Design Experts Reveal How To Decorate The Perfect Christmas Table

Christmas table decorations

The festive season overwhelm may be creeping in: presents to buy, christmas decorations to sort, fairy lights to untangle. Thankfully, we have enlisted the people in the know to help with the main event. That’s right, dinner on the 25th need not be scary with their top suggestions on everything from centrepieces to charger plates.

There’s undeniably a lot to think about in the run-up to the holidays, but we hope to bring a little joy to the crazy Christmas rollercoaster; there’s enough to deal with without having to worry about which napkins to lay on the table. The following women are specialists in interior design, floristry and, of course, the wonderful art of tablescaping. So read on for their brilliant, yet effortless advice on how to make your dining table an Insta-worthy spectacle minus the stress. 

Rebecca Udall, Buyer & Founder of Rebecca Udall: Fine Linens & Luxury Tableware, an independent British lifestyle brand


  • Layering is key; use votives and tapered candles interspersed with bud vases filled with seasonal blooms to create height across the table. Also think about the lower levels – I rarely set a table without using a charger; our rattan ones are perfect for adding texture without being too bold, and it means the table itself never looks flat, even once plates are removed.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix prints and textures, but try to use each colour more than once throughout the scheme to avoid one element overpowering the overall look. This year, I am using our Hellebore printed tablecloth with highlights of burgundy.
  • The finishing touches make all the difference; this year I will be adding a little gift at each table setting, wrapped in beautiful paper, as well as handwriting place names – fresh figs make the perfect name-card holders.


Ultimately, there's no true right or wrong way: the most important factor is to make guests feel welcome and provide delight.

Lizzie Crocker, Interiors Stylist & Creative Director at Polkra.

  • Always opt for candle light; nothing gives that magical sense of Christmas than candle lit dinners. I would go for a brass or metallic coloured candle holder and dot them down the table, staggering them to give guests the opportunity to talk through the gaps. Great brass candle holders can be found second hand or faux brass ones from high street stores like Zara Home. 
  • Focus on your table linen; this is where you can set the theme. I like a dark table linen, so my plates and brass candlesticks jump out against a navy blue. I particularly like the Summerill & Bishop celestial range for Christmas. Tying the napkins with a velvet ribbon and adding a little bell or sprig of mistletoe is a wonderful final touch too.
  • I like to add blue pine and berried eucalyptus down the centre – it gives a lovely smell and helps the candlesticks sit nicely on the table so they aren’t too lost. A lovely idea I saw recently was paper flowers for a more sustainable approach. They can be kept and used again or recycled – Etsy has a great selection.


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I would recommend candles from Esther and Erik, True Grace dinner candles and St. Eval.

Lotte Fynboe, Founder and Creative Director of OYOY Living Design

  •  I always prefer a check or striped tablecloth in neutral linens in natural materials, like organic cotton, which have a beautiful texture to make your tableware stand out. For the napkins, instead of the traditional ring, opt for twine or cord with a touch of greenery to tie in with the napkin. A cinnamon stick or dried orange also works well and gives off a beautiful aroma.
  • Ceramic plates and serveware in muted tones with a modern, minimalist style make for a pared-back look with understated elegance. Not everything has to be fully coordinated – an unmatched setting gives a more laid-back feel when it comes to dining.
  •  Beautiful and high-quality glassware is an essential element within a festive tablescape. Add the elegant Mizu wine or coupe glasses and water carafe with the unique striped design. Each piece is mouthblown and has a handcrafted feel.

Sophia Ayrton-Grime , interior designer and founder of Atelier Raff, a home and lifestyle brand from interior design company Studio Raff


  • My first tip is to always choose your theme, opting for one or two colours only, and sticking to it. For example, this year my theme is Ruby Red; I’ll use my Candy Cane stripe tablecloth as the base and build on it with various hues of red, beautiful white bone china, a foraged centerpiece and various red-hued baubles, finished with bespoke Atelier Raff stationary.
  • Get personal. For me, a really special touch at Christmas is having a bespoke menu and name cards, which you can keep as momentums once the day is over. We have a selection of pre-made designs at Atelier Raff, but also offer a spoke service, where I can create a unique name place and menu card matched to your tablescape vision.
  • Every year I make a foraged centrepiece, made of foliage found in the woodlands near my home. It’s so easy to make; all you need is some Oasis TerraBrick (which is fully compostable made from plant-based, renewable, natural coir and a compostable binder) and a selection of twigs, branches and berries. Once you have everything, start building up your centrepiece – I like to make mine just short of the length of the table and wide.


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For me I love bold, maximalist interiors with pops of colour, so the bigger the better!

Harriet Pringle, founder of Narchie,  the social marketplace for homeware.

  • I’m a great believer that you can create an incredible tablescape, which is chic but also sustainable and doesn’t cost a fortune. The secret is to decorate your table with pieces that you can use all year round.
  • Layer with beautiful plates, cutlery and glassware; I always love to use either vintage or handmade pieces, as these are lovely conversational pieces and add character to the table. Never worry about mismatching items; as long as you love the pieces, they will work. In fact, one of my entertaining hacks is that I always buy mismatched vintage champagne coupes if I see them. They can be used for cocktails, wine and as pudding bowls, so they are multifunctional.


  • For napkins, a ruffled edge or bold print always adds a sense of occasion. I love the Atelier Raff Candy Cane Stripe napkins. For an extra touch, I love wrapping velvet ribbon around napkins for an inexpensive but decorative bespoke napkin ring. This year I’m trying to keep away from single-use crackers, and a great alternative is Happy Crackers. Although they’re more expensive, you can re-use them each year, and they always come in beautiful fabric.
  • Always finish off your tablescape with candles, as they create ambiance and give the table a lovely glow. Choose brass or gold candlesticks; you can find amazing vintage and antique candlesticks and candelabras that are really affordable. Then fill with coloured candles in either red, white or green to fit with the Christmas brief. We also have some lovely hand-painted candles on the app, which would look lovely on any tablescape.

Nikki Tibbles, Founder of Wild at Heart, one of the most celebrated British luxury florists.

  • Christmas is my favourite time of year to use foliage, as there are so many beautiful textures and shades. I love using pine, holly, mistletoe, ivy, lichen branches and herbs like rosemary for table arrangements. I fill bud vases with fresh green foliage and add rose-hips for a touch of colour.
  • For centrepieces, it depends on the size and shape of your table. If it’s long, use lots of individual arrangements running down the centre or, if you have a big round table, I like a big wreath in the middle of the table with masses of candles. You can take the wreath from your front door and put it on the table, which is a great way to reuse decorations.
  • If you don’t have fresh cut flowers, use paper white daffodils, heather, hyacinth bulbs and amaryllis bulbs in pots instead. I love to fill the table with mini potted Christmas trees.
  • Don’t forget to layer chairs and benches with throws and cushions to add texture and warmth.

Shop Christmas table decorations below…


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