Festive tips to deck your table for the holidays

(BPT) – ‘Tis the season for holiday entertaining. Icy shades of glistening white, sophisticated naturals and dazzling rhinestones top the hottest design trends in tableware and collectibles for the 2014 winter holidays.

“Shades of white continue to be a customer favorite, both in ornaments and tabletop,” says visual designer John Griffith. “For the past few years, holiday decor has hinted at glitz and glitter, but this season we’re seeing more of a jeweled look with glamorous winter white designs heavily encrusted with rhinestones. It reminds me of when you wake up after a winter storm and everything is coated in sparking snow and ice.”

Griffith leads the design team at dinnerware retailer giant, Replacements, Ltd. He loves mixing patterns in shades of white to create an elegant monochromatic look, but adds that using white as a unifying element also allows one to create endless design combinations by blending in additional colors, textures and shapes. Teammate Keith Winkler says you can easily use a different salad plate for each guest to create fun individual place settings, or even switch out accent plates between holidays to give your tabletop decor a totally different twist.

“For someone who entertains often, this is a great way to break up patterns so their guests don’t always see the same designs over and over. Guests will enjoy the seasonal designs, and hosts will have all kinds of fun creating new looks for their table,” Winkler says.

Bright colors are also trending as hosts break tradition by adding in splashes of bold hues that aren’t typically associated with the holidays.

“In creating one of the table designs in our store, we mixed non-holiday patterns in shades of purple and metallic gold,” says Griffith. “These colors don’t readily suggest Christmas, but we were able to create a rich, festive holiday feel by pairing these patterns with holiday accents. We filled glass bowls and compotes with rich-hued ornaments and incorporated gold finials in the table design. We created a centerpiece of silk florals in complementary colors which pulled the design theme together. One of my favorite things about this table is we can easily transition the look by replacing the gold hues with silver accents to create a table for our New Year’s celebrations.”

Naturals are really popular again this year for both tabletop and holiday ornaments. Designs range from whimsical and folksy to more sophisticated and contemporary. Burlap offers great texture this season with manufacturers incorporating this material into everything from wire decorating ribbon to holiday accents. Griffith suggests using burlap for table runners or place mats and venturing outside to gather greenery such as ivy or magnolia leaves, berries and pine cones to use for your centerpiece.

Vintage tableware continues to be a driving trend. Griffith says many people are including heirloom patterns, passed through the generations, in their holiday place settings to create a sense of family tradition, then mixing in newer patterns to infuse their own sense of style. He’s also seeing smaller objects – such as vintage cookie cutters or toys – used as decor accents or to trim the trees.

Griffith says you see some of the design schemes his team is creating for the holiday season and find additional decorating ideas on Replacements’ Facebook page.