Making your home beautiful brings satisfaction all year round but especially at Christmas time. When the weather turns frosty and dark nights draw in, there’s nothing better than taking a carefully curated approach to your interior design by creating your very own at-home winter wonderland. But with tree decorating, gift shopping and present wrapping to organise (not to mention squeezing time to attend all those social invitations) the most wonderful time of the year is usually the most hectic and sparing a thought to the Christmas table setting is one job that often gets pushed towards the bottom of our festive to-do lists.
Let’s not forget that Christmas dinner at the dining table is possibly the most important culinary rendezvous of the year. It’s a time to rustle up your finest cuisine, an occasion when loved ones from near and far gather together, and the setting for this special annual event deserves a thoughtful approach. Dedicating a little extra TLC to your festive table setting is so worth it and 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.
1. Natural Christmas Table Setting
This first look celebrates the beauty of nature. Aside from providing visual beauty, natural resources are environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Starting with a beautiful purist foundation, made up of white chairs with coordinating tablecloth and dinnerware, the look is perfect for those with a penchant for simplicity.
Image Credit: A Mere Life
How to Set This Christmas Table:
Start by setting a natural tone with your Christmas table’s surroundings. Draw inspiration from this arrangement which uses an oversized green wreath, slender trees at either side of the fireplace and an enchanting scattering of pine cones across the mantlepiece.
Bring the beauty of outdoors indoors by using a floral centrepiece and natural embellishments. This particular setting uses a tightly packed bouquet of white roses, accented with hints of green, and creates a cohesive colour palette by prettily topping each plate with a festive artichoke.
When it comes to layout, this look is all about precision. White napkins are kept neatly in place with monochrome striped napkin rings; understated white chinaware is dressed up with luxurious transparent charger plates; timeless silver cutlery is displayed just as attentively as the white votives that bring soft candlelight to the Christmas table setting.
2. Opulent Christmas Table Setting
Image Credit: Lisa Luby Ryan
How to Lay This Christmas Table:
The look starts with an aged wood table, showing distressed paintwork for a rustic effect. Play with contrasts in your home which effectively contrasts an undone table with a dressed-up tabletop.
Embrace metallic shades of gold and silver to create a lavish sensibility. In this shot, ornate cutlery and napkins ring come in a luxurious silver hue while its dinnerware is finished with gold flourishes.
It’s the little details that make this Christmas table setting extra special. Be inspired by the delicate place cards complete with handwritten names, dainty salt and pepper holders, glass knife rests and votives which flicker candlelight beautifully off the surface of the glassware.
Image Credit: Oliver Burns
3. Glamorous Christmas Table Setting
Our third look is a truly glamorous display fit for those with a competitive streak, determined to be the host or hostess with the mostess. 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. Distinguished by exquisite materials and luxurious colours, this look sets the foundations for an impressive festive feast.
How to Set This Festive Table:
The look satisfies cravings for modern and traditional styling simultaneously. It fuses old and new aesthetics by opting for a sleek dark wood dining table (forgetting the tablecloth for a contemporary twist) whilst nodding to tradition with patterned crockery and stemware.
Take style tips from this spread which uses crystal glasses to bring a high-sheen to the setting and two crystal candelabras with fluted pillars and curving arms to conjure thoughts of impressive architecture.
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: Ralph Lauren Home
4. Modern Heritage Christmas Table Setting
This look from Ralph Lauren Home doesn’t break the boundaries in terms of layout but it does experiment with prints. Like everything else the brand puts its hand to, the look isn’t just an attractive Christmas table setting but also conveys a luxurious lifestyle.
How to Lay This Festive Table:
With feather motifs, leather napkin rings, a plaid tablecloth and traditional cutlery and glassware, the styling has Ralph Lauren’s typical heritage feel and is the perfect fit for a country manor or home of a hunting enthusiast.
The look is given a modern twist with the addition of leopard charger plates with a distinctly bold attitude. Remember the most effective Christmas table settings are the ones that reflect the personal tastes of the homeowner, so don’t back down to Christmas tradition and show your personality.
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
5. 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, patterns and classic glistening silverware make this look the one for fans of timeless Christmas decoration.
How to recreate This christmas Table setting:
The look demonstrates that a tightly packed setting can be a positive characteristic. Leaving little-exposed table space, this display is filled with luxurious pieces, achieving a cosy rather than crammed mood.
Festive additions, from the gold present tied neatly with a bow to the glamorous Aerin 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, whether it’s filling a statement vase with exquisite baubles or using the sheet music of your favourite Christmas carol as placemats.
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
6. 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.
How to recreate This Festive Table setting:
Achieve this styling by using a natural garland as a table runner this Christmas. The mix of brown pine cones, red flowers, and green leafage add up to a textured feel and a woodland colour palette, which is maintained by the natural wood table and mirror frame. Layering textures and materials is the key to creating a truly luxurious Christmas table setting, according to Design Director Natalia Miyar. “I like to fill my table with beautiful objects and conversational items. Christmas is a time for long-drawn-out meals and I like to be surrounded by interesting and tactile things to enjoy and talk about in-between courses.”
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. “I never like to match tableware,” explains Natalia. “I like to layer together two or three contrasting sets and I always keep silverware and glassware immaculately polished – the small details make a big difference. Candles are welcoming at this time of year and floristry is a must have; there is something so inviting about a table filled with flowers.”
When tucking into a feast, it’s important to be comfortable and that’s why this Christmas table setting is accompanied by arched-backed chairs, each complete with a sumptuous cushion. “A common faux pas is to include centrepieces which are too high and block your guests from interacting comfortably,” says Natalia. “Keep your decorations and floristry low so that everybody can see other clearly.”
Image Credit: Martha Stewart
7. 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.
How to recreate This Festive Table setting:
Imitate the look by creating a neutral foundation with a light wood table, white dinnerware complete with elegant decoration, silver cutlery and simple checked napkins. A clean colour palette helps to create a calming atmosphere, preempting a smooth-running meal.
‘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.
While a formally set Christmas table looks the part, endless tableware can seem over the top for intimate gatherings and parties with young children. If you want to keep it fuss-free for your guests (and avoid lots of washing up), limit the number of plates, cutlery and glassware.