Make Christmas extra special this year by decorating your table in style just like the professionals.
Find out how to select your colour scheme and create a striking centrepiece with these tips from Diana Civil, stylist for HomeSense – it’s a guide to everything you need to ensure your table is a key talking point this Christmas.
1. Start by picking a theme for your table. Having a defined colour scheme not only makes the table look extra special but adds a polished look. If you’re not sure what style to go for, classic red, green or gold always adds a traditional look, frosty silver and white looks cool, crisp and fresh, while for a more contemporary take, the Scandi look teams red and white with natural touches. Or team rose gold and copper for an indulgent glitzy look.
© Kelly Hoppen Kelly Hoppen Christmas table
2. Get ahead of the rush and always lay the table on Christmas eve so you don’t have a last minute panic on Christmas morning when you realise you don’t have enough chairs or plates. Start by covering your table with a cloth or runner which not only looks good but will protect your table from accidental spills.
Even a makeshift trestle can be transformed into an extra special Christmas centrepiece by disguising it with a cloth – guests will never know it’s the emergency table once you have worked your magic. You don’t need the finest linens for it to look good, a paper cloth can look just as effective as the real thing once the table is dressed with its finery.
Make sure whatever cloth you use it is ironed well (even paper) for a crisp neat finish. If you have a heatproof tableliner, you can iron the cloth directly onto your table for a perfect finish.
© Debenhams Debenhams Christmas table
3. Layer the look with charger plates or placemats. For an instant placemat solution take an A3 size sheet of white paper, fold in half and fold again, then cut out small shapes from the paper through the layers, unfold and iron for a decorative snowflake effect placemat.
4. Once the linens are in place add your crockery and glassware. You don’t need to spend a fortune on special Christmas china or crystal glassware to have a stylish table –budget plain white china and basics glassware is perfect as it can be instantly transformed with a few festive touches. It’s worth having two sets of china so that you can layer your plates for an indulgent look – a charger layered with a dinner, side plate and bowl sets the scene perfectly and once finished with a touch of festive foliage or a bauble looks super stylish.
© brebca – Getty Images Place setting for Christmas
5. Lay the cutlery. Put the main course knife and fork either side of the charger plate, then put the starter knife and fork on the outside. Place the dessert fork at the top (handle left) with the spoon above (handle right).
6. Next, ensure your table is the centre of attention with a striking centrepiece. For a quick and easy touch, a festive wreath can sit on the centre of the table filled with candles. Pick sturdy pillar candles in varying sizes on a heatproof mat and ensure the foliage is away from the flame. Alternatively opt for battery operated candles which can look as good as the real thing.
© Peter Anderson – Getty Images Christmas Table Setting
7. A runner of greenery and blooms is a low profile floral option that’s easy for guests to chat over – place down the centre of the table entwined with some battery powered fairy lights, and add a few baubles into the mix.
© Britany George / EyeEm – Getty Images Wineglasses With Christmas Lights On Table
8. Alternatively use a mirror tile in the centre of the table and top with a selection of glass candlesticks in different shapes and sizes. Surround with a few baubles that coordinate with your colour scheme and some festive foliage. The mirror is a great way of accentuating the soft glow of the candlelight for a magical touch.
9. Don’t forget the place cards and napkins. Handwritten place cards are another simple addition that bring a personal touch – as an alternative to traditional place card you could tie a name card to each cracker, or write each name on a bauble with a glittery marker pen and place on the dinner plate. Napkins can be as simple or elaborate as you want to make them. A simple option could be rolled in a napkin ring or tied with a length of pretty ribbon, or if you really want to impress your guests transform your napkins into fancy pockets for your cutlery or even an elf hat – it’s easy to find a tutorial online for a quick and easy napkin know how.
© May-lin Joe – Getty Images Christmas cracker and napkin on table
10. No Christmas table would be complete without the crackers. To ensure the party gets off to a cracking start – make sure they coordinate with your table scheme for a perfect touch.
11. With the table complete, don’t forget to add details to the chairs. A personalised bauble tied or pinned to your chair frames from a length of ribbon will make every person at the table feel like the guest of honour. Plain baubles can be personalised with a metallic marker pen, then simply hung from the chair. For more drama go for a bauble cluster – thread 4 or five different sized baubles together and add in some foliage for a finishing touch.