Vintage White Christmas Tablescape
for an Intimate Holiday Tea for Two
The serenity of a vintage white Christmas tablescape is lovely for an intimate afternoon high tea luncheon on a snowy afternoon. Carolyn from the Aiken House & Gardens Blog created this Christmas tablescape for a romantic luncheon in her cottage several years ago and it is still as beautiful today as it was then.
It reminds me of a time when I was living in a cabin high up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado watching the snow fall gently through our picture window to a carpet of snow covering the landscape as far as I could see through the woods. The snow had been falling steadily all night and we were snowbound to the cabin.
The cabin had white washed walls inside and I had decorated it in a white-on-white, shabby chic, French country theme style very similar to Carolyn’s design. I remember the whole scene was almost surreal with the quiet of the white snowfall outside and the peaceful serenity of the white cottage decor inside the cabin. I remember thinking this as I sat at the window watching the snow coming down ever so softly, but with steady purpose.
The vintage white Christmas tablescape is a reminder of the snowy outside scenery. It begins with a white lace tablecloth layered over a solid ivory tablecloth as the backdrop for this quiet winter white vintage tea for two Christmas luncheon.
White Lace Tablecloths & Overlays
I have selected several different styles of lace tablecloths in different qualities, from the very affordable to the higher-end lace. You have several options of shapes which can be layered over the solid ivory fabric tablecloth. A round tablecloth is one choice but a square will look equally as beautiful. You decide which one you like the best.
I am also including a few gorgeous ivory lace overlays and tablecloths which can be layered over a white tablecloth. Either way, it is still a tone-on-tone but with a warmer hue that the serenity of winter white as the top layer.
However, if you already have a lace tablecloth hidden in the linen closet which you have been saving for the “right occasion”, now is the time to get it out and use it! That goes for the tablecloth, too. If you have a round or square white damask tablecloth, use it with an ivory lace overlay topper.
White Victorian Rose Lace Tablecloth
Made in USA by Heritage Lace
A beautiful white Victorian style round lace tablecloth which will be beautiful when draped over a solid ivory satin tablecloth. The tone-on-tone will give the table a serene old-world look perfect for a Victorian high tea luncheon.
The tablecloth is made in the USA by Heritage Lace at their North Carolina mill, and in their Iowa facilities, by talented American craftspeople. Heritage Lace is well known for their high-end lace along with specialty products including window treatments and textiles for the home.
This lace tablecloth is made of 100% polyester, which means it is washable, but it still has to be treated gently and with care. It can only be washed in the machine in cold water on a gentle cycle. I wouldn’t recommend putting it in the dryer any longer than a tumble to remove excess water. I would hang it over a clothes line to dry completely without using clothes pins.
Add sophistication to a small round or square table in your home with any of these affordable lace tablecloth overlays. I think they are all lovely pieces, ideally suitable for an intimate luncheon or an elegant dinner for two. The lace tablecloth overlays featured next are available in several table sizes.
One of the beautiful things about using a lace tablecloth is that any color can be used under it to coordinate with your own theme color. In this instance we want to layer the white over ivory or ivory over white for a tone-on-tone winter shabby chic table dressing. The overlays are seasonless and can then be used another time over a different color to coordinate with your home décor or seasonal tablescape theme.
Unique Beige Embroidered Lace Small Round Tablecloth
Layering this beige hand embroidered lace tablecloth over an ivory or white tablecloth will make a gorgeous vintage style background with which to layer creamy white and ivory Christmas tableware. On a small table in a small room a light and airy tablecloth, such as this one, adds a lightness to the room while accenting the vintage table décor.
White Canterbury Lace Classic Rectangle Tablecloth
by Heritage Lace
The shabby chic vintage white Christmas tablescape we are recreating doesn’t have to be just for an afternoon tea for two. It can be expanded to a larger dinner tablescape if you like. Several of the lace tablecloths I have featured above are suitable for large dining room tables. White heirloom lace will add charm and elegance to a vintage white Christmas tablescape.
Creamy White Dinnerware Sets
Carolyn’s vintage table setting is layered with mixed china and pottery dinnerware with subtle differences in shades of white, off-white, and ivory. It is a very simple, yet elegantly aristocratic table setting. Carolyn used a romantic decorative white china charger with an ornate filigree cutout scroll pattern as the first layer of her table setting. I found several vintage style white chargers as substitutes for the first layer we are recreating.
Creamy White Charger Plates
The rest of the layers are from the Baroque Dinnerware Set featured below, and pieces from other white pottery sets as well. I have devoted an entire post to this style of white dinnerware. Click here to see them.
Baroque Earthenware Dinnerware Set
by The Jay Companies
I would mix and match pieces from the white, cream and ivory sets I already have in my pantry before purchasing new sets. However, if you have not yet started a collection of white dinnerware sets, it is never too soon to start. White is a “must have” pantry item for anyone who loves tablescape decorating.
Creamy White Victoria 16-Pc Dinnerware Set
by American Atelier
A lovely, moderately priced, white earthenware dinner set which will look fabulous layered with any other dinnerware set regardless of the occasion or the tablescape creation.
Mini Silver Mercury Glass Heart Shaped Ornaments Set of 6
Place a mini mercury glass heart on the last piece of layering in your table setting. It could be placed on an appetizer plate, a salad plate, or in a soup bowl. Whichever course you have decided to serve to your guest first is the piece you will use to place this romantic mini mercury glass heart. Carolyn used a round mercury glass ornament, but I thought since you will be enjoying a romantic tea, the heart would be the perfect addition.
Miniature Winter White Frost Covered Sisal
Bottle Brush Trees on Wood Bases
Package of 6
These little white sisal bottle brush Christmas trees make adorable
table decorations on any winter vintage white tablescape.
White Antique Style Teapots
The tea set Carolyn uses is again, an eclectic mix of creamy white pottery pieces that all tie together beautifully. I love her teapot and wish I could find one like it. I didn’t and am sad over it, but I did find several vintage style pieces which I like almost as well.
Creamy White Antique Style Teapot
Miss Bella Antique Style White Teapots
Any one of these sweet reproductions of white antique teapots will fit right in your vintage style Christmas holiday tea for two. Each one has an eclectic French country flair which will meld nicely with the white pottery mix of our white vintage table setting.
White Vintage Style Lace Embossed Tea Cup Set with Butterfly Cut-Outs
Set of 6
White Antique Style Sugar & Cream Sets
Place a white vintage style sugar and creamer set for an eclectic, shabby chic, vintage Victorian appeal.
White Milk Glazed Terracotta
Hydrangea Sugar & Creamer Set
by Mud Pie
A handcrafted hydrangea design, terracotta sugar and cream set, has been finished with a milk white glaze. This set is a perfect pairing when added to the table with a white vintage, shabby chic, eclectic French country teapot.
See a few more white country sugar and creamer sets below before making a final decision.
White Antique Style Country Pitchers
Add a white French country style pitcher to the tablescape to hold fresh greenery from outside. Fill it with evergreen cuttings, sprigs of fresh mistletoe, and cuttings of red holly berry. The contrasting green and red colors against a white earthenware pitcher will bring a touch of the forest from the outside to the inside, along with a welcoming warmth.
If you live in an area which does not provide these types of evergreens, then, by all means, use what you have. Take cuttings from your backyard and create a simple yet beautiful arrangement in your pitcher. Wild grasses and seed pods make wonderful pitcher arrangements. Trim a few branches from your Christmas tree and tuck a few of their cuttings into the arrangement too.
Artificial evergreens along with white berry sprigs and flocked white pinecone picks from the Dollar Store are another option which is very affordable and won’t break the bank. Faux white silk poinsettias will also make a gorgeous display when placed in a milk white country pitcher.
Large White French Country Stoneware Pitcher
This handmade vintage stoneware pitcher is a distressed style pitcher reproduced from a French farmhouse pitcher. It is finished with a milky, matte glaze to give it an old-fashioned European charm. The pitcher is available in two sizes. They are strictly for decorative purposes and are not safe to use for food or beverages.
If setting a table on a larger scale for another occasion, I would use several of these pitchers down the center of the table filled, and surrounded, with fresh evergreens and seasonal florals. Natural elements flocked white, such as pinecones and natural decorative orbs would also be effective accent pieces on a table for a larger seating.
White Ceramic Artichoke Pitcher
by Mud Pie
Another beautiful and fanciful creation by Mud Pie, this milk glaze finish over ceramic terracotta pitcher, will be a lovely addition to our afternoon tea table setting. During the summer use it on a lanai tablesetting and fill it full of rum punch! The artichoke detailing is seasonless and will be beautiful any time of the year when placed on the table to house evergreens, flowers, water, or punch.
White Ceramic Canapé Platters
These small ceramic platters with a Fleur De Lis design will add texture and interest to the beautiful food being served.
White Fleur De Lis Platters by Mud Pie
Vintage Inspired White Ceramic Butter Dish
with a Clear Glass Knob Cover
You may need to serve your guest soft sweet creamy butter to spread on a warm scone, a tea sandwich, or a hot roll, and what better way to do it than with a white vintage inspired fluted ceramic butter dish topped with a clear glass door knob handle? A perfect match as a table top accessory to a vintage white tablescape.
And We Mustn’t Forget the Crystal and Silver!
Now is the time to pull the “good crystal” out of the closet, or pantry, or whereever you have been saving it, and use it for your special guest. I think beautiful crystal stemware makes our guests feel special. Since Christmas is such a huge celebration, which is honored in so many special ways, why not pull all the stops? Bring all of the “good” crystal, silver, and china out into the light. Don’t let your precious heirlooms sit in a dark closet. USE them…..use them often! Enjoy what you have and allow others to enjoy them too!
Marquis by Waterford Markham Wine Glass Set
Set of 4
I couldn’t believe the bargain price for this set of Waterford Marquis crystal wine glasses. When I bought my first set of Waterford Lismore crystal wine glasses they were 4 times the amount.
Last year I had to replace a couple of broken Waterford Lismore champagne flutes and I thought I had gotten a good deal at 3 times the price of this set of 4 wine glasses.
I would use this set of Waterford glasses as water glasses on my simply designed, vintage white Christmas, tea for two luncheon tablescape. Even though Waterford does make the some of the best cut-crystal in the world, I prefer a finer crystal than this set to serve wine, especially red wines.
Next, we need to decide on the silverware we intend to use for this beautiful table setting. We want it to be beautifully ornate with a vintage appeal to coordinate with our eclectic mix of vintage style French country.
Many of us already have our sets of sterling silverware. If that is the case for you, then now is the time to get it out of the silver chest and polish away the tarnish. Silverware is the best flatware to use on this type of table setting, and of course, for any formal Christmas table setting.
Sterling silver flatware has almost tripled in price over the last 5 years and a full-service set can run upward from $8,000. If you are just starting out, I suggest starting your silverware collection with one place setting at a time, if that is all you can afford to do. This way you can build your silverware set over time without such a big chunk of money coming out of your funds all at once.
Until then, fake it ’til you make it, with either a set of silver plated flatware or a highly-polished stainless steel set. Silver plate will look almost as luxurious as sterling silver while adding sparkle, shine and a formal elegance to any table setting and few will be able to tell the difference.
Oneida Michelangelo 20-Pc Stainless Steel Flatware Set
Service for 4
This ornate stainless steel set by Oneida is a very affordable 20-piece, service for 4, flatware set. It is not as luxurious as silver plate flatware or sterling silver, but it will suffice for this Christmas tea and for everyday use.
Keep in mind that this should not keep you from starting your own set of silverware. Remember what I said before, start with just a few pieces, or one place setting at a time, and keep adding as the budget permits.
Christmas Tablescape Décor – Gorham Chantilly Sterling Silver 80-Piece Flatware Set, Service for 12Wallace Grande Baroque Sterling Silver 46-Pc Flatware Set, Service for 8Towle Chippendale Sterling Silver 48-Pc Flatware Set, Service for 12
Another alternative for this lovely vintage table setting is an affordable set of creamy ivory handled flatware wrapped in a vintage style silver-tone setting.
Vintage Style Creamy Ivory Flatware Sets
with Ornamental Silver-Tone Handle Wraps
Beautiful Ivory Porcelain Christmas Votive & Tea Light Candle Holders
I am a firm believer in having the magical welcoming warmth of candlelight on a Christmas tablescape…..the more candles the better! However, for an intimate Christmas luncheon for two in the aftertoon, I have to agree with Carolyn in only scattering a few well placed votive candles to enhance the simple settings of this very romatic table setting.
La Vie en Blanc Rose Porcelain Tealight Candle Holder
Carolyn used ivory porcelain star shaped votive candle holders by Lenox. Unfortunately, these particular ones have been discontinued. Every year Lenox introduces gorgeous new porcelain designs. I selected a few to blend in well with this late afternoon high-tea Christmas luncheon.
Lenox Ivory Porcelain Christmas Votive Candle Holders
And there we have it.
We have recreated a gorgeous winter vintage white Christmas tablescape.