Contemporary Christmas Tablescape – Fire & Ice

It’s the holiday season! Already!!! And now it’s time to get serious about planning a variety of tablescapes for parties you will host throughout the season. Let’s kick it off with one whose elements of warm, glowing fire and crisp, cold ice are perfect all winter through (sans the tree, perfect for New Year’s Eve or any January tablescape)…for not a lot of money!

This quick 90-second video shows how this scrumptious winter table for eight looks with the lights down low to take full advantage of the ambient light. (We got ahead of ourselves and completely forgot to take still photos of the room with the warmth of the candlelight all aglow!) NOTE: There is Christmas music playing in the video background, so mute your system if you’re at work or the kids/hubby are napping! 🙂
(Click on any photo to enlarge/enhance. Photos and video by Sheri L. Grant)

This room was transformed to a warm but wintry haven for my “Tablescaping a Winter Wonderland” class taught through MCC-Longview. While this table is a “square” made from two 6-ft. oblong tables kissed together horizontally, the same effect could be easily achieved on a 72-in. round table using a round mirror. This table can seat up to 12 depending on whether or not a charger is used and how much stemware and flatware is at each place setting. Rather than traditional snowy white linens which would work just as well (as would pewter or silver with a few tweaks), I opted for creamy ivory from

Each place setting is anchored with a 13″ mirrored charger from Hobby Lobby. (Buy these when they’re 50% off!) Bone white 10 Strawberry Street dinner plates are from Tuesday Morning, and the J.A. Henckels very contemporary “Bellaserra” flatware can be found at Macy’s. An ivory napkin with a sleek silver napkin ring rounds out the place setting.

Clear glass stemware is from Old Time Pottery. It goes on sale for 99¢ per stem fairly often, and I keep it around by the case for entertaining large groups. The style is so versatile and works for both casual and formal tables.

This is no doubt my favorite part of the entire room! An old frameless mirror from the bathroom wall in our former home is just the perfect size for the table centerpiece. Without a frame, the mirror lays flat like a slick sheet of ice. I use these clear glass cylinders a lot, and having a number of them in various sizes in your decorating arsenal is a good thing. They can be so easily transformed into whatever you need for them to be! Here they are filled with “icy” branches anchored with lots of acrylic “ice.” (Faux snow would be another viable option that would render the same frosty effect.) The shorter cylinders are filled with silver ornaments and more “ice.” The silver pieces and crystal faux ice are both highly reflective in the mirror below. (To see another tablescape using the frameless mirror, click HERE.)

To break up the expanse of glass across the mirror, I anchored the four corners with these silver urns. If silver urns aren’t in your budget, try spray painting clay pots. The evergreens bring in another wintertime element, are a splash of nature, and are the only real “color” on the table. Buy evergreens that can be planted in your yard at a later date to get more bang for your buck.

Now this is where the drama is taken to a whole other level: the votive candles!!! Line them up like a fiery fortress around the perimeter of the mirror. This is a relatively inexpensive way to add ambiance, glow and sass to your tablescape. Notice the shape of the votive holders is the same as the taller glass cylinders for a uniform look. Don’t skimp here. The more the merrier!

I always like to dress the fireplace mantel with decor that reflects what’s going on on my table. Here it is decorated with more glass cylinders, some of which are filled with icy garland and others with the same “ice” used on the table. A smattering of clear acrylic Moravian stars – some stacked on top of each other just for fun! – bring shape and more shine to the vignette. (I had no idea these were called Moravian stars until my sweet blog buddy, Jewel of Carolina Jewel’s Table told me!) Notice how the silver urns with evergreens are repeated here. Votive candles finish the look and add warmth.

Both the fireplace mantel and this tree underwent several changes over the three weeks of my winter tablescaping series! This is the first night’s look for the tree, and it’s a little more sparse due to the contemporary nature of the tablescape. The silver and crystal ornaments work well with the table and mantel decor. Rather than spending money I don’t have on a silver tree skirt, I used this round crushed silk tablecloth folded in half and carefully arranged around the bottom. (This is the same tree that started out as a Charlie Brown Christmas look-alike last year. See it HERE for its sad little “before” and glorious red & gold “after.” Ironically, I am wearing the exact same outfit in the 2011 photos. Santa, Mama needs a new wardrobe!!! :-))

So this is the first of many Christmas tablescapes created as a teaching tool for my students. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks!

For more Christmas tablescapes on this site:
“Winter Cardinal”
Really Red Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Winter Dinner
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Sugar High Payback
After the Hunt – Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat

Get Me To the Church On Time!
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch

For more tablescapes on this site using glass cylinders:
And the Winner Is…
Welcome Back, Joel
Flamingos In Paradise
Oopsy Daisy
Raining Orchids
Winter Dinner
Get Me to the Church On Time
Mardi Gras Mojo
Apple Green Luncheon
Pretty In Pink
Love & Orchids
Autumn Orchids
March of the Penguins

Other tablescapes on this site using a mirror centerpiece include:
Roses In October
Happy Birthday, Barf!
Hooray For Vodka!
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Shake, Rattle & Roll ‘Em!
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner

I’m so excited to join my fellow tablescapers on a couple of the really fun blog parties again this week including Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” (anytime after 6:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday) and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday).

67 thoughts on “Contemporary Christmas Tablescape – Fire & Ice

  1. This is so sophisticated and elegant ~ I just love it! The whole theme makes me want to wear a light gray sheath, paint my nails silver and wear silver slippers. I’ll bring the wine too! Or should I bring champagne???

    Big Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley


  2. All of that fire and ice looks so very elegant! No blazing yule before us in the fireplace? (In the video.) It must have been 70 degrees the day the video was taken. 😉 Love the snowman headband!!


  3. Glitz and glamour! Your fire and ice tablescape is so pretty! All the silver and glass with the mirror makes for a wonderful display! I’m ready- what time is dinner!! I can’t believe all the decorating and tearing down you’ve already done! You should be burnt out for the holidays already! This table must look spectacular all lit up! Beautiful job!


  4. I like how you use mirrors to reproduce the images and lights.
    The same way you do with your sharings multiplying your Gift and Talent with so many. I was undecised to use my mirror this year again but after seein your wonderful tablescape I decided that you don’t change a team that wins ahahahah
    Happy Holidays for you and your Lovely Family!


  5. Love all the sparkle Alycia! The tree looks fabulous,too, especially with you standing there with it! Love your smile. It really is nice to be able to run with the theme on the mantle and on the tree! Lovely!


  6. Alycia, I love the use of mirrors on a table and that’s such a great idea to use an old one, even one that was tarnished would look great. This table would work really well for New Year’s Eve too. Well done, as usual. Dianne


  7. All I can say is WOW!!!….Such a exquisite table of glitz and glamour…I love the silver urns on each corner…such a gorgeous “anchor” of shine and texture…love your “bathroom mirror” on the table…genious….You rocked that table Alycia!!…Love your pic with the tree…the tree is also so beautiful..I generally use something under the tree other than a “tree skirt”…I love using beautiful cloths and actually tablecloths too!…Have a wonderful week Alycia…


  8. It’s just gorgeous! I left my music on while watching the video, and it made it even more enchanting. I love all the glass and silver. I have never decorated with silver around here at all, and I really want to. I’ve just been stuck in gold mode and am too cheap to start buying silver. Your table just sparkles to me. The glittery branches and all the ornament balls are just perfect against that mirror. (I know I have the perfect mirror to use around here, but as i was looking at yours, I started to fear that it left with the Great Purge of 2012. Oh, I hope it didn’t!!


  9. Beautiful Alycia~ Even more so with the lights down low and candles aglow! I’m a big fan of buying real plants for the table and then planting them in pots outside after they’ve graced the table. Scrunching a tablecloth or fabric as a tree skirt is a perfect solution too! You’re so photogenic and cute standing by your tree~ I had to chuckle at “Santa, Mama needs a new wardrobe” :)Thanks for making me Merry!


  10. Oh, girl, your students must be in total overload by now. How lucky they are to be exposed to so many ideas. It would be great fun to see how they incorporate what they have learned into their own thing. This table is totally for the ice princess with its glamour and icy beauty. Hope Santa has better luck finding you a new wardrobe than I did finding one for myself.


  11. I think the touch of real greens in the silver urns is brilliant and brings everything to life. Sometimes silver and white palettes can be harsh and cold. I also love the simple treatment of glittery branches in the tall glass cylinders…well, I love everything! Thanks for so many lovely inspirations.


  12. Absolutely took my breath away Alycia! I keep scrolling up and down to take it all in. I love using mirrors on the table but you really amped it up using a big ole bathroom mirror! Genius!


  13. Alycia, I have missed visiting you. Whenever you post your beautiful table, my jaw drops. Thank you for sharing your talent with us!


  14. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, love all the sparkle! I really want some of those tall cylinders, but storage may be a bit of a problem…darn. The beaded branches are pretty neat, too. I am another that thanks you for sharing your talent/creativity with us each week, Alycia.


  15. Ditto Marigene… Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful. I love the cylinders.. the taller the better! I loved the video! You are just such a star these days. Love those silver urns. I bet I can scour some up at some estate sales! Great job.. xo marlis


  16. Alycia, you are something else, dear friend! Wow, is what I have to say!! I love how you place two tables together. That centerpiece is spectacular. I love using the mirror and putting all the votives around. Those tall cylinders are fabulous. Another winner, my dear!!


  17. Hi A. ! Love your table, very sophisticated indeed! Love all the shimmer and sparkle. It would be wonderful for New Year’s Eve too. I think of you every time I see those tall cylinders in Michael’s! You do such a great job, the mantel looks wonderful too!
    Thanks for linking to Let’s Dish!


  18. Hello pretty lady?

    Exquisite in every angle as I see from far beyond. How much more in the real life?

    OMG! I guess, you are much prettier than your Christmas tree and I am just telling you the truth, *wink…

    I’d purchased 2 hurricane jars to do a copycat one of your setting soon. I will let you know, §:-)

    Enjoy the w/end ahead.



  19. Your table is fabulous! I just love the size with the two tables put together and the length of the cloth just sets it off. The mirror in the center is wonderful. You always make me jealous that I can’t come to your class. I am sure that it is so much fun! All of the wonderful candleholders in the center are just fabulous! What a beautiful contemporary table.


  20. Love it all! Great idea making a square table like that! I actually have two matching tables and never thought of “kissing” them together – thanks for the great idea! I love the glass cylinders with the baubles in them on the mirror. Super WOW factor! Your acrylic stars are called Moravian stars here in NC. Old Salem is a restored Moravian village inside modern city Winston-Salem. Love how you have used the Moravian stars on your mantle. And I also love the silver urns – I have several old silver creamers and sugar dishes that would work as an urn fill-in! Great ideas Alycia! PS Love your headband – you are just too cute!


  21. Hi Alycia! I really appreciate you taking time to comment on my White Christmas tablescape. I’m new to blogging and am enjoying connecting with other creators. I love your site. I’ve looked through your tablescapes many times before for inspiration. Thanks!


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  23. Oh, Alycia! This table is wonderful! I was thinking of doing a plaid tablescape this Christmas Eve, but I only have enough place settings for 8 and 1 plaid tablecloth and I really didn’t want to buy another tablecloth! Suddenly, it seems that my guest list may increase, but I won’t know for sure, probably until a week before Christmas!!! That’s a good thing, of course. I love my family, but I was racking my brain on what to do if I do end up with more people than I originally thought. Your solution is just perfect! I already own beautiful, white linen tablecloths. I just may have to “borrow” some of your ideas . . . Thank you for the inspiration!


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  27. I LOVE the idea of setting a table in the living room next to a roaring fire. I did this once for a birthday party because we needed extra seating and everyone seemed so timid and worried about dirty-ing it up in there…..

    I’m convinced I should do this again after seeing this…

    I also love the mirror as a “runner” will need to keep my eye open for something that can work the next time I’m at Goodwill!!!


  28. Well…yet ANOTHER fabulous tablescape! I’m such a huge fan! I have an old frameless mirror in my house and I’m REALLY hoping I can use it on my table too! What a great look! I also love the idea of painting a clay urn silver if you can’t afford the real silver stuff! Such a great idea! I’m hooked on your blog! =D


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