Part of the joy of Christmas dinner is enjoying it in suitably festive surroundings. From your table to your mantelpiece to your overhead lights, there are plenty of ways to jazz up your dining room for the holiday season.
Bring the outside in with the scent of seasonal foliage. Think pine and eucalyptus sprigs tied to the back of your dining chairs, or bunches of berries and wreaths hung from or placed on the mantelpiece. A real fire is a wonderful winter warmer, but if you don’t have the real thing, a fireplace filled with cones, logs and a coating of synthetic snow looks suitably festive. Or else stagger church candles at different heights for a glowing alternative.
Subtle lighting is a great way to enhance the festive mood. If you have an overhead chandelier, you’re in luck – it’s the perfect thing to dress. Adorn it with bunches of baubles or draped ribbons to bring it centre stage. Don’t have a chandelier? Make one yourself with carefully selected branches and interwoven strings of fairy lights.
For an elegant dinner party, keep your table pared back and stick to a minimal colour scheme. Whites, silver, mirror and glass – all dotted with seasonal greenery – will keep things simple and stylish. A striking floral centerpiece will draw the eye, but remember to keep it low so your guests can see each other across the table (a shallow dish of poinsettia will maintain sightlines and keep things on-theme). For elegance, affix wired ribbon to chair backs and hang simple decorations, or place a striking bauble on each plate and tie cutlery with a ribbon and sprig of mistletoe.
For a fun and quirky table setting, a colourful paper runner is a cheap and disposable addition. Decorate with a display the kids will love by filling glass jars with old fashioned sweets, candy canes and more baubles, or stack crackers in all shapes and sizes for a centrepiece that everyone will want to dismantle!
Christmas is an excuse to entertain family and friends en masse so why not use benches where possible so that you can squeeze everyone around the same table. The simple addition of a fresh green hue is the perfect way to give an otherwise classic contemporary dining room a subtle festive appearance.
A banquette is another smart seating solution that works well for formal and family dining. Here, a combination of deep greys and neutrals mixed with touches of metallic creates a sophisticated look, to which antiqued glass panels add further elegance.
Pendant light fittings play a key role in creating an intimate dining room lighting arrangement: a chandelier suspended three feet above the tabletop will throw light into the mid-range as well as downwards without distracting your guests’ line of sight while they talk. Add candlelight and the light from an open fire for maximum magic.
You can never go wrong with red
at this time of year; it adds a note of vibrancy, passion and warmth to
any scheme so now is the time to max the colour to the limit, with
flowers, candles, glassware and napkins. We would probably draw the line at red light bulbs though.
Inject a note of Scandi style into your dining room with reindeer hides, scrubbed wood surfaces, plenty of fresh greenery and candlelight. The trick to making this look work is to keep furniture and accessories simple note the trestle-leg table and bench seating and to let the temporary seasonal additions stand out.