Author Archives: nicroc

4 Holiday Place Setting Ideas to spruce up your Christmas Dinner

The family is rolling in, the halls are being decked, the last of the presents are being wrapped, and all of those ingredients needed to make your Christmas dinner are being checked off your list. Because you are making this Christmas as special as possible for those you love, we’ve come up with some inspiration to help you get your place settings up to par this season. We turned to Leah of BeSpoke Floral and Event Design  and Anda of House of Andaloo , to help us create four unique holiday looks.


For many people, setting a holiday table means the chance to break out the good china and special glassware. I wanted to show a table that feels special and traditional, but where our guests won’t feel uncomfortable if they scatter bread crumbs across the table. Adding a dusting of snow, and ringing the plates with a little holiday greenery keeps the whole place setting Christmassy and traditional, but lets your guests know that it’s ok if an elbow accidentally gets placed on the table.


I used juniper greens for this place setting, but, pine, cedar, even rosemary will work just as well. Pro tip: If you plan to use pine, it can be pretty sticky and sappy. Cut your pieces ahead of time, and let them sit out overnight before placing them on the table; this will give the sap a chance to harden up a little.

I like to encourage long lingering dinners, filled with conversations, and strangely enough, adding fruit to your tablescape can help with that. A cut pomegranate is like a bunch of jewels, sitting on your table, and just begs your guests to nibble at it. Add a couple of clementines, persimmons, or some loose grapes for a beautiful, edible display that will keep your guests seated at the table for even longer. Pro Tip: Pomegranates stain, so, if you plan on using a tablecloth- especially white- beware! Try adding a decorative plate underneath the fruit for a little peace of mind 


A traditional table like this looks fantastic with an arrangement filled with holiday greenery, which can last for weeks. Add in some long lasting white china mums and wax flower, and splurge on a few pops of red, or pink, anemones for a beautiful seasonal display. I love to add a little group of small scale pinecones around the base of an arrangement, too.


You can recreate this look with dish and glassware by House of Andaloo.
  1. Christmas Dinnerware Set By Homer Laughlin In Eggshell Nautilus N1642. Dinner Place Setting Set, $65
  2. Antique 3-Piece Place Setting By Thomas Bavaria. Marquise Pattern, $64
  3. Red Christmas Glasses By Fostoria. Argus Ruby Red Water Goblets, $16.99
  4. Mid-Century Champagne Flutes. Highball Cocktail Glasses, $120
  5. Antique Wine Glasses With Gold Scrolls Set Of 5. Vintage Wine Stems, $135


Little bundles of herbs tied to the silverware encourages your guests to sit down and enjoy all the sights and scents of this homey table. Textures are so important in a rustic place setting, which is why we used wooden chargers, gently rumpled linen napkins, and an antler for the tablescape. Don’t worry about being perfect here, napkins look better when they’re not perfectly pressed, so, you can thankfully ignore your iron. Pro Tip: Bundle the herbs the night before your party, and stick them in your fridge, until you’re ready to use them. A little night before prepping ensures that you have time to add these details to your table, and still enjoy yourself. 


Group sprigs of holiday greens at the top of each place setting (I like cedar for how flat it lays), and forage for rose hips, like I used here, or other berries (pyracantha, pepper berry, privet berries, holly berries) or, if you prefer to do your “foraging” in the grocery store, hypericum (also known as coffee berry) can usually be found in a good grocery floral department. Pro Tip: If your party goers include little guests, either use non-toxic berries, or, just keep the berries away from the place settings for the littles. Berries like holly can be fatal if enough are ingested. If you really like the look of holly, but are terrified of making your holiday dinner the last one for your guests eat, invest in some good fake berries. There are some really realistic looking ones on the market, and, you’ll be able to use them year after year. 



Instead of a big elaborate centerpiece, go for small arrangements filled with herbs, berries, and greens, and just lightly accent with only one or two larger blooms. I like how our table still feels festive, without using the expected red and green palette. Orange adds so much warmth to the table, and pink, or even yellow, can keep your table feeling bright and festive. Roses, ranunculus, paperwhites, tulips, or, anemones, as I used here, are all great choices. Using Christmassy greens will make sure no one mistakes your holiday spirit. These little arrangements you make can be great take-aways for your guests, too.  Pro Tip: I love using sake cups for small arrangements, like these. They tend to come in neutral earthy colors,  are petite and reasonably priced. World Market usually has some really good ones.


You can recreate this look with dish and glassware by House of Andaloo.
  1. Blue Nordic dinnerware set by Johnson Brothers, Ironstone with hand engraving 
  2. Antique Champagne Coupe Glasses Set Of 8. Gold Rimmed, $128

Whether it means you give over the top gifts, eat and drink more than you normally would, or give yourself the gift of finally spending good quality time with those you love, the Holidays are all about being extravagant and decadent, and luxuriating in it. This is not the table for the shy and humble, and the key to this lavish look is to have everything spilling out across the table.



Floral arrangements are big, and full of buxom blooms- greenery spills across the table, and is strewn with chocolates, nuts, and pomegranate sections, and teacups overflow with flowers and fruit. I used branches of pepper berry for its delicate texture and pretty pink berries, because it’s readily available in Southern California. If you can’t easily get pepper berry in your area, consider using ferns, and buy loose mixed peppercorns that you can scatter in. These can be bought at Sprouts Markets, World Market, Williams Sonoma, or any well stocked grocery store.  Pro Tip: If you know that your guests aren’t the types to eat chocolates off the table (I have no shame; I’ll eat chocolate under pretty much any situation), buy prettily wrapped individual chocolates; Lindt, Ferrero Rocher, or Dove chocolates all look pretty when strewn across the table. If you are using unwrapped chocolate, make sure the pieces are on top of some greenery to keep it from melting onto your tablecloth.   


The floral arrangement we used is full of some of my favorites- proteas, garden roses, anemones and anthuriums- it’s full of luxurious blooms that can come at a pretty price. The key to this look is to use some larger showy blooms, and mix up your textures and scale. Make sure to use flowers in a couple different sizes, and add in some unexpected colors (like the pop of yellow I used, here). Grocery store roses can be paired with a pricier flower, like amaryllis, (they last forever, and one stem takes up a lot of space, so you get a lot of value) or, a poinsettia bloom. I love going to Trader Joe’s to find last minute flowers, if I can’t drive all the way to the flower market. Trader Joe’s has amazing flower prices, and usually, a pretty good selection in a good color range. You can get really fancy, and buy a potted orchid to cut the blooms off of for your arrangement, too.


Pro Tip: You might be thinking that it’s weird that I’m suggesting  you use Poinsettias in your arrangement, as you never see them in cut flower arrangements. Buy a plant in the color of your choice (I’m partial to the pinks), and snip a piece off. It’s going to bleed white sap like crazy, but, and this is the key, hold that cut stem over a flame for 5ish seconds (it’s going to hiss and pop; that’s normal), or, briefly dip into boiling water, and it’ll stop that sappy bleeding, and your flower should keep nicely. This doesn’t work 100% of the time, but, it works more often than not. Since you have a whole plant to play with, you can cut more blooms off, if you need them.

You can recreate this look with dish and glassware by House of Andaloo.

  1. Antique 3-Piece Place Setting By Thomas Bavaria. Marquise Pattern, $64
  2. Antique Bouillon Cups By Hutschenreuther. Cream Soup Cups And Saucers Set Of 4, $160
  3. Vintage Rosaline Pink Swirl Glasses Set Of 4 From Arcoroc. Champagne Coupes, $79

Today, a modern setting is about mixing clean, bold shapes with a little organic texture. White plates look a little more glamorous when paired with a pink speckled plate (and irresistible cheese and charcuterie), and geometric ornaments from the Roc Shop used as napkin rings.


Instead of using vases full of flowers, we scattered individual blooms across the table. Test your blooms to see how long they’ll hold up without water. Roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, and ranunculus all hold up pretty well out of water, when the buds are just set of the table. Air Plants (also known as Tillandsias), add a little wild texture and movement, and can be used as decor long after your party is over.


Pro Tip: Air plants make really fantastic gift toppers. Tie on on top of a present as a living bow. Bonus points if the present inside is a quirky container for displaying the air plant.


Pro Tip: Modern doesn’t mean perfection. Notice that the appetizer plate isn’t set in the center of the dinner plate. By offsetting the appetizer plate, you create more negative (unfilled) white space, which lets you get a little crazier with the display around it. 

You can recreate this look with dish and glassware by House of Andaloo.

  1. Crystal Wine Glasses. Stemmed Glasses. Antique Luxury Glassware, $285


Glass and Dishware:: House of Andaloo , @house_of_andaloo
Styling and Floral Design:: BeSpoke Occasions,  @bespokeoccasions
Photography:: Plum & Oak Photography,  @elysewhall
Laser Cut Decor & Ornaments, Stir Sticks: The Roc Shop, @the_rocshop
Venue: The Moniker Warehouse, @monikerwarehouse

#WCW: Channin Fulton, San Diego Muralist and Typographer

You can’t walk by one of Channin Fulton’s murals in San Diego and not stop to smile. Her art makes you want to ride a majestic unicorn over a rainbow while yelling to the world, “I’M AWESOME. I CAN DO ANYTHING!” It’s beautifully vibrant, uplifting, and has your soul doing backflips. Denise Apgar Photography  from Sacramento, CA.Continue Reading