Metro-East Living

You don’t have to break the bank to decorate your holiday table, designer says

The Spode dinnerware set includes the bread and butter plate with knife, napkin holder and glassware.
The Spode dinnerware set includes the bread and butter plate with knife, napkin holder and glassware.

‘Tis the season for poinsettias by the hearth, garland on the stairway and wreaths on the front door. Don’t forget setting a beautiful holiday table, too.

Enter veteran interior designer Carole Hiatt, owner of Carole Hiatt Design Associates in Belleville.

Last week, she spread her magic by creating a holiday table at the home of friends and clients Leo and Sue Dumstorff, of Belleville.

Carole didn’t have to worry about inspiration. She used the family’s china and decorations to create the perfect table for an elegant holiday dinner for six.

“You don’t have to spend a lot of money on holiday decor,” she said. “You can pull from the things you have at home and still create something beautiful and festive.”

The first step: A berry-red damask tablecloth was laid over the oval dining room table. Carole gathered four corners and knotted gold pine cones and evergreen around each. Holly and ribbon hung from the backs of each chair.

To mix it up a bit, Carole chose two different tableware patterns picked from the six the couple owns. One, for the guests, was a classic white Spode holiday grouping with a Christmas tree in the center and green edging. The other, for the hosts, was an English tea rose pattern with gold trim. Silver chargers were placed underneath all the dinner plates.

Carole spied Waterford crystal stemware in a dining room breakfront. Sue said they weren’t used much. Out they came, paired with the elegant rose plates: one each for red and white wine, as well as a water goblet.

For the holiday pattern dishes, Carole picked simple gold-rimmed stemware with a unique Christmas tree painted on each. Even the handles on the bread and butter knives were shaped like a tree.

The scalloped-edged linen napkins were clasped with artificial holly berries and leaves, while the place card holders were little ceramic Santa Clauses.

The rose plates deserved roses on the napkin and place card holders.

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” Waterford champagne flutes came out of hibernation, too, placed with all six settings.

No table is complete without a centerpiece, so Carole turned to nature to find inspiration, using evergreen branches and pine cones to fill a vase. She added artificial poinsettia for a pop of color. A small St. Nicklaus figurine sat next to it.

Overhead, the chandelier was decked out in silver garland, with pretty red tear-drop ornaments hanging down.

‘The details are what make people feel loved’ said Carole.

To see more photos, go to and for all your home decor questions, call Carole Hiatt at 618-233-1789 or visit Carole Hiatt Designs.