Wednesday, December 7

UK Home Blog Hop:
How To Add Relaxed Glamour To Your Christmas Table

This year I'm getting into the Christmas spirit a little (a lot) earlier than I normally would. Last year we left our tree buying til the weekend before Christmas because various events meant we didn't have a chance to get it earlier, and the kids were a bit disappointed. So this year, we've gone earlier than ever before, and we bought our tree last weekend. The kids, needless to say, are pretty damn pleased that signs that Christmas will soon be here are showing!

UK Home Blog Hop - French For Pineapple - Relaxed Glam Christmas Table


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.

UK Home Blog Hop - French For Pineapple - Relaxed Glam Christmas Table

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.

UK Home Blog Hop - French For Pineapple - Relaxed Glam Christmas Table




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:

Tablecloth (optional)
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...

UK Home Blog Hop - French For Pineapple - Relaxed Glam Christmas Table
First you need to start with your base. I always use eucalyptus because it lies nice and flat, and has the most beautiful herbal aroma, which also always remind me of home (Sydney, via New Zealand!). Lay two large pieces down so that they're top and tailing each other, but overlapping slightly to cover the ends, and 'pointing' to either end of the table. Decide at this point how far down each end of the table you want to go with your centrepiece and overlap accordingly. If you have a really long table, you can of course use more than two pieces at this stage. Now keep layering with the rest of the Eucalyptus, until you're satisfied with the look and form.

UK Home Blog Hop - French For Pineapple - Relaxed Glam Christmas Table

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?

UK Home Blog Hop - French For Pineapple - Relaxed Glam Christmas Table


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.

UK Home Blog Hop - French For Pineapple - Relaxed Glam Christmas Table


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.

UK Home Blog Hop - French For Pineapple - Relaxed Glam Christmas Table

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.

UK Home Blog Hop - French For Pineapple - Relaxed Glam Christmas Table



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.

UK Home Blog Hop - French For Pineapple - Relaxed Glam Christmas Table
Now please do yourself a favour, and hop on over to 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!)



Friday 9th December





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29 comments

  1. Ahh it's gorgeous and I'm totally jealous you are close to such an amazing flower market!! I am also loving the soft subtlety of the sideboard styling (how's that for alliteration?). My centerpieces usually take over the table too but well, who needs practical when it's all this pretty?! Thanks so much for joining the hop my dear, love your post!! xxx

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    1. Aw thanks lovely! I am lucky to be so close to Columbia Road - you must stay one weekend so we can go bright and early on a Sunday! Pretty over practical 4 EVA! X

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  2. Looks amazing! My table usually ends up with no room for food too. Who cares? Love that you have pineapples in there :-)

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    1. Thanks Carole! If there's one day a year when you can overcrowd your table with loveliness and be completely justified, it's Christmas day! X

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  3. I'm also a big fan of eucalyptus!! Local to me is lacking so might have to head further afield to find some. Lovely post!

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    1. Isn't it just the best! The smell is so comforting, and it always looks so impressive. Yes, you must go hunting for some! X

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  4. I love this post, your ideas are great. From the simple but fantastic arrangement on the sideboard to your full table of flowers and candles. It works so well, and really cosy

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    1. Thanks so much Stephanie! Isn't this blog hop business so much fun?! X

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  5. So pretty! I was going to get some eucalyptus, but somehow forgot! I know what you mean about the tree, been there, done that (the child decorating the tree part) and have got up in the middle of the night to rearrange things a little ;-) Love the muted colours on the sideboard. xo

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    1. Ha! This deal works well for me except when I look at the tree too much in the evenings I start to twitch slightly! Thanks lovely, told you I was a little more restrained than usual this year! Xx

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  6. LOVE it all!!! I especially love your plates, I have them too and grew up eating off these plates so they have a lot of nostalgia :D That eucalyptus is soo beautiful!! Proteas are amazing aren't they, I must pop into our local florist and get some, although i've seen them growing on the side of the road, I really need to carry some secateurs with me ;) xx

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    1. Thanks my lovely! I am SO jealous you see protea growing wild. I'm lucky if I manage to get my hands on them at the market once a year! And a big YES to carrying secateurs with you at all times! Ha! X

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  7. Baby pineapples!? I didn't realise these even existed! Catching up with the 3rd day a little late but swooning over your pink wall and I think I may just found my favourite photo of the month in your blog. I hope you won't mind me tweeting the hell out of it! Well done Bianca and Merry Christmas to you and yours!
    Jenny Kakoudakis

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    1. Aw thank you Jenny! Of course I won't mind! And yes, baby decorative pineapples are the best thing ever. I'm more than a little obsessed with them. Xx

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  8. Ohhhh I could have written the same! Always torn between what I want around the house but whilst trying to be realistic about living with a toddler and what will survive her messy hands haha I'd really love a classy Christmas but ultimately gone for a really bonkers bit-of-everything look as it represents our family more and wouldn't have it any other way! Love your images hun x

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    1. Thanks so much lovely! Yeah, save the classy Christmas until the toddler is older and embrace the bonkers-ness (totally a word, right!?). Xx

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  9. It looks so lovely.. and I adore your print! x

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  10. It's stunning! Love your ideas - it makes the table look so festive and rich. Those candles are really cute too xx

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    1. Thanks so much Lucy! Eucalyptus and fairy lights for the win! ;-) Xx

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  11. Love the shopping list to get the look - and the paper balls. Pretty colours too.

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    1. Thanks Maxine! I think I *might* be a lazy girl too! ;-) X

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  12. It all looks lovely and those baby pineapples are super cute! Good to find another eucalyptus fan too.

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    1. Thank you! Oh you can never have too much eucalyptus right? X

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  13. I'm all for 'realistic' Christmas home decor and styling (and I don't even have kids!) but this looks gorgeous, relaxed but welcoming and I bet it smells divine. Totally adding copper wire lights to my list! Also, mini pineapples = most important purchase at Columbia Road

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    1. Thanks Charley! I find mine is always realistic because I just don't have the time for anything else! Bit worried about my Christmas pineapples with Christmas being on a sunday, and they don't actually last that long looking bright and perfect. Will they last a full week if I go to Columbia road this Sunday?! Oh the dilemmas! X

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  14. Such a good idea to use Eucalyptus and what a lovely blog you have

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    1. Thank you Becky! Eucalyptus is such an easy way of making it look like you went to WAY more effort than you did! Have a fab Christmas! X

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  15. Love Love LOVE the little pineapple 'flowers' (what do you call pineapples on stems?) in the arrangement on the table!! Such a fun touch <3 xx Lotte (http://yespleaseblog.co/)

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So, what do you think? I'd love to know!

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