The ways in which we style and set our Christmas table has changed somewhat in recent years. We’ve moved away from formal and fancy dining and instead, we’re embracing the more contemporary idea of sharing, of digging in, of ‘all hands-on deck’, and in general, we’re leaning towards a more relaxed Christmas atmosphere. This new approach is mirrored in our festive styling, which more and more, lends itself to the idea of a scrumptious feast among friends and family. With that in mind, throw the rules of days gone by out the window and behold the best in new and contemporary ideas for dressing the perfect Christmas table, starting with a blank canvas.
1. Think about tablecloths
Traditionally, a white linen tablecloth would be laid out for Christmas dinner. Today, we’re a little more brave and creative – why not purchase a rich, textured throw that can be draped across the table in a more relaxed fashion? This adds instant warmth and atmosphere, allowing for your table layering to begin.
Charger plates, bowls, plates and throw – Homesense
PS – charger plates are a Christmas tradition we still enjoy, get yourself a set of hammered gold or brass charger plates and use these as your placemats.
2. Plates with personality
Consider a variety of patterns among your plates and bowls that don’t necessarily have to match to perfection. This adds personality to your table, as well as colour.
Rose gold and white saucer, €5.99 Homesense
3. Sharing is caring
Pick up a couple of beautiful servers for your Christmas dinner staples with a gold or marble-style finish to add a little luxury to the table. Be it for the main course or dessert, this adds further points of interest, colour, as well as doing away with the task of filling up every person’s plate in advance of sitting down. And don’t forget the sweet treats – display a selection of mince pies or your Christmas cake on a stunning tray.
Marble tray with gold deer antlers, €39.99 Homesense
Hectagon cake tray with lid, €39.99, Homesense
4. No centerpiece
Sometimes, a centrepiece is impractical. You’ll need this space for the Christmas turkey so instead, why not arrange a string of copper wired lights down the centre of the table? This adds atmosphere without taking up space. You can also incorporate in sprigs of faux foliage to add further texture and colour to the table.
String lights, TK Maxx
5. Let there be light
Of course, whatever your decor style, no Christmas table is complete without its fair share of candles. Either choose a series of small tea lights or for a more minimal aesthetic, choose one larger candle with a delightful festive fragrance.
Candles – TK Maxx
6. Leftover baubles
For added decoration, remember that Christmas tree baubles – small and large – need not just be for the tree itself. For something entirely different, place a few striking baubles on the table and watch as the light from the fairy lights and candles flicker off them.
Acorn bauble, €5.99 Homesense.
7. The drinks trolley
This is a separate styling opportunity where you can keep all festive drinks and glassware, meaning your dinner table is less cluttered. There are countless ways to style a drinks trolley. For maximum impact, keep it simple. Choose a trolley with a reflective finish, decorate with the cocktail making essentials, a candle and some faux foliage and you’re good to go.
Drinks Trolley, Homesense.
8. Get cosy
The goal with your Christmas table is to create something out of the ordinary, something a little bit special, and that’s where faux fur throws come in handy. Throw one over the chairs on either end of the table and you’ve got instant winter wonderland vibes. The more texture, the better.
Faux Fur Throw, Homesense.
Last but by no means least, we are once again embracing traditional signage. Mixing in hand-written place names, using nice rustic card (which you’ll have a lot of fun creating) is a really nice way to make your dinner table setting feel special. And on the subject of DIY, don’t forget how incredibly easy it is to take a small sprig of foliage – faux or fresh – wrap a little bit of twine around it and place it on each person’s napkin. A little bit of effort goes a long way at Christmas.