Your Guide to Creating the perfect Christmas Table Setting
Let the countdown to Christmas begin!
The preparations have begun for the most wonderful time of the year. Spending time with our loved ones and catching up with friends is what we associate the Christmas holidays with. Of course, Christmas would not be complete without the delicious and exquisite feast that we look forward to all year! From statement festive centrepieces to elegant décor, we have prepared an essential guide to help you plan an impressive Christmas table setting with creative tips on how to make your party setting come to life.
BELIEVE IN THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS
Setting your festive table should bring out the fun and magic of the season. It doesn't have to be difficult, expensive, or time-consuming – all you have to do is use your imagination and enjoy the experience!
How your table looks is just as important as what you are serving. What your guests see in front of them, and what their meal is served on, is almost as important as the food itself. Your tablescape is all part of the experience and you want your guests to feel mesmerised by what they see.
THE BEST MEMORIES ARE MADE AROUND THE TABLE
When curating your seasonal setting, it is always a good idea to decide on a colour scheme or theme as it will help make the table look extra special and refined. Start with a simple base – a plain table cloth or runner is best. Then work with a handful of tones – frosted pastels, Scandi red and white, copper, silver and burgundy are all on-trend combinations this Christmas.
Embrace the beauty of festive organics. Natural and organic elements are the key to making a Christmas tablescape seasonal and beautiful. Fresh greenery, flowers, ferns, pines and holly will enhance your setting beautifully. Experimenting with earthy colours and gold tones will ensure your theme looks effortless yet elegant.
For a more traditional setting, choose festive colours like red and green and complement them with raw materials such as wooden-handled cutlery or wicker placemats. Strands of red beads mimic the festive look of cranberries, while a simple grosgrain ribbon dresses up a planter. Fill up a large glass vase with water and some cranberries, then add greens picked from your garden for a look that's as seasonally appropriate as it is inviting.
CREATING YOUR FESTIVE TABLESCAPE
Once you have decided on your colour scheme, you can start to build your tablescape. The first step is choosing whether you would like a tablecloth or table runner as your base. Runners offer a rustic feel when placed on a wooden table and give a hint of festivity.
Add understated holiday flair with simple arrangements of silver dollar eucalyptus and blue thistle in vintage vessels. Use winter greenery to adorn plates – different shades of green ranging from dark forest fern to softer sage hues are really on trend this winter. You can also create stunning luminaries using mason jars filled with cranberries, cedar clippings, evergreen and floating candles.
Incorporating pomegranates into your table setting is a wonderful way to keep the ancient Greek tradition alive. Nestled berries and pomegranates will add a beautiful rich vibrancy to a table setting.
Begin by cutting them, then leave to dry out for a day. Place the dried and whole pomegranates in the centerpiece with vibrant florals, pinecones, nuts, fruit and vegetable variations and evergreen branches for a beautiful Christmas centrepiece decoration. Vary textures and sizes, but curate your colour choices to set the mood. For a more festive look, gild the pomegranates with metallic gold or silver spray paint. The gilded pomegranates will stand out among the natural colors of the other organics and create a warm colour palette which will transition beautifully for each occasion over the holiday season.
Bring the outdoors in and create an ethereal tree installation starting with birch branches and wire. Fill and create height with lush evergreens, moss, willow, yew, hawthorn berries, ferns and beech twigs foraged from the garden to add volume to your table installation and finish it with some vibrant floral combinations and subtle lighting.
SETTING THE SCENE
A luscious Christmas table setting is created in layers by adding textures and heights; a carefully chosen selection of plates, linens, draping napkins, chargers and table runners are the perfect way to add texture, pattern, and colour to any tablescape. Ignite the senses with fresh fruits, wild florals amidst sumptuous textures of leather, tweed, velvet and suede.
When aiming to create a layered, rich, and textured look for your table setting, try using a solid linen as a base, then add a sheer overlay, or experiment with two table runners, adding overlays over linen or velvet. Finish the setting with delicate draping napkins, which can also be layered with different fabrics, adding height to the setting.
Take advantage of your centrepieces and lush garlands to help elevate the look of your table with their colours and textures, placing greenery on top of an airy runner adds a light and elegant feel. Accent cushions, seasonal stockings and other festive accessories will add the perfect finishing touches to your ensemble.
A FEAST FOR THE SENSES
To set the table correctly, you will need to know how many courses you are serving. Begin by placing your charger plates. Charger plates are important as they will enhance the elegance of your table décor. Not only do they anchor the dining table, create ambiance, protect your table and tablecloth, chargers also help to retain the heat in dinnerware since they are placed directly underneath plates and bowls.
Next place the plate for the main course on top of the charger. Then stack the starter plate and soup bowl on top. Cutlery should be placed either side of the dishes, arranged in the order in which it will be used – first course on the outside working inward with knives and spoons on the right and forks on the left.
Where your napkin sits will depend on how intricately you plan to fold it. If it is just a simple arrangement, place it to the left, ideally on a side plate that you can also use for bread. If you plan on a more decorative creation, place it in the middle of the place setting.
Welcome your loved ones to the table with a handwritten place setting. This could be as simple as a card, or you could double up and create small gifts for your guests. A personalised bauble or cracker will always be appreciated by dinner guests. Feel free to let your imagination run wild – just make sure, whatever you settle on, that it works with your overall theme.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Adding various touches of soft lighting can add an enchanting feel to your Christmas table setting. Illuminate your dining room with candles for an added touch of Christmas magic.
Whether you decide to add tea light votives, pillar candles or candleabras, they have the ability to totally transform the dining atmosphere.
Decorate your table with elegant clear glass tea light baubles and delicate warm fairy lights. Hang and place amongst the lush florals and greenery in your centrepiece or installation – your guests will be mesmerised as the soft glass shimmering will bounce light all around the room.
Gather a variety of different sized pillar candles to create a stunning centrepiece. Warm lit candles paired with a plentiful amount of coniferous branches and wild berries running down the centre of your table will create a beautifully natural festive tablescape.
Christmas bulbs don't just belong on the tree: include some of your favourites on the dinner table within a festive frame or jar. You can also brighten your table with colourful sparkles as unplugged lights shine when gathered in a glass jar. For a creation that truly glistens, top it off with a dusting of artificial snow.
And that’s it, your perfect festive table setting is complete. We recommend laying the table on Christmas Eve before sitting down with a mince pie and a glass of wine ahead of the excitement of the big day. Think of it as the last gift to be wrapped!
Put some festive music on, sit back and admire your work. Then wait for the compliments to roll in from your guests!
We hope you enjoy creating a memorable dinner setting for all of your loved ones to enjoy over the festive season.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of the team at Olivia Buckley International!