Christmas table decoration ideas that will set the scene for your festive feast

Set the scene for a Christmas day to remember with these gorgeous festive table decoration ideas...
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  • Looking for Christmas table decoration ideas? Put food, friends and family at the heart of festivities with these gorgeous Christmas table decoration ideas. We have Christmas table decorations centrepieces and homemade Christmas table decorations to suit every style.

    And no matter what Christmas 2020 may look like in the new normal, it can still be an occasion to dress up – even if there are less guests.

    Want more Christmas decoration inspiration? Read Christmas decorating ideas to celebrate the season in style

    Christmas table decoration ideas

    With so much of the festive season centred around food and drink, it’s no wonder Christmas dinner is a highlight for most of us and a big part of the celebrations. So make sure to use this opportunity to show off your styling skills and create a magical tabletop to really impress your guests.

    1. Welcome the outside in

    Christmas table with greenery

    Image credit: Dan Duchars

    Bring a hint of greenery to the table. More than ever we’re looking for ways to connect with nature. Create a Christmas scene of natural joy, filled with gathered greenery made into beautiful arrangements along the dinner table.

    String clustered bundles of sweetly scented herbs and foliage above the table using garden twine, that can scale the full length of the table to add both decoration and scent. Uses potted plants and thoughtfully placed sprigs on place settings to tie in further elements of nature at the table.

    2. Set the tone with a muted palette

    neutral Christmas place setting

    Image credit: Dan Duchars

    Style a table filled with foliage and earthy toned textures to create a welcoming grounded essence to your festive celebrations. A muted colour palette helps to avoid overwhelming the scene, providing an understated elegant decorating scheme. Lay the table with considered crockery and glassware, interspersed with draped and potted festive foliage, buds and sprigs. Simple, sophisticated and stylish.

    3. Decorate with warm and inviting shades

    Christmas dining table in red and amber tones

    Image credit: Max Attenborough

    Draw guests to the table with an alluring pull of festive shades. Get in the mood for entertaining with a dining room decorated in rich mulberry, gold and spice colours to conjure up the essence and spirit of Christmas. Dress the table with simple dinnerware and create a runner of foliage down the middle to add a comforting touch of nature.

    4. Make your own crackers

    Homemade cracker on Christmas place setting

    A little goes a long way when it come to decorating the Christmas table. This year why not make your own crackers? To save on budget and waste, because both are much-needed at this time of the year. Plus handmade place settings make guests feel extra welcome. Aside from the bang of pulling a cracker, there’s nothing you’ll miss from making your own. Simply place a treat inside a cardboard roll, wrap crepe paper or even fabric scraps around, then tie the ends with ribbon. You could even write your own jokes for inside, simply ask Google for the best cracker jokes.

    5. Set up a drinks station

    home bar area

    Image credit: Max Attenborough

    Whatever the situation is for Christmas this year, one thing’s for sure…drinks will be required. Whether a Zoom celebration or a small number gathered still go all out and set up a dedicated drinks station. Concoct classic cocktails with the help of a stylish home bar. Blend cocktails beautifully in delicate glass beakers with the aid of a handy mixologist set.

    6. Welcome nature to the table

    Christmas place setting ideas

    Image credit: Max Attenborough

    Embrace the beauty of nature, beyond that of foliage and fresh flowers. Plump for seasonal fruits to help add a touch of colour to place settings. With so many colours derived from nature, it’s a fabulous way to tie in all the accent colours that may already be present around the table, from textiles to stoneware. Plus a simple staged fruit for place settings is far more cost-effective than many other alternatives.

    7. Add finesse with statement foliage

    Christmas table decoration ideas pink hydrangeas as a centrepiece

    TI Media

    Don’t underestimate the power of flowers, and they don’t have to be overly festive to still make the right impression. We’ve opted for beautiful hydrangea blooms to make a bold centrepiece that isn’t particularly festive, and yet it works. Whatever foliage you favour keep it in the same colour palette as your decorating scheme to tie it in seamlessly.

    Sprigs of the same flowers are intertwined into the tree and on the metal wreath to create a co-ordinated look.

    8. Enhance with reflective materials

    Christmas table decoration ideas gold vase with orange, yellow and pink flowers

    Image credit: Maxwell Attenborough

    Choose vessels that enhance your chosen foliage. Here warm sprigs of orange, yellow and pink flowers are off-set by a simple brass vase – adding a simple touch of glam to the table. While metallics also help to pick up light, reflecting a warming ambience around the surrounding table. so simple, yet so effective.

    9. Dot homemade candle bowls around the table

    Christmas table decoration ideas

    Image credit: Dan Duchars

    Create your own festive lighting with candle bowls. Half fill a footed glass bowl with water and add floating candles. Place in a shallow glass dish and arrange sprigs of rosemary, snowberries and larch cones to create a woodland centrepiece.

    10. Adorn the table with homemade mini trees

    Christmas table decoration ideas make your own mini trees

    Image credit: Ti Media

    Make a thoroughly festive statement by adorning the table with mini trees on place settings. You can cheat this effect by making homemade mini trees. Simply take cuttings of branches from a real fir tree, and placing it in a tea light votive. If you have a real tree as your main tree you can easily snip branches from the back, they won’t be missed.  Add a further touch of personality by dressing the ‘trees’ with mini baubles.

    11. Look to the north for decor inspiration

    Christmas-Table-decoration-ideas-holly-berry

    Image credit: Paul Raeside

    Use cool wintery colours and icy glassware for a relaxed Scandi-style Christmas table. Stack white and smoky grey plates topped with gorgeous glass bell jars filled with treats or rustic star-shaped decorations, alternating the two colours around the table. For informal dining and a pared-back look, eschew a tablecloth in favour of a rustic linen table runner and matching napkins in a textured taupe. Finish the scheme with frosted glasses wreathed in eucalyptus, foraged berries and woodland finds.

    12. Keep it classic with country style

    Christmas-table-ideas-traditional

    Image credit: David Brittain

    Mix traditionally festive colours of red and green with cute country-style touches for a warm Christmas look. Start by dressing the table in tartan and plain tablecloths for colour and texture. Add natural rush placemats, wood-handled cutlery and a mix of pretty candle holders for a natural theme and stack patterned plates with a contrasting colour to add interest.

    Finally, create a name holder from threading nuts, herbs and berries into a garland and dress a cracker in an embroidered linen napkin.

    Love country style? Read Rustic Christmas decorating ideas that will create a warm and cosy scheme

    13. Pick a traditional colour palette

    nordic-christmas-table-decoration-idea-red-and-white

    Image credit: Simon Scarboro

    Give your dining room Nordic charm with crisp stripes and checks in red and white. Add snow-white highlights with ceramics and candles. Bring it all together with the gleam of glass and silver, and scarlet-berried greenery. Use striped ribbon to tie decorations to guests’ chairs and dress the table with a red and white striped cloth. Top sparkling silver place mats with gingham check napkins and go for white tableware with green and red decoration and cranberry-coloured glassware. Make it all shimmer and shine with plenty of candlelight.

    14. Go for striking shades of blue

    Modern-dining-table-arrangement-with-metallic-cutlery

    Image credit: Paul Raeside

    Mix rose gold metallics and soft velvet in midnight jewel tones for an effortless yet luxe Christmas table setting. Inky indigo tableware contrasts perfectly with warm copper. Choose a cutlery set with a streamlined minimal design to really show of the beauty of the burnished metal and match to a hammered-effect copper coaster and button details on the table runner.

    Prefer contemporary schemes? Read: Modern Christmas decorating ideas to swoon over

    15. Get creative with cookies

    alternative-christmas-tree-ideas

    Image credit: Jan Baldwin

    Create a charming Christmas table centrepiece with a playful biscuit tree. Here, elaborately iced festive treats are strung with ribbon and hung from the branches of a vintage metal stand – a mug tree or jewellery stand will serve just as well. Wreath the base in fresh foliage and add a touch of sparkle with gold accents on champagne glass and a nut dish. It’s a lovely way to decorate your table between sit-down dinners.

    16. Simply set the scene with white and foliage

    Christmas table decoration ideas

    Image credit: Robert Welch

    For any Christmas table, a smart white backdrop will give the room a real sense of occasion and sophistication. Ensuring your staple table elements are pristine gives you a perfect base to build upon. A neutral base also ensures that key dining elements, such as cutlery place settings and serveware are highlighted within the scheme. Flowers, foliage and candles in complementary colours will help to create an eye-catching centrepiece, and really bring a sense of the season indoors, without being obtrusive. Faux options can be just as stunning as fresh foliage and also allow you to enjoy the decorations for longer. Try pairing the soft green tones of faux eucalyptus intertwined with dark berries, thistles and subtle fairy lights.

    17. Warm your cockles

    christmas-table-decorating-ideas-drinks

    Image credit: David Brittain

    Celebrate the completion of a bracing winter walk with a hot drinks table set up outside. A batch of hot toddy adds a deep ruby glow to the table, labelled with the tempting ‘Alice in Wonderland’ invitation. Keep some extra boiling water in a cheering thermos for top ups and pile up the fruit and nuts for a quick pick-me-up before supper. Decorate the table with fresh fruit, foliage and feathers for a hint of rustic country charm.

    18. Embrace Victoriana

    christmas-table-decoration-ideas-gold

    Image credit: Jan Baldwin

    Go all out and create a dessert side table laden with sweet treats and spicy mulled wine in homage to the great Victorian Christmas tradition. To set the scene in a neutral dining room, create a festive focal point with a homemade garland of pecan nuts and an oversized bauble. Add a miniature tree, decorated in the same nut brown colours to one end of the table and choose vintage inspired tableware to complete the look.

    19. Give a nod to Narnia

    White-christmas-table-detail

    Image credit: Paul Raeside

    Be inspired by the majesty of a winter snowscape with a white and silver Christmas table scheme. Create Narnia-inspired centrepieces with glass hurricane lanterns, miniature fir trees and heaps of fake snow. Play with scale by filling different sizes and create a tangle of silver winterberries down the centre of the table. Finish the look with frosted glass and grey candlesticks dotted around.

    20. Go dark and dramatic

    christmas-Table-setting

    Image credit: Paul Raeside

    Make the most of a dark stone table top to create a striking monochrome scheme with blush accents. Mix black and white patterned plates with marble serving platters and a soft grey charger plate to add to the contrasting tones. Choose modern amber glassware in a simple design, shell pink napkins and copper touches for a luxurious twinkle. A small wrapped gift makes a thoughtful name setting and finishes the look.

    Practical advice: How to decorate a Christmas tree – Ideal Home’s definitive step-by-step guide

    What Christmas table decoration ideas will you be using this festive season?

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