Interiors expert Kate Watson Smyth's golden rule for an expensive-looking tablescape – and it's easy to achieve

Home is where the heart – and the party – is!

Decorated dining table for Christmas in neutral room
(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

Interiors expert and journalist, Kate Watson-Smyth, shares her golden rule for making a tablescape look like it was professionally done to keep you in the know for the hosting season: and it's all to do with a little something called abundance.

Hosting at home is something many of us have become all too familiar with, and even more so now that we're headfirst in the run-up to Christmas. Of course, hosting goes hand in hand with the tablescaping trend, whether it be a small soiree or a festive dinner party. Therefore, it pays to know how to achieve a tablescape that looks luxe, elevated, and most of all, expensive to spruce up your Christmas table decorating ideas.

Luckily for us, the Mad About the House writer has paired up with TaskRabbit to reveal her top tips on how to successfully host in your home to ensure your tablescape packs a punch with an ultimate 'wow' factor.

Decorated dining table for Christmas in neutral room

(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)

As part of TaskRabbit's interior trends report for 2024, hosting at home is a trend that has no signs of losing life anytime soon. With purse strings a tad tighter, not only are many Brits prioritising budget Christmas decorating ideas for their homes but in the dining department, too, favouring staying at home rather than going out.

'As hosting at home continues to rise, Brits are transforming their spaces into party-ready havens, with over half (53%) going all out and investing between £50 and £150 for each home-hosted soiree,' report TaskRabbit.

In addition, 10% say they have plans to spruce up their dining room ideas in 2024, as well as a 55% increase in searches on TaskRabbit for 'hosting season'.

Christmas table centrepiece with pine cones and candles

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Brown)

Kate Watson-Smyth's tablescaping tip

Commenting on the hosting at home trend, interiors expert Kate Watson-Smyth says, 'During the Covid-19 lockdown, our kitchens essentially became our restaurants and that mindset of elevating our everyday dining for both guests and family has carried on.'

'More and more of us are investing in finishing touches to make the table look pretty and create a party atmosphere – candles, coasters, glassware and napkins have all become symbols of perfect hosting and creating the wow factor.'

This includes but is not limited to some of our favourite tablescaping additions we've covered, like the coloured glassware trend and vintage-inspired tableware trend.

Following TaskRabbit's trend report, we asked Kate for her top tips for creating a tablescape that looks expensive and professionally done.

Speaking to Ideal Home, Kate begins, 'It's this word, abundance. Meaning lots of one type of thing.' In a way, it's almost similar to the clustering trend we've seen floating around.

A place setting for Christmas with white candles, glass candlestick, silver green leaf wreaths and pots of greenery, ivy, and moss.

(Image credit: Future PLC/Chris Everard)

'Lots of one type of flower. Lots of candles grouped together. So rather than spreading them down the table one by one, have a big bunch of candles in the middle,' advises Kate.

'Have a big bunch of greenery in the middle. Or, you can fill a fruit bowl with lots of oranges, figs, or seasonal produce, if you like. Or, even just get strings of lights that are battery operated and put those in a glass vase (similar to Nigella Lawson's kitchen fairy light trick),' she continues.

'It's about creating that notion of abundance.'

Oranges on plates on decorated dining table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Talbot Photography)

On top of the golden rule of abundance, Kate also suggests 'keeping the colour palette quite restricted, simple, and tonal' as well as utilising 'lots of greenery like moss or ivy which doesn't wilt'. These are things you can do that are effective, simple, and affordable that certainly make for an expensive-looking tablescape.

And, if you plan on having central flowers, she urges you to 'keep them low'.

'I've been to dinner events before where the flowers are beautiful but they're so high you can't see the person opposite you,' she warns.

Flower centrepieces on decorated dining table

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Then, to finish off, consider keeping your crockery very simple, but then having fun with your serving dishes.

'If you watch any of those cookery programs with Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson, they've always got a fantastic mix of what often looks like vintage plates that they're serving things on,' says Kate.

'Have a variety of mismatched vintage patterns, and that's a really good way to bring interest to a table without distracting from the food.'

Wishbone style chairs around dining table set for Christmas. Four wreaths on a panelled feature wall and gold lit Christmas tree

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

Jack Steiner, UK country manager at TaskRabbit concludes, 'Looking ahead, it's wonderful to see how users are making their spaces their own, no matter how big or small that space may be.'

'Brits are clearly really making the most of every inch, and making their interiors work overtime for style, relaxation, and fun. I've been quite inspired to make sure my home is prepped for a party in 2024!'

Taskrabbit, the platform that connects people with skilled reliable Taskers to get help around the home and garden, has been working with Kate Watson-Smyth on their 2024 interior trend report, revealing what is set to be big in our homes in the coming year. Those looking to get a helping hand can book a Tasker online or on the Taskrabbit app.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.