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Add festive table decorations this holiday season

Shown is a simple rustic placesetting perfect for a holiday dinner with friends. Ashley Miller/Daily

With Christmas quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about holiday table decorations, specifically place settings and centerpieces.

Brenda Miller, owner of The Miller House in Stephens City, said she believes that holiday centerpieces and place settings are just as important as the Christmas tree. From tablecloths to napkin folding, no detail should be left undone.

“Every little detail, especially at Christmas time, is important,” Miller said. “Not only does it set the tone but it sets the season.”

Miller said popular themes she’s noticed this Christmas season include rustic country, simply elegant and winter wonderland.

“No matter the designer’s approach, there’s a little something for everyone,” she added. And for many, they don’t need to look far.

Create a more traditional but festive look by adding a gold charger. Ashley Miller/Daily

“A lot of people have items sitting around their homes that they can incorporate into their table settings,” Miller said. “They just don’t realize they can do it.”

Christmas china is one example.

“Not everyone has it sitting in their china cupboards. And that’s OK because everyone has some sort of colorful plates,” she said, adding that varying sizes and colors of plates and even mixing shapes will create that perfect table setting.

Classic white plates can be enhanced with chargers of gold or red transitioning from a more casual every day feel to a more traditional festive look. Throw in a pattern napkin and some greenery, and the place setting is set.

“Or you could incorporate colors of gold and silver to give a more modern feel,” Miller added.

Classic white plates can be enhanced with greenery, real or fake. Ashley Miller/Daily

Napkin folds can create a fun and festive look on the table as well. Take a napkin and tie a simple bow with twine or simply fold it in half. Add some interest by using an ornament as a place name holder and then allow the guest to take the ornament home, Miller suggested. Don’t forget flatware. It can make its own statement.

Looking for more of a sophisticated look? Miller suggests adding crystal barware or go with formal glassware. “You don’t always have to use glass or crystal,” Miller said. “Consider pewter.”

Beth Fravel, head floral designer at the Flower Center in Stephen City, enjoys creating custom centerpieces for clients.

“The sky is the limit,” Fravel said. “People can be fun and festive or more simple and elegant.”

Like Miller, Fravel agreed it’s all about the individual’s decorating style.

Use an ornament as a name place holder. Then let the guest take it home as a holiday gift. Ashley Miller/Daily

“I’m one of those people who adds a little Christmas to every room in my house,” Fravel said.

So, when it comes to centerpieces, Fravel said she believes the more the merrier. Take a few branches and mix them in with winterberries; spray paint a few pine cones to create a winterscape or take glass ornaments and intermingle them with candles.

“Pomegranates, pineapples or other fruits also make for a festive centerpiece,” she added.

“Guests love surprises,” Fravel said. “Christmas is a great opportunity to go completely over the top or understated.”

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