How to Style an Unexpected & Creative Holiday Table

Will you be hosting a holiday gathering in your home this year?

Are you excited to style an elegant table that brings joy to your guests but avoids the scarlet, green, and gold clichés?

We’re right there with you, sister. Which is why Kelly and I joined creative forces in our studio last week to feed our flatlay addiction and style some interesting table settings just for you! Together, we styled 3 tablescapes that we think will delight and surprise you. They’re unexpected. Creative. Different… and different is beautiful!

To help you create similar looks for yourself, I’m also including 3 decorating and styling tips for each place setting. That’s 9 how-to tips you can use to channel this inspiration and style your own gorgeous table your way.

Are you ready to wow guests (and maybe even yourself) this season? Then let’s get creative, sister.



Our first tablescape offers a fresh take on traditional, replacing green with navy and creating a nostalgic feel with antique decor and ornaments. This design whisks us back to the good old days, when life seemed simpler (though it probably wasn’t) and filled with vintage charm.


1. Use festive yet non-traditional printed linens to create a backdrop for your traditional holiday dishes and servingware.

2. Mix and match patterns to keep things interesting. When selecting patterns, choose one solid colour (the navy), one small-scale pattern (the plaid), and one mid- to large-scale pattern (the red and navy sunbursts) in a harmonious palette.

3. Sprinkle ornaments or paper cutouts around the table for an instant festive vibe. You might want to skip the glass ornaments at the kids’ table, though. 😉



A white Christmas in Calgary is something special, but not all of us stick around for the winter. If you’re jetting off to warmer, sunnier places (or dreaming of them), a Tropical Christmas in Paradise table setting might be just what you need to enjoy the season!


1. Use summer-inspired dishes or linens to bring your tropical vibe front and center. Then bring the tropical theme together with more pattern mixing! (Again, we have a solid colour mixed with patterns in small, medium and large scales.)

2. Add an organic element, like this woven placemat, for a casual coastal vibe.

3. Introduce a touch of the season with ornaments or a sprig of pine if you can find it. Rosemary from your local grocer would also work in a pinch.



Our third and final place setting gets the most creative with colour, pairing coral, soft rose, pastel blue, and deep navy. It inspires us to have fun, let loose, and enjoy the many colourful characters in our lives.


1. You could replicate the colours we’ve chosen, or you could select a few with out-of-the box colours from your own existing dishware, like we did when selecting these pastel blue and floral plates first.

2. Then pick out a few colours from these items (coral, light blue, navy, in our case) and assemble your table linens, napkins, and accessories to match.

3. Bring the holiday season into the mix with a Christmas plate, pinecones or spruce, and an ornament or two. Voilà!

y now, I hope you’re feeling inspired and empowered by these tablescapes — and ready to get creative with your own! And when it’s done, we would absolutely love to see what you create. Share a picture on Instagram and tag us: @leannebunnell!

In the meantime, happy creating!

Ready to start designing your dream home? We would love to help. Contact us here to get started!