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Christmas at home: Decorating your dining table for a festive feast

By: Amy Brook-Partridge; photography by Michael Bernabe

Christmas is around the corner so it’s time to hide the chipped china and check out these two very different festive dining set-ups to inspire you this holiday season.

Click through the gallery below for our top festive shopping picks when it comes to sprucing up your festive lunch with all sorts of gorgeous accessories and seasonal tit bits.


Rustic Chic
With Dutch expat and Make Room owner Barbara Fritschy

Do you have any DIY Christmas tips you can share?
It’s easy to personalise the Christmas table with name cards you make yourself. You can use rosemary to create lovely smelling name cards, or you can use a present tag and stamp a guest’s name or a Christmas message, and tie it with some pretty rope or ribbons to the cutlery.

How do you usually celebrate Christmas in Holland?
We get to celebrate it three times! We have Christmas Eve, then there is the “first” Christmas Day and then, what most people call Boxing Day, we call the “second” Christmas Day. Traditionally, you celebrate Christmas evening with your own family (mum, dad and children), then the first Christmas Day with the family of your mum and the second with the family of your dad, or vice versa. Everyone knows how it feels after you’ve eaten too much for two days in a row – just imagine how you feel after three days!

How do you make sure you feel Christmassy here?
I really love decorating my own house and feel most festive at home. My husband and I are both quite busy at work and we are always organising and making plans, so we love Christmas time because it’s a time where we don’t have to have a plan.

All my Christmas decorations come from Madam Stoltz, which we stock in store. I also like the selection at Tangs, where we have a pop-up store at Christmas.


Traditional Trends
With French expat and In Situ’s creative director Isabelle Persenda

What are your top Christmas styling tips?
To keep it as elegant and classic as possible, and try not to overdo it. Keeping to traditional Christmas tones is important: gold and silver, red and green. If you want to use a different colour, try not to mix it with anything but gold or silver so as to make that colour a theme.

A real tree will instantly give you that Christmas feel through the natural pine scent. If you cannot or would rather not get a real tree, use a gentle and subtle festive home diffuser such as Cochine’s Juniper & Ginger.

Pay attention to small details throughout your home, placing a few festive candles, ornaments, and decorative objects here and there, on a console, a side table, or hanging on doorknobs, for example.

Do you have any family Christmas traditions you still follow?
We used to wait until Christmas Eve to decorate the tree, which would then be up until Epiphany. We would wait up for midnight mass before we could have our traditional festive dinner, or supper as it may be. In French tradition there are no Christmas stockings; instead we’d put our shoes by the chimney. After mass, we’d find that the presents had miraculously been delivered but we’d nevertheless have to wait until the traditional festive meal, which always ended with a Christmas log, was over before we could open our gifts.

Today, the tradition remains to a certain extent but as my kids are teenagers and half Anglo-Saxon, we wait until the 25th in the morning to open the gifts, and the shoes by the chimney have long been replaced with stockings.

Other than your showroom, where else do you pick up Christmas home products?
If I really need something, I know that I’ll usually find it in the basement of Ngee Ann City. I also like the small decorative items and candles sold at Scandic Wonders in Tanglin Mall – they really do make the effort to bring in tasteful, original, yet very traditional small pieces.
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