to slow your pace despite the vicious race. I hope to inspire you to be content and to make much of what you have.
Today’s post is the final in my 3-part series of holiday beauty we styled & shot at Ballenger Farm. In case you missed them: The first was DIY Mantel Garland, DIY Minimalist Wreaths, and Styling a Holiday Dessert Buffet. The second was What to Wear to a Holiday Party & At-Home Hair & Makeup Tips. And now, today I’m sharing our Minimalist Dinner Party for the Holidays.
My inspiration for this table was simple: monochromatic & Scandinavian. I wanted the table to be warm and welcoming without being cramped or overflowing with decor items. I wanted to work with what I already had, in an effort to help you see what can be done with everyday items. I wanted to inspire you with something that you would be able to recreate with little effort. We don’t always need new, shiny pieces for the holidays. Instead, using items we love and use in our homes everyday will make our time together more meaningful and sentimental. These dishes sit on my kitchen shelves and we use them every single day. These worn linen napkins are several years old and are a family favorite; they’ve been washed so many times they’re so incredibly soft and still absorbent.
For the place settings, everything was black, grey, or white, just like the rest of the decor throughout the dining room. Both the white matte dessert plates and grey matte dinner plates (grey is out of stock, but here are some lovely black plates) are from CB2. The worn grey linen napkins, wine glasses, and wassail mugs are from IKEA. I love IKEA glassware. It’s affordable, and the design of most of their pieces is pretty flawless. The flatware is from Anthropologie (past season). This flatware is the only item that we pull out mostly only for special events; it’s my favorite-ever flatware. We hand wash it to keep it in pristine condition, which is the reasoning behind keeping them tucked away, pulling them out only on occasion.
The table decor was uncomplicated, like the rest of the room. I had been searching for a while for matte black candlesticks, and ended up finding them at IKEA! I love the simplicity and heftiness of these candlesticks. For the “centerpiece,” which I actually placed at one end of the table instead of the “center,” a freshly cut pine branch rested in a large glass jar. Last, I scattered a few glass cloches with pinecones underneath. I love that this table feels wintry, rather than Christmasy, and these ideas can be used all season long.
Rather than a dinner party, we were gathering for a dessert extravaganza with wine and wassail (my favorite holiday drink; you can get the recipe here) and of course, a cheeseboard. I don’t think I can gather folks together and NOT serve a cheeseboard. The centerpiece of our dessert table was our magical cake, made by Megan at Scout Bake Shop. The cake was gingerbread buttercream, with the most beautiful and artfully arranged fruit piled on top. The seven of us devoured the cake in mere minutes. We laughed and sipped and snacked the night away. It was magical, and the perfect way to celebrate community and the changing seasons of life!
I truly hope you’ve been inspired for your Christmas and winter celebrations! I’ll be back on the blog two or three more times this week, sharing some last minute Christmas inspiration, to hopefully make your life a little more beautiful and a little more simple.
AND A HUGE THANK YOU to the contributors for this series:
Photography: Hilary Hyland
Cake: Scouts Bake Shop
Wine: Walsh Family Wine
Venue: Ballenger Farm
Hair and Makeup: Concihairge
Vintage Pieces: Shop Nostalgia
Wardrobe Stylist: Kelsey Bethune
Styling Assistants: Anna & Rebekah of Gilded Gatherings
Our Models: Theresa, Mary, Emma, Maddie, Marina, and Meghan!
And of course, my assistant Meghan and my intern Victoria, who both held the day together
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