If you're new to French For Pineapple, WELCOME, and thanks hopping by! You've may have come my way via the very wonderful Carole from Mademoiselle Poirot for this bit of Christmas blogger fun. Thanks Carole! And huge thanks of course to our most fabulous host Kimberly, from Swoon Worthy for organising all us wayward bloggers (well, okay, I shouldn't speak for everyone here, so, me, thanks for organising me!).
If we haven't met before, I'm Bianca Hall, and French For Pineapple is where I document my never-ending redecorating efforts in our North London home, alongside my interior obsessions and finds. Of which there are many.
Today I'd like to share, not the tree, but my formula for creating a relaxed glam Christmas table, for the time-pressed or slightly impatient! If you fall into either of these categories, or both, (like me!), but still hanker after a bit of glam over the festive season, then I hope this will help.
This is not so much a visual step by step guide (okay, not at all, I didn't feel that was necessary), but an explanation of how I put my table together to achieve the finished look, complete with an 'ingredients' list.
I don't go overboard with the Christmas decorations in our house, although I possibly would if I had more time on my hands. I often think about decorating the stair bannister, but rarely end up getting around to it. We'll see if it happens this year - there's certainly an awful lot of inspiration popping up on a daily basis in my Instagram feed.
Our kids get free reign decorating the tree (well, almost - no tinsel, and no red allowed!), so it's always an eclectic mix of collected ornaments, including some the kids have made over the years, and it's guaranteed to look slightly bonkers. But I like it that way, because for us, Christmas is really for the kids. Is it blog or Instagram worthy? Nope, it's far from it, and yes, I am that shallow that you won't be seeing it here any time soon.
I admit, I'm always a little torn, because part of me would love a perfect glamorous colour coordinated tree, but it's just not going to happen any time soon, and I don't have the heart to tell the kids they can't decorate it. What kind of a monster would that make me?! If you haven't already, make sure you also pop over to The Pink House, where the lovely Emily addresses this issue in more detail. There's a link at the bottom of this post.
To make up for the fact that I get very little say over the look of the tree, I've granted myself full creative control over decorating the dining room and dining table! That's definitely my domain, and no one is allowed to complain about me being bossy or controlling, even though I most definitely am. They're also not allowed to mention the fact that there's no room for food on the table. Duh, that's what the sideboard is for! I try to keep that relatively clear.
I love to go to the Columbia Road Flower Market (close to where I live in North London), on the last Sunday before Christmas (bit of a problem this year because Christmas IS on a Sunday!), and buy huge amounts of Eucalyptus to be the base of my table centrepiece, along with some showstoppers to make the table really special.
I keep it super simple, because I'm extremely impatient, and I have no floristry skills at all. But I like it to be dramatic and glamorous, while keeping it relaxed and inviting too, so over the years I've developed my own little formula, which looks so impressive, and magical, but couldn't be easier to create.
Are you ready? Good!
Here's what you'll need:
One extra large, or several smaller bunches of Eucalyptus
3 plus (depending on size) stems of 'secondary' flowers or foliage (see below)
6 baby pineapples (or other showstopper flowers / fruit)
Copper wire fairy lights (2 strands is ideal)
Candles (at least three, but I've used up to seven!)
Candle holders (or small teacups and blue tack)
Your favourite plates and cutlery
Your very best champagne glasses and tumblers
Linen napkins (obvs.)
Eucalyptus sprigs (tips cut from your bunches)
1 Large Glass of Baileys, Amarula Cream or Champagne (not really optional)
Pop on your tablecloth if you intend to use one, and let's go...
Start sipping your large glass of Baileys, Amarula Cream or Champagne, and continue...
Next add your secondary foliage or flowers of choice. I've gone for some gorgeous blue and green Hydrangeas here, but I've also used King Protea in the past, which look absolutely sunning, or you could also work some large fern fronds in, or even smallish cheese plant leaves or palm fronds. I go for a messy unstructured look rather than manicured and perfect, which is not only much easier to achieve, but it's quick and keeps it casual. The trick is to keep hiding the stems as much as possible under other foliage. You want good messy, not ugly messy, think Brigitte Bardot bed hair, not dragged through the hedge backwards crazy lady, okay?
At this point I like to add my copper wire, battery powered fairy lights. These are absolutely priceless and add instant magic! I have two strands which is the perfect amount for our table. Hide the battery packs under some foliage, but remember where you hid them for easy access.
Next I add my 'showstoppers', which for me are baby decorative pineapples. Simply the prettiest things ever as far as I'm concerned. I mentioned King Protea before which are also total showstoppers. Basically this is where I add a bit of colour. Use whatever tickles your fancy, and works with your colour scheme if you have one.
To finish the centrepiece off I used some beautiful tapered candles in assorted muted colours, in some small teacups from a vintage set that my Father-In-Law gave me, secured with a big blob of blu-tack (remember, never leave burning candles unattended!). Nestle these in wherever you please amongst the foliage.
And voila! One showstopper of a relaxed yet glamorous centrepiece!
Now set your table however you please. I love my Black Willow plates (we're very casual so I don't go for side plates or anything formal, besides, there's never any space!) and have teamed them up with gold cutlery and the palest of pink, loosely folded linen napkins topped with a sprig of Eucalyptus.
And of course my favourite Champagne saucers and some dark heavy tumblers too. I like the contrast of delicate and chunky here, which again keeps things laid-back.
So there you have it! My easy yet impressive Christmas table. I'm excited to recreate this for the real thing in a few weeks time.
Lust Living to see what Christmas goodness Olivia has to offer, and don't forget to keep following the hop because it continues all week!
Here's a full list of participating blogs. I'll be adding the links daily as they go live...
Monday 5th December
Tuesday 6th December
Wednesday 7th December
French for Pineapple (that's me!)
Thursday 8th December
Friday 9th December
Fresh Design Blog
Ana Mum Diary
Well I Guess This Is Growing Up
A Beautiful Space