[A guest blog by @thisstyle_rocks]
The 12 Do’s of Christmas
Following a fabulous day of Christmas styling at The Peach Palace and with our Christmas tastebuds tickled we decided to go again……..I mean who wouldn’t want to spend a Monday night in November creating Christmas over and over? So with our Christmas jumpers back on and mulled wine spilling over on the Aga, Peach and Rocks embarked on their second Christmas challenge set by Rockett St George – Christmas table styling to the max…
Over to Residence Rocks…
So for this challenge we left the Peach Palace in all its’ festive glory and headed to Residence Rocks – home of Rocks and family to utilise the James Bond of dining tables (more of that later) and show what magic could be created by two stylists from Yorkshire, a fantastic florist & a partridge in a pear tree, AKA Jim our dashing and very talented photographer!
We were spoilt for choice with some awesome pieces from RSG and styling the table was a breeze with this plethora of goodies. From cracking crockery, to glorious glassware and some rather special table adornments, we were able to create not one but 3 different table settings.
The results were spectacular and got both Peach & Rocks thinking long and hard about the things that you should never be without at Christmas time whilst sat around the table with your loved ones. So without a backwards cheesy glance, we embarked on creating our 12 do’s of Christmas – the single will be available to download soon!
Now what you should know is that we have 7 children under 13 between us and as such, Christmas has a very clear agenda with them in mind. We dream of lengthy Christmas dinners with laughter and pristinely dressed children in various shades of tartan, carols playing softly in the background and a tablecloth in sparkling white and not a hint of spilt gravy.
The reality is kids eat their Christmas dinner in the exact same way they eat every other meal- fast and messy! They have very little interest in an amuse bouche, champagne toast or a soup course …..they are looking to pull their crackers, shovel down the turkey, leave the sprouts and come back for a slice of yule log 3 hours later.
So back to the daydream and our 12 do’s of Christmas that might drag dinner out a little longer than Wednesday night’s fish finger sandwiches.
1. DO lay your table in advance. As we discovered with our RSG styling shoot this is a whole heap of fun so, save some time to savour it and of course to photograph it- this is the best it will ever look. Some Christmas tunes & a glass of something that sparkles are obligatory accompaniments for this job.
2. DO use a tablecloth – this is like the underwear for your table! Would it be fair to assume you would not forget your undergarments to entertain the in-laws on christmas day?! Then don’t do it on your table. We used a dark grey linen in one of our tablescapes which served as a lovely background to the black serving platters and matt chrome cutlery. But think outside the box, particularly if you are presented with the aforementioned James Bond table that turns into a snooker table and therefore doesn’t have the dimensions of any shop bought tablecloth. With that in mind we also used a rather lovely silver hide for an interesting alternative.
3. DO hang your decs. This has both a styling and practical advantage. If you can find anyway to suspend your decorations (fishing wire and cable ties would be advisable) it will take your table to new heights- sorry! It creates interest above eye level and creates drama that may get lost on the table. More importantly it frees up space for a bottle or two!
4. DO layers. Layering up your crockery with charger plates is simple but effective- providing a stage for your sprouts and creating those all important layers which any stylist will tell you is top of the Interior tips list.
5. DO use fresh foliage. We were lucky to be joined by the very lovely Emma of @emmatheflorist for this shoot again and the ease with which she creates her masterpieces is incredible. Having fresh flowers on the table feels decadent and luxurious but if the budget wont stretch to preserved beech and hydrangea heads of epic proportions then Emma says “get outside” Go for a walk and a forage and see what you can find…..fallen branches, holly, ivy, branches of fir, wintry herbs such as rosemary & thyme- these have the added advantage of giving you that all important seasonal fragrance too.
6. DO have napkins. This proved controversial on the day of our shoot! The incredibly tactile white linen napkins were not conforming for the photos. You see these rather lovely scrunchy napkins have a mind of their own and prefer not to be folded in any particular way or stay put for the 3 seconds it took for Jim to snap a quick pic. We all agreed that in reality napkins were not only a necessity but created a softness to balance against the cool crockery. Anything goes…..but linen gets our vote.
7. DO mix metallics. Silver, gold, brass, copper – the more the merrier. We enjoyed playing with all of these tones. The sparkle of metallics is without compare and brings your table to life. They compliment each other- do not be afraid to mix them up. Your decs will transform from being uniform and sterile too warm and inviting.
8. DO mix glassware – let’s face it who has a full set of wine glasses in any shape or design. It is far more likely that you have a set of Ikea back-ups, one half of a wedding gift pair, and a couple of odd glasses that you have not the first clue as to their origin. But the good news is it doesn’t matter. It tells a story and feels somewhat nostalgic to have a variety of interesting glasses around the table.
9. DO make place names – one for the kids perhaps? The place setting is a little work of art! We added some sparkly gems, a small piece of eucalyptus but with the kids tucked up in bed there were no place names. Big mistake as this kind of personal touch is really special and makes your table feels authentic and not over-styled- heaven forbid! There is also the added advantage of placing difficult guests in suitable places!
10. DO have candles and lots of them! Tealights, dinner, pillar, votives. It really doesn’t matter and needs little instruction or further details from us. You know it makes sense so just do it! We were both huge fans of the bird feet candlesticks from Rockett St George. They are fun and quirky with that gorgeous metallic thing going on that we all love.
11. DO have table games. This is a strategic move – keep the kids at the table fractionally longer. Everyone loves a cracker but have you considered a christmas quiz, beer pong (maybe later along with truth or dare!) A favourite in the Rocks household is Desert island discs – 3 songs you cannot live without and this also makes for an eclectic playlist if you play the songs as you go along. Cue Bruce Springsteen followed by One Direction and then the Liverpool FC fans’ anthem.
12. DO use fairy lights on your table. String some fairy lights down your table, around the chairs, over Grandma….. the sparkle and twinkle from fairy lights is the perfect addition to your Christmas table. What other time of year can you get away with lighting up your table like Blackpool illuminations?! The addition of fairy lights means there is no need for the big light so turn it off and the kids might mistake a vegetable for something they would actually choose to eat!
The main thing about Christmas table styling?
Most importantly of all have fun – this is the most special of days. This is all the icing on the cake stuff! It is not what is on the table that really matters but the people around it. The biggest DO of the Christmas has to be to enjoy the precious minutes and hours with your loved ones. Put down the phone, turn off the wifi, turn up the tunes and saviour the fun.
Peach & Rocks top Christmas table styling Rockett St George picks:
We’d also like to share with you the before shot. These are the products that created the whole look, don’t ever think you need masses of product to make an impact!