How to lay a Christmas table: Interior designers share ‘key’ to ‘perfect’ tablescape

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How to lay a Christmas table: Interior designers share ‘key’ to ‘perfect’ tablescape

Christmas tables are often decorated with candles, festive plants, twinkle lights, colorful tablecloths and matching cutlery. A beautiful and inspiring Christmas table can set the scene for the perfect festive day and can even be used later to celebrate New Year’s Eve. A Christmas centerpiece can make the festive season special and memorable with crackers, place settings and even tablecloths adding a personal touch to the festivities.

For those keen to do something special to celebrate the big day, Vicki Foster, Interior Stylist at SCS has partnered with table creation specialist Lucy Whiddett, of @the.table.stylist, to share a definitive guide on using interior design to create an unforgettable experience for guests.

Set a theme

Lucy suggested “choosing a theme and color” for the event that takes into account your personality and style, the season and the event itself.

Lucy said: “I often build a theme around a specific item such as a nutcracker and choose three colors that fall into your chosen palette: primary, secondary and accent.

A Nutcracker table top will have red as primary, pink as secondary and gold as an accent.

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Starting with the tablecloth as a base, choose a primary color or a neutral tone.

A table runner is a great option for those who like to expose the wood colors of their tables.

Lucy continued: “From here you build up with napkins and cutlery, which is especially important for placing multiple plates.

“Don’t be afraid to mix and match your dishes and glassware from different sets and patterns, it just adds to the personality of your table.

“Give each guest one glass each for water and wine with glassware. Another great tip is to buy tiny pegs and use them to add some rosemary or pine for that extra festive touch.”

But layering doesn’t have to stop at the table. Chairs and seats can also be placed on layers.

Guests should feel comfortable and relaxed when they sit at your Christmas table.

READ MORE: Christmas decorations: Tablescape tips – ‘start with the tablecloth’

Include cushions, blankets or extra padding in seats for extra comfort.

If you have sofa seating, provide an extra thick blanket for maximum comfort.

Choose height and light

Vicki said good lighting is “key” to setting the tone for the dining room and creating an atmosphere to complement the occasion.

She said: “Using lamps, relying too much on the ceiling light, can be great for creating a cozy and inviting feeling in the room.

“Opting for light bulbs that have a soft golden hue can also add a depth of warmth, perfect for winter.”

Lucy agreed, saying height is “one of the most important steps” in creating tables that can be found in magazines.

Taper candles and candelabras are one of the “best ways” to add height to tables.

“I suggest varying the heights of the candles down the center of your table and interspersing them with string and tea lights to create that festive warmth and glow,” added Lucy.

Don’t forget the smaller details

Vicki said: “Smaller details make all the difference in creating an inviting and festive theme throughout the home. Wreaths and wreaths make great wall decor, along with swapping out any photos or prints that are hung up for photos with a Christmas feel to really emphasize the theme.”

Lucy continued: “Flowers and foliage are an easy way to add that drama to your tablescape, here it really is ‘more is more’.

“Try adding a few small bud vases down the center of the table to create a meadow look. They can then be scattered around your home after the event for added joy.

“You can also use other decorative items that you already have in your home, special trinkets, fruit, chocolates, trinkets, foraged foliage from the garden or even homemade items for the most cost-friendly option.

“Consider a few small additions that make the table feel extra personal, like handwritten menu cards on top of each dinner plate or place name cards – you can get really creative with these and it’s a fun way to give your tablescape more personality.”

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