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With hosting season well under way, we are polishing our silver and our skills. We recently had the pleasure of hosting Darby Fallon Clark alongside Freshly Set in our ATL pop-up for a night of tablescaping, floral arranging, and lots of helpful hosting tips. Darby led the group through the styling of two perfectly festive, swoon-worthy looks. Read along to learn all of Darby's hacks, and shop her cheerful Christmas tablescape!

1. Pick your palette: design around a central color

Find your jumping off point! Whether it’s a hue drawn from the tablecloth (like the fabulous magenta in this Freshly Set tablecloth that inspired the Christmas table) or your favorite set of colored glassware, decide on a central color story to build your tablescape around. Once that tone is set, the other pieces will fall right into place!

2. Find balance in the high and low

Don’t be afraid to mix and match - this applies to colors, textures, and of course, price point! Some of my most treasured pieces include China from my mom’s collection, but I love pairing it with more contemporary glassware, like these fabulous green tumblers scored at Home Goods.  

3. Keep inventory of your goods - and supplement the rest!

I’m slowly building my rainbow assortment of colored glassware, which I keep on display in my cabinets since I’m turning to them with such frequency! I recommend maintaining a log of goodies used less often and things tucked away (think napkins, candle holders, vases, etc!) That way you won’t forget that salad plate that coordinates perfectly with your coral tablecloth! If you find yourself missing any key pieces, companies like Freshly Set are fantastic resources! You can rent everything needed to complete your look without breaking the bank.

4. Don’t fret the florals!

No centerpiece is complete without a beautiful floral arrangement, but it doesn’t have to be big - or expensive! I’m a Trader Joe's loyalist, and also love using bud vases to keep things simple. Don’t be afraid to try your hand at DIYing a larger arrangement, though. Pick florals coordinating with your palette, and supplement with whites and greenery. When it comes to the arranging, my top tip is to use clear tape to create “zones” in your vase.  From there, start by arranging the outer sections first, working clockwise and inward. Voila!

5. Get creative with your seating assignments, and have fun!

The most important part of hosting is to relax and have fun with your guests.  One of my mom’s favorite ways to seat guests is to have everyone draw names of fictional dinner guests to determine their “dinner date” and seat assignment (think: Barbie & Ken, Beyonce & Jay-Z) It’s a fun way to break the ice and leads to hilarious conversations throughout the night.

Hosting Christmas this year? Set the table with Freshly Set (and set the powder bath with a fresh pair of Hand Towels.)  Thank you, Darby!

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About the Author

Liz Eichholz

Liz Eichholz

Co-Founder & Creative Director
University of Georgia, BFA, Graphic Design
11 years of experience