Red, blue and gold table setting

Credit: Bob Hiemstra, styling by Catherine Leithold

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Whether you're celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa or Chinese New Year, bold colors and rich textures make for happy hosting.

Matthew takes the same modernized color scheme of red, blue and gold, but adds in exuberance. The look here is informal (and inexpensive) abundance—instead of a formal centerpiece, he makes a landscape that stretches the length of the table, mixing tea lights, small bouquets, and ginger jars. A paper parasol chandelier might best be left to X-treme Crafters, but anyone can weave the color scheme into a table runner or the backs of dining chairs with store-bought ribbon. (For instructions on making your own woven table runner, see Shop Guide.)

Classic Longevity dinnerware in turquoise ($1.95 to $12.50 per piece) and red chopsticks ($1.75 a pair), all from Pearl River; red lacquered chargers ($9.99 for a set of four, Target); Bamboo stainless-steel flatware ($60 for a five-piece set, Ricci Argentieri); red linen napkins ($12 each) and blue cereal bowls ($18 each), all from the Conran Shop; ruby goblets ($43 for a set of four, Lenox); and lotus tea lights ($14 each, Guava).