Christmas is a time of year laden with nostalgic festive rituals that have been passed down for generations. It’s comforting to take part in these and feel connected to others, both around the world and who have come before us. The best traditions, however, are alive as well as ancient, and can embellished with personal touches to make them feel uniquely your own.
In this blog, Steph Gowla (@Stephgowla) shares her love of decorating a festive table. Steph is a lifestyle and interiors blogger living in a 500-year-old stone cottage in the countryside with her husband and daughters. She’s passionate about using muted colours and the enduring elements of nature in interior design, something that chimes deeply with the Nkuku aesthetic.
“I try to replicate the ambience my mum would create in our home at Christmas, she was amazing at entertaining. I always remember her small meaningful touches that really made Christmas Day special.”
Why We Carry Out This Tradition
As it gets cold and dark outside, there’s no tradition more ancient and enjoyable than gathering around a table for feasting and merriment. Christmas food is celebratory, and your Christmas table should reflect that. After all, it’s the heart of the festivities, where glasses are raised, crackers are pulled and far too much brandy butter is consumed (just us?).
Festive Table Decoration
Steph has made her festive table feel special by suspending a beautiful arrangement of foraged evergreen foliage and red winter berries above it. She’s interwoven twinkling lights and our gold lustre Eliza Giant Baubles and our Abari Baubles to create an opulent display that truly elevates her table out of the every day.
Using lots of glossy evergreens at this time of year make us feel closer to nature and brings a sense of vitality, no matter how frozen the ground outside is. Bunches of holly bought from a local farmers market and displayed in portly jugs are another great flourish you can add, or you could thread some mistletoe into your over-table display - so long as you’re prepared for the kisses!
Instead of opting for a single centrepiece, Steph has created a relaxed display using additional foliage draped down the middle of her table and our Mbata Brass Candlesticks in varying heights, pared with elegant white candles. Candlelight is an easy way to create atmosphere and the warm brass tones of the candlesticks glow in the light and add to the feeling of celebratory opulence.
Festive Table Setting
Gold tones are continued in Steph’s use of our brushed gold Osko Cutlery Set, which once again adds a feeling of luxe to her table display. Gold or brass touches are such a great way to add opulence to more rustic schemes in a way that feels sophisticated and beautiful.
Like Steph, we’ve also used the moss green version of our Simi Dining Set for our in-store Christmas Table. The tones feel very natural and earthy, and the dark background and beautiful glaze will really make the colours of your bright red cranberry sauce and yellow roast potatoes pop.
Napkins are a Christmas table setting essential. Steph has finished hers with a simple twist, but napkin rings are also a great way to add personality and more gold touches. Our Leaf Brass Napkin Rings will be a talking point with your guests. Stunning glassware is also important. Steph has used our hand-etched Mila Wine Glasses. Their subtle green tone matches the moss-coloured Simi Dining Set beautifully.
Did You Know?
The Yule log is traditionally an actual log instead of a chocolate cake. Long ago, the Yule Log was an enormous log that was brought into the house on Christmas Eve and allowed to burn throughout the twelve days of Christmas. It was then rescued from the hearth and used to light the fire the following Christmas.
The most important thing about decorating your Christmas table is that you do so in a way that feels authentic to you. This is a chance to have some fun and be creative. There’s no need to overly curate. Make your table feel grounded and relaxed by bringing elements of nature to your table, but also include opulent touches to add a sense of celebration and make it somewhere you can enjoy sharing delicious indulgences with the people you love most.
What are some of your favourite seasonal traditions? Share them with us on Instagram using the hashtag #MyChristmasTraditions