Making your home beautiful brings satisfaction all year round but especially at Christmas time and especially when entertaining guests. But with tree decorating, gift shopping and present wrapping to organise, the most wonderful time of the year is usually the most hectic and planning a Christmas table setting often gets pushed towards the bottom of our festive to-do lists. But dedicating a little extra TLC to your festive table setting can exalt a beautiful meal into a truly unforgettable dining experience.
Looking for inspiration? Get ahead of the game and make your Christmas magical, not manic, by taking a peek at these luxury Christmas table setting ideas and our step-by-step tips to get the looks.
On Christmas table styling
The creatives behind the frosty winter tablescape above, Stephenson Wright, talk about their passion for Christmas decorating: “We absolutely love styling Christmas tables. This client entrusted us to style her dining table for a winter dinner party she was holding. We knew this was going to be fun; we had a complete free rein and table-scaping is something we love to delve into having hosted workshops in our showroom.”
“For us it’s a case of building, then adding more! For this client, Natalie chose whimsical gold birds to nestle in amongst the flowers; Juliette sourced ceramic artichokes to dot around the table and reflective eglomise place mats on gold chargers—the Posh Trading Company silver leaf range are perfect for this.”
“With the lights dimmed and candles lit it felt so inviting. We like to add a mix of tall tapered candles and tea lights for a layered glow. Flowers we keep to a minimum with simple white wax flowers, rather focusing on the soft greens of eucalyptus and winter berries. Our client had the most wonderful winter here, the apartment hosted friends and family. With a table styling update it will easily transcend into the next season.”
Image Credit: Natalia Miyar
Eclectic Christmas Table Setting
Aside from providing visual beauty, combining natural resources with antique pieces and a much-loved dinner service is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective. The look is perfect for those with a penchant for layered interest.
Step 1: Start by setting a solid foundation for your Christmas table with a metallic gold table cloth—you'll drawn on this colour later for your tableware. Find some tall tapers which will add refinement to the eclectic look.
Step 2: Next, bring the beauty of outdoors indoors by using a foliage centrepiece and naturally beautiful embellishments—like quartz or agate—for a cohesive colour palette. Top each plate with a beautifully wrapped gift.
Step 3: Pair antique glassware and timeless silver cutlery with white napkins, gilded charger plates and metallic china. When lit, your the soft candlelight from your tall tapers will reflect beautifully in the metallic finishes and cut glass.
LuxDeco 100 designer Natalia Miyar educates on how to make a Christmas table setting feel a little more special: "Lots of greenery and lots and lots of candlelight. You can use the same plates and cutlery but by adding a sprig of fir or a pine cone at each setting you transform the table. I include food references for the season, dried fruits, fresh fruit, foliage and berries."
Image Credit: Holiday House NYC
Colourful & Modern Christmas Table Setting
Be bold this Christmas with a directional table spread replete with bold, mismatched patterns and contemporary aesthetics. The key to this look is to have it feel nonchalant and layered with unique pieces.
Step 1: Choose an accent colour or two which can be used to add interest to timeless metallic hues. This arrangement's peach and teal additions—reflected in the table runner, cutlery, marble coasters and dining chairs—are evidence that non-traditional Christmas colours work well.
Step 2: A combination of different place settings is equal parts casual and statement-making and easy. No need to worry about matching place settings, particularly if you're hosting a large crowd—just mix in a different style and you're good!
Step 3: Similarly, adding a pattern which isn't a traditional Christmas pattern is another way unconventionalists can bring their own flair to a Christmas table setting. The geometric side dishes, ombre tumblers and patterned gold stemware of this arrangement offer it a contemporary eclecticism.
Image Credit: Holiday House NYC
Refined Gold Christmas Table Setting
If you're in charge of playing host or hostess with the mostess to a large group, you'll undoubtedly be inspired by the long refined table above. On closer inspection, you'll find blended visual textures and plenty of golden tones.
Step 1: This look begins with a long centrepiece or foliage interspersed with Christmas tree baubles and elegant golden twigs on a gold table runner. This look can be used to inspired your Christmas wreath, tree and mantel decorations too.
Step 2: Christmas dining provides an opportunity to be a little more creative with your tableware. If you're typically a classic white fan, opt for a dinnerware service which has a unique pattern for a festive twist.
Step 3: Accent with gold cutlery, striking metal chargers and flawless stemware and finish off with a silver and gold crackers for the ultimate Christmas table signature.
Image Credit: Oliver Burns
Glamorous Christmas Table Setting
Channel a truly glamorous display this season with a crystal and gold Christmas table setting. The beauty of this look is that it’s opulent enough for Christmas but not overly festive, so the pieces can be used from season to season.
Step 1: Start with a gold-trimmed tableware collection on a sleek dark wood dining table (forgoing the tablecloth for a contemporary twist). A combination of traditional and modern plates will balance the look, giving it a sense of contemporary luxury.
Step 2: Take style tips from this spread which uses decorative crystal glasses to bring sparkle to the setting and crystal candelabras with fluted pillars and curving arms to conjure thoughts of old world dining.
Step 3: Finally, the look wouldn’t be complete without its luxurious gold additions. From its cutlery and dinnerware to glassware and napkins, they’re all finished with a Midas touch, creating an instant feeling of luxury.
Image Credit: LuxDeco
Modern Heritage Christmas Table Setting
This look from Sophie Paterson doesn’t break the boundaries in terms of layout but it does put a contemporary spin on a handsome traditional table. Like everything else the designer puts her hand to, the look isn’t just an attractive Christmas table setting but also conveys a luxurious lifestyle.
Step 1: With feather motifs, horn napkin rings and classic linen placemats, the styling has Sophie Paterson's typical heritage feel and is the perfect fit for a country manor or home of a hunting enthusiast.
Step 2: The delicate silver-toned china chosen here is another modern element which gives a fresh take to the look. Whether completely patterned or simply trimmed with one, the goal is to choose a contemporary motif in favour of the more traditional such as tartan.
Step 3: The look is given a modern twist with the addition of and modern cutlery and glassware with a distinctly refined attitude. Remember the most effective Christmas table settings are the ones that reflect the personal tastes of the homeowner—show your personality.
Step 3: Because you can’t beat an immaculately set Christmas table, the look sticks with a traditional occasion dinner layout. Whether you’re a fan of Christmas breakfast, lunch or dining on Christmas eve our guide to setting a table will keep you right.
Image Credit: AERIN
Classic Christmas Table Setting
Take your Christmas table setting in a traditional direction by using this look from luxury lifestyle brand AERIN as inspiration. The combination of traditional colours, rich patterns and classic glistening silverware make this look the one for fans of timeless Christmas decoration.
Step 1: The look demonstrates that a tightly packed setting can also pack a festive punch. Leaving little-exposed table space, this display is filled with luxurious pieces, achieving a festive treasure-trove feel.
Step 2: Seasonal additions—gold presents tied neatly with bows and AERIN's Geo Bowls brimming with holiday treats—make the setting even more magical. Thinking beyond tableware is the key to extraordinary presentation. Get creative and bring other elements to the tabletop.
Step 3: Blending red, green and gold hues will always result in a thoroughly festive feel. If you’re pushed for time or struggling to decide on a colour scheme, these shades will accelerate your Christmas table setting from standard to success.
Image Credit: Helen Green Design
Winter Woodland Table Setting
Transform your dining room into a winter woodland (à la Helen Green Design) and let thoughts of frosty woodland influence your style choices this Christmas. This look is formal but comfortable and easy to recreate, making it the solution for super-busy city slickers desiring a touch of the countryside come December 25th.
Step 1: Achieve this styling by using a natural garland as a table runner this Christmas. The mix of brown pine cones, red flowers, and green foliage adds up to a textured feel and a woodland colour palette. Layering textures and materials is the key to creating a truly luxurious Christmas table setting.
Step 2: Emulate the look by including luxurious tabletop companions in your display. The look combines wine glasses with impressive silhouettes, coloured Limoges porcelain dinnerware and sizeable candle holders, innovatively filled with miniature pine cones.
Step 3: When tucking into a feast, it’s important to be comfortable and that’s why this Christmas table setting is accompanied by curved back chairs, each complete with a sumptuous cushion, and low centrepieces which make conversing easy.
Image Credit: Martha Stewart
Clean & Cool Christmas Table Setting
At times, Christmas decor can involve an overload of glitter and garish colours. For the neutralists out there, this stripped back setting from Martha Stewart is ideal. The look goes back to basics with the absence of a tablecloth, napkin rings and by keeping tableware to a minimum. Splashes of festive florals and metallic finishes make the display still feel like Christmas.
Step 1: Imitate the look by creating a neutral foundation with white dinnerware complete with festive motif, silver cutlery and simple checked napkins. A clean colour palette helps to create a calming atmosphere, preempting a smooth-running meal.
Step 2: ‘Tis the season to be jolly after all and fun touches to bring personality to your Christmas table will make your setting a hit with the whole family. Make use of adorable reindeers in a cool, contemporary manner and sprigs of greenery in modern glass vases for added charisma.
Step 3: While a formally set Christmas table looks the part, endless tableware can seem over the top for intimate gatherings and parties with young children. Keep it fuss-free for your guests (and avoid lots of washing up) by limiting the number of plates, cutlery and glassware.
Image Credit: Lisa Luby Ryan
Opulent Christmas Table Setting
Channel laid-back opulence by using this look as your muse this Christmas. With its sophisticated metallic colour palette and soft candlelight, it’s the ultimate look for those after a charming, not chintzy, Christmas.
Step 1: Play with contrasts in your home which effectively contrasts an undone table with a dressed-up tabletop.
Step 2: Embrace metallic shades of gold and silver to create a lavish sensibility. In this Christmas table setting, ornate cutlery and napkins ring come in a luxurious silver hue while its dinnerware is finished with gold flourishes.
Step 3: It’s the little details that make this table setting extra special. Be inspired by the delicate place cards complete with handwritten names, dainty salt and pepper holders, glass knife rests and simple votives.
Image Credit: Vista Alegre
Black, White & Gold Christmas Table Setting
A colour palette befitting a nighttime Christmas dinner party, black, white and gold tableware is equally sophisticated for other times of the year too. Depending on how you balance the colours the look feels different—more black and it reads "decadent"; more white or gold and it's much more festive.
Step 1: First, decide on how intense you want the main background colour to be. You might prefer a black tablecloth but, for Christmastime, that seems a little harsh. We suggest a white or gold tablecloth which you can pepper with black accents for a stylish arrangement.
Step 2: Layer the colours appropriately. For a gold charger, choose black or white dinner plates, a different colour for side plates, continuing for as many layers of plates your setting requires. Adjust accordingly—for a black charger, use white or gold dinner plates, for example.
Step 3: Add unexpected elements. Not everything on a Christmas table has to be functional. Decorative elements can be added to create interest which then double up as take-home gifts. These little bell trinkets add a festive flourish which guests can keep as a reminder of their dinner with you.