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How to Style a Relaxed, Natural Christmas This Year

This year I’m looking forward to a Christmas day like no other; low on fuss, high on impact and most importantly – a relaxed atmosphere throughout the day.

It’s our first Christmas with our baby daughter Edie, so I hope to make it memorable, without the stress so we can be in the moment with her.

The table is such an important part of Christmas day at my place and I love making it come to life each year. My aim is to always make my family feel loved and feel special when they sit down down at the Christmas table.

Here is how I’m planning to celebrate this year. 

Kara x

Above left: I’m so excited for Christmas this year with Edie, so many firsts for her and us  / Above right: The Christmas table, with all the layers of linen, woven fibre, glass and bamboo.

1. Set the Table

I love breakfast. Hosting Christmas Day at breakfast time feels so relaxed and very Australian, with a summery natural atmosphere.

At Christmas time I love bringing the table outside onto the front deck, even though it feels unconventional – doing unexpected things like this always feels special, because it doesn’t happen everyday.

Think about where you too could set a table up in a different spot at home, a deck, courtyard or even alfresco in your backyard.

Above left:It’s important to always feel calm and relaxed when bringing the table together  / Above right: There is no greater feeling than throwing a beautiful heavy weight linen tablecloth on the table. The marigold colour is intoxicatingly gorgeous.

The most beautiful tables are always the ones that feel the most personal, so there is no need to feel too overwhelmed. The secret is to make your family and friends feel special, without it feeling formal.

 I like to approach setting the table in layers. The first layer I add is the tablecloth, think of it like a background from which you’re going to build a lovely visual story on top of.

Above left: Introducing texture with handmade woven fibre placemats  / Above right: It’s important to take it slow and enjoy setting the table, knowing how much joy the details will bring on the day.

Placemats are the next addition to go down. By using placemats to build individual place settings you are creating such a kind and thoughtful gesture for your guests. It’s a way of putting your guests at ease when they glance over to the table upon arriving, seeing that you have thought about where each person will sit, making it special and comfortable for them.

Linen napkins and napkin rings are your chance to make things fun and playful, helping make the occasion feel memorable. I love a burst of strong colour and texture when it comes to these layers.

This year I’m using my new Marigold Tablecloth and Fringed Napkins which I have had made in the most sunniest of colours and adding Fringed Napkin Rings in the shape of an oversized sun.

Above left: Adding the stoneware plates to the table. I love the flatness of these plates, there is almost no lip and I adore the minimalism of the design  / Above right: Bamboo cutlery is a must for me. I love touching the bamboo handles each day. Living with objects from nature is a link to the natural world.

I then add the plates on top of the placemats, these are lovely hand thrown ones made in country Victoria. I prefer to pass the plates of food around once we have all sat down, rather than plate everyone up in the kitchen. Feels more social this way.

Cutlery then goes down. I like to keep things relaxed and informal, so I just rest my knife and fork together on the left hand side of the plate, while the spoon goes up above the plate.

Above left: Trays would have to be one of the most practical pieces you can own. Useful and so beautiful.  / Above right: These glasses are the spirit of summer for me, love their amber glow.

I like to bring a tray of glasses to the table. Trays are the best thing for entertaining. They are so helpful and practical when you are running bits inside and out, plus these ones add a great textural layer once they land on the table.

I find that having a tray of glasses on the table makes the table feel full and abundant. Good times are about to begin! These particular glasses really help set the sunny and uplifting mood.

Above left: All the details and elements starting to come together  / Above right: I also like to sit at the table as I set it. Sounds weird, but I like to understand how we are all going to feel while we are at the table, in case I want to change some details.

I love to use flowers in different vessels to create impact with little effort. I usually pick a few things from the garden and pair them with flowers I source from my local florist.

I always try to support small business where I can and choosing the Christmas table flowers is such a simple pleasure.

Above left: I love having mostly natural elements on the table – flowers, linen, blown glass, bamboo and ceramic; all from the natural world  / Above right: The individual place settings, layered with thought, love and consideration.

I’ll then weave the linen napkin through the napkin ring and place them together on the plate.

I will be setting my table the night before (hopefully our resident possum won’t crash the party early) – do as much as you can the night before, so you can take it easy on the day.

Above left: I find wearing brass jewellery really easy as it’s almost as though the pieces are ‘broken in’ as they aren’t ever too shiny or new looking.  / Above right: Separating just one stem from a bunch of flowers can make the single stem look very precious and special.

2. What to Wear

I’ll be wearing a simple and airy outfit, as it gets rather hot and sticky on Christmas Day where I live in Queensland.

I finish off my outfit with a brass ring and a stack of brass bangles. I love the sound the bangles make when they jangle together.

I’ll also wear my new Summer Shag Hat (I’m obsessed with this hat) and go barefoot to keep the atmosphere relaxed, but considered, to enjoy the morning.

Above left: The Pineapple Tarte Tatin I will be making on Christmas Day  / Above right: The best thing about the Tarte Tatin is that it will feed everyone, a one pan wonder.

3. What to Make

This year I’m making a Pineapple Tarte Tatin. It’s an easy and delicious tart that feels summery and indulgent, and it’s perfect for breakfast time. Serve it with fresh cream and there won’t be a crumb left!

Truth be known I use store bought puff pastry, though I have included the pastry recipe for you die hard pastry fans out there. I see you!

Above: The recipe card to use to make yours

You can make the Tarte Tatin in the morning and the house will smell amazing, as the butter and sugar caramelises.

It’s a really simple recipe (if you use store bought puff pastry), plus one dish feeds a group.

A one pan wonder. I’ve included the recipe above for you.

Above left: Cold drinks in nice glass bottles from the deli are also a tip I bring to the table. They require no effort besides a bottle opener and make the table feel special  / Above right: Keeping it all very relaxed and calm barefoot.

For a breakfast table like this one I have dotted around some papaya halves and used layers of banana bell leaves for natural colour and texture. You can find banana bells from your local farmers market from banana growers.

I love introducing nature to the table, plus it’s so beautiful smelling fresh fragrances on the air.

Above left: Fresh honeycomb is an interesting and conversational way to serve humble honey for toast on Christmas day  / Above right: Pastries from the bakery brimming from a bowl make breakfast so much easier.

I’ll then add stoneware bowls full of croissants from the bakery, honeycomb, fruit toast and cut summer fruit for a menu that is easy to prep and looks beautifully natural on the table.

Above left: Looking through the side door to the Christmas table  / Above right: All the natural layers and details coming together to make a beautiful table.

What You’ll Need

I have used pieces from my new home and style collections throughout this story. I’m so proud and excited to share this new collection with you. The quality of each piece is outstanding and each brings a special mood into your home that feels like summer to me.

Just click on each object to find out more.

For the Table

I’m Wearing

Above left: I always ask my local florist Hacienda to make a Christmas wreath each year  / Above right: The individual place settings to make your loved ones feel special when they sit down and take in all the thoughtful details.

Above: Being in the moment with loved ones is by far the most important thing on the day.

I hope seeing how I’m going to bring together my Christmas table has inspired you and made you also feel as though you too can do this.

All of the details are always so special and thoughtful when they are personal and come from the heart. Though above all else is the quality time spent with those you love this Christmas.

So remember to be in the moment and cherish the time together, as time is the most precious gift of all.

Kara x

KARA’ S FAVOURITES

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