10 Unexpected Holiday Entertaining and Decor Trends You Need to Know Now, According to Interior Designers

published Nov 19, 2022
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Lounge at Dine by Design, green sofa, purple chairs, rug, and tables all provided by Kaiyo, a secondhand marketplace for furniture
Credit: Christopher Broe for Apartment Therapy Media; Additional Prop Styling by Alix Winsby

I know, I know: The food you serve at any upcoming Dine by Design event at the House of Showfields in Brooklyn, New York, where, in collaboration with Pinterest, we hosted a series of meals at designer-decorated tables that got everyone who came through the doors talking.

Apartment Therapy tapped ten creatives to riff on 2022’s hottest holiday trends at Dine by Design, with each design expert setting a unique table for two (and I even got in on the decorating fun furnishing the lounge area with Kaiyo, which you can see above). The results were so striking that we wanted to share those trends and some tablescaping ideas with you here. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be inspired by these looks and splurge-worthy home decor products for your own holiday table (and even well beyond the holidays). And if you want to know more about all of the items in these exact looks, visit our Dine by Design board on Pinterest for all the details.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Alix Winsby

1. New Wave ’80s

If you want to double down on an unconventional holiday palette with some decorating edge, then the New Wave ’80s is the trend for you. Designer Shannon Maldonado, Apartment Therapy 2022 Changemaker and owner of Yowie in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, took on this funky, fun trend by juxtaposing neutral black and white Ripple dinnerware from HAAND with Annie Selke’s Stonewashed Linen Hot Pink Napkins and a Draper James Awning Stripe Table Runner as well as grass green enamel utensils from Fete Home and Villeroy & Boch’s angular New Moon stemware. You could use these striking, colorful pieces all year long, but to holiday things up with a little extra sparkle and shine, Maldonado opted to fill a bowl with festive disco ball ornaments for her centerpiece.

Disco balls also reigned supreme in our lounge area (pictured at the top of this page), which showcased furniture and a cozy rug sourced from Kaiyo, a full-service marketplace for secondhand furniture. Anchored by a trendy green tufted sofa, purple zig zag chairs, and side tables that feature a neoclassical column-inspired silhouette, the lounge stands as its own version of a post-modern, New Wave ’80s-inspired space that’s as comfortable for hosting as it is easy on the eyes.

Buy: Disco Ball Ornaments, $42.00 $33.60 for a Set of 3 from West Elm

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Alix Winsby

2. Supergraphic Regency

Designer Miles Willis McDermott’s drippy, trippy black-and-white tabletop proves that you shouldn’t be wary of leaning into this classic color scheme for your holiday gatherings. McDermott calls his signature aesthetic Supergraphic Regency, and the trick to making it feel right for the season lies in the festive brass accents. I also love the no fuss approach to a centerpiece — fresh and dried herbs and spices — which is easy to copy. All you have to do is place a few bundles in clear glass vases and decant things like salt and peppercorns into brass vessels. Bonus points if your spices and herbs are grindable tableside as was the case here, thanks to small mortars and pestles sitting at each place setting.

Buy: Manufacture Rock Rice Bowl, $36.00 $27.99 from Villeroy & Boch

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Alix Winsby

3. Moody Masterpiece

Have you ever looked at a painting by Rembrandt, Vermeer, of any of the other Dutch Masters and been in awe of its atmospheric colors and skilled representation of highlights and shadows? Content creator and blogger Tommy Lei translated that interplay of light and dark into tabletop form with the Moody Masterpiece trend, and it’s about as simple but impactful as it gets, thanks to the organic shaped JARS dinnerware that juxtaposes high gloss finishes with matte details, which, in turn, contrasts beautifully with the warm wood table and the Graf Lantz Noir Merino Wool Felt Tabletop Set. I especially loved the Misette Line Drawing Hand-Painted Twist Candles, which also speak to the unique taper trend you’ve probably been seeing everywhere. They’re almost too pretty to burn!

Buy: Line Drawing Hand-Painted Twist Candles, $65.00 from Misette

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Alix Winsby

4. Vintage Vibes

You can get a unique, retro-inspired look with all new items and just a few key pieces. Just take this earthy meets technicolor tablescape created by secondhand shopping extraordinaire Virginia Chamlee, author of “Big Thrift Energy,” as your proof. Using East Fork’s The Coupes and Cake Plates in their Amaro colorway and Annie Selke’s Palm Evergreen Placemats, Chamlee put her own spin on a classic red and green holiday color scheme. Matisse-like blobby clay polymer napkin rings and cut paper place cards, both DIYed by Chamlee, bring an extra touch of quirk to the table. And about those #vintagevibes? Annie Selke’s set of Sita Marble Bowls full of retro ball ornaments, citrus fruits, and pomegranates, make for the easiest-ever centerpieces.

Buy: Cake Plate, $18.00 from East Fork

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Alix Winsby

5. To the Max

Calling all grandmillennials! The maximalist look works for tabletops, too. Just ask designer Eddie Ross, author of “Modern Mix,” who curated this floral, toile, and painterly patterned fantasy for the To the Max trend. Add a creative splatter candle DIY idea to the equation — plus some amber-colored glassware — and layer in Misette’s Colorblock Embroidered Linens, and you’re good to go. This would be a great holiday brunch or breakfast table look.

Buy: Colorblock Embroidered Linen Napkins, $160.00 for a Set of 4 from Misette

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Alix Winsby

6. Natural Selection

Organic shapes, soft textures, and subtle pattern mixing? That’s what the neutral, nature-inspired Natural Selection trend is all about, and designer Mat Sanders totally nailed it. Hot tip: Choose a striking, sculptural vase (like the SIN Venule 5-Way Vessel from Minted’s new Direct from the Artist marketplace) as your centerpiece, and you can go simple on the florals with some dried monochromatic stems. An equally artistic candleabra, also from SIN via Minted, doesn’t hurt either.

Buy: SIN Wyn Candelabra, $70.00 from Minted

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Alix Winsby

7. Boho Flair

Speaking of nature-inspired trends, you can double down on greenery, straw, and seasonal gourds used as table decor by following in the footsteps of plant expert Kamili Bell Hill of Plant Blerd, who took on the Boho Flair trend. Think warm mixed metals, matte black dinnerware, and simple linens that let the rest of the tabletop elements shine. Grab a can or two of spray paint and give those gourds some extra shimmer with a coat of metallic copper. A final finishing touch? Little potted herb plants used like place cards, which become take-home favors post-meal.

Buy: Straw Loop Placemat in Natural, $28.00 from Juliska

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Alix Winsby

8. Celestial Chic

Designer Noz Nozawa channeled the night sky in her modern elegant Celestial Chic tablescape. The stars of this show here, pun very much intended, have to be the super-splurge-worthy JARS Wabi Awa Dinner Plates, Misette Bubble Glass Champagne Glasses, and the Fete Home Block Print Linen Placemats, which all establish the color scheme that all the rest off the pieces on the table play off of. Nozawa also wins the award for the most creative napkin ring idea. She used ’90s era sequin slap bracelets, which guests can also bring home with them as a favor.

Buy: JARS Wabi Awa Dinner Plate, $400.00 for a Set of 4 from Gracious Style

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Alix Winsby

9. Gilty Pleasure

Bring on all the gilded accents for a super-luxe holiday tablescape. That’s exactly what designer Rayman Boozer of Apartment 48 did for the Gilty Pleasure trend — even the faux florals strewn about his table and placed inside the beautiful HAAND Large Driftwood Vase pictured here were golden! His design also featured Fete Home’s beautiful brass tulips, both in the open and closed configurations, which he arranged as focal points around gold spray painted stems of eucalyptus placed directly on the table.

Buy: Large Driftwood Vase in Concrete, $125.00 from HAAND

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Alix Winsby

10. Monochrome Mix

If you feeling less than confident about your mixing and matching tablescaping skills, why not try a Monochrome Mix? Here entertaining expert Amber Mayfield of To Be Hosted and While Entertaining chose an unconventional fall color — blue — and leaned into that hue with everything from linens and dishes to Estelle Colored Glass goblets and decorative accessories, including spray painted pumpkins, all in various shades of blue. You could recreate a look like this with any color of your choosing though. Pink would be another fun, unexpected shade for the holidays.

Buy: Glass Goblets, $100.00 for a Set of Two from Estelle Colored Glass