Originally from England but married to a South African for the past 8 years, Kate Shepherd is the founding owner of Design businesses; Something Different, Something Desired and Something Designed based in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. She is also a mom of two! Something Different is the leader in concept and infrastructure design for any environment – whether you work, play, dance, shop or live in the space – Something Different will elevate it with to creative input, concept development, design and build. Her other two businesses, support Something Different’s overarching concept of design.

With the festive season fast approaching, here, Kate Shepherd, shares her top 5 tips when decorating YOUR table for family and friends:

1.Remember the country you are celebrating in – try something handcrafted in a stylish South African summery look that is sleek yet informal. Celebrating in a warm country can mean a different look to the traditional heavy dark red and green rich looks of the northern hemisphere, but something light bright and more casual is perhaps more applicable and authentic to SA.

2. Sustainable to your abilities – try foraging in your garden, in the woods, picking up fallen pine cones, take branches and elements that have fallen to create your table scapes, napkin details and décor elements.

3. Re-use old tired elements and give them a new look, spray them, repaint them and use them for a new feel. Whether it be old tiles or terracotta broken pots and spraying them as accents or raisers, or old bowls and souvenirs that can be given new life with a new colour.

4. Sticking to one colour can keep the look uncluttered, less busy, messy and more chic. Whether that be all natural wood, or white or silver even, keeping it all layered in the same tone is a slick look to the table.

5. Personality shines through – make sure you add personal touches, keep it truly how you would celebrate. Add handwritten thank you’s to guests, create coasters, place mats or guest name tags yourself with your own signature style (or use Something Different’s free printable ). Make sure there is some quirk and some magic that makes it yours.