The holidays are full of gatherings, and not just on the 24th and 25th. The season beckons family and friends to gather around tables, roaring fires and clinking glasses to revel in the magic that this time of year inspires. Artist, designer and Luna Bazaar contributor Jennifer Romans hosted such a beguiling dinner – set to metallic and unexpected pops of blue. This party goes to show that going beyond green and red is not only welcome – but also refreshingly different in the décor pantheon of Christmas! Here, she shares her approach to celebrating the holidays with all of it’s decorating escapades.
“December is truly one of the most social months of the year. Such a busy time means décor needs wow-factor as much as ease and efficiency. I approached this dinner party knowing that the day-of, I wouldn’t have a ton of time to set up my tablescape. To avoid rushing, I always pull all my candle holders, lanterns, runners, napkin rings, hanging paper lanterns and Christmas ornaments out of drawers and cabinets a week or so beforehand. Pre-producing as much as possible lets you see what you have, and what you’re missing, so you have time to find or replace it. December is no time for stress. You want to have fun and enjoy yourself, not worry about a missing tea light or wrinkled runner!”
“With little kids in the house, I have to be smart about where the décor lives while I’m organizing and setting the party stage. If not, I find that napkin holders become Barbie hats and mercury glass ends up in the bathtub. I solve this by fully decorating one key room – the main party venue – which, in this case, was my formal dining room. We only use it on special occasions, so my kids don’t even notice it when it’s decorated – and that means they don’t touch anything on the tabletop (which is the idea.) I take my time layering this room with just the right accents – selecting placeholders, assigning seats and writing out names – so that it really feels special when you walk in. Revealing the theme to guests is the best part, and you’re not a hot mess from working on it all day!”
“The holidays always put green and red at the center of the color story, but for me, they are a bit expected. Since blue is a consistent accent in my house and also the color of the dining room, I leaned on silver and blue as my core colors – to create reflection and glow. I painted my ceiling blue so that people would feel immersed in the color. Mercury glass candlesticks and adorable place card holders made the tablescape extra festive. I hung shimmering ornaments and paper snowflake decorations throughout the house just a few hours before guests arrived to add touches of holiday flare, then created clusters of votives to illuminate dark entryways and bathrooms. This inviting glow is low-maintenance, yet really high impact – plus everyone looks good in candlelight!”
The Food and Drink:
“With my weekend packed I opted to have the main course, one side dish, and a fancy dessert catered by a local chef. I was then able to simply add a salad and appetizer to round out the missing pieces. I settled on plain porcelain china for the party since the décor was already so colorfully festive. For drinks, I served assorted wines with a small DIY bar set up in the kitchen. A pro-tip for hosting is to make it so folks can self-serve to some degree. Drinks, cocktail napkins and a light nibble should be easy for guests to find, reach and assemble on their own.”
Jen’s Tips: What host’s
The traditional gift for your host is wine (which is lovely), but if you want to get creative, here are a few ideas to give your host something unexpected – or something they might use all year long.
1. Hill Tribe Handmade Table Runners – simply tie raffia or festive ribbon around the rolled-up runner – you won’t even have to wrap this hand-woven treasure!
2. You can bake or roast nuts or make chocolate bark (see my recipe below). Put in a mason jar for gifting – this presents beautifully.
3. Doilies – The small ones make for pretty little coasters you can wash! Wrap in tissue and pop them into a lovely gift bag. Easy peasy!
4. Napkin Rings – I love gifting these (especially the teal ones) with a simple ribbon wrapped through the holes and tied into a bow.
Ridiculously Easy Chocolate Bark:
3 bags Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
2c salted cocktail peanuts
2c salted roasted almonds
2c+ mini pretzel twists (GF if preferred)
– Line baking sheet with wax paper (or parchment paper)
– evenly distribute peanuts, almonds and pretzels to fill baking sheet
– slowly heat and melt chocolate chips in a double boiler, stirring occasionally until fully melted (you can fit glass bowl over boiling pot of water if you dont have a proper double boiler)
– pour chocolate over nut/pretzel mixture
– using a spatula, carefully spread chocolate to cover mixture and spread to the edges
– chill to set (approx 30m)
– once set, remove hard chocolate from baking sheet and peel off wax paper from backside. Using a shasrp knife and cutting board, cut chocolate into slightly larger than bite sized pieces.
– store in airtight container in refrigerator