Think Beyond the Linen Closet
Instead of typical table linens, fold a vintage wool blanket in half and use it as a table runner. The wool blanket sets the table's color scheme and softens the warm wood of the table.
Bring Texture to the Table
A woven placemat adds rich color and texture to each place setting. Remember to have an open mind when shopping: These mats were meant to be used on an Asian-style table, but they are right at home in a rustic theme.
Mix and Match
Vintage Bakelite flatware from slightly mismatched sets looks perfect side by side. Don't be afraid to mix and match silverware, plates and glasses. It often looks more interesting than using pieces that are made to be a set.
Ditch the Paper Plates
Treat your guests to the luxury of using different plates and bowls for each course. Serve soup in simple wooden bowls, follow with a salad on a delicate ironstone plate and finish with dinner on a square wooden plate. A crystal goblet adds a touch of elegance, while the engraved wheat pattern ties in to the natural theme.
The Season of Giving
A soup bowl doubles as a place card holder and holds an ornament for each guest to take home as a gift.
A bundle of fresh cinnamon sticks is wrapped and tied in hemp twine. Write guests' names with permanent marker on a shipping tag and tie to a cinnamon bundle to assign seats. Arrange guests in a way that will encourage conversation and new friendships.
Forget the Florist
Trim evergreen branches from your yard or an obliging neighbor's tree to serve as a centerpiece. Place fresh boughs in a galvanized bucket and swag a wooden bead garland around the greens. Use leftover Christmas tree clippings to fill in the base of the tablescape.
It's All in the Details
Embellish a simple galvanized sap bucket with humble hemp twine and an inexpensive snowflake ornament. Wrap twine several times around the top of bucket, then tie together and create a loop to thread snowflake on. Tie one more knot to secure the snowflake.
Layer Upon Layer
Fluffy white snowflakes, knit \"sweater\" ornaments, twine-wrapped candles, fresh greens, pinecones and a stack of old books bring visual and textural interest to this centerpiece. Be careful where candles are positioned in relation to fresh greenery, and never leave candles unattended.
Keep it Natural
Egg-shaped fresh cranberries provide an unexpected pop of color against a craft store bird’s nest. Shop the farmers' market, garden center and the great outdoors to find accessories for this rustic table setting.