The main event of any Christmas day is the dinner, and Christmas table settings are an essential element of a family meal on the big day.
There are lots of elements to consider when creating the perfect setting, from candles, place-mats, place settings and centerpieces, to small touches like chair decorations and crackers. That said, it doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated. With this in mind, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to set a table for Christmas dinner so you can achieve a beautiful and classy look with ease, without overcooking the turkey!
Christmas colour schemes
To make an impact, you can’t beat a striking colour scheme. Silvers and golds add to a classy, classic feel, while purples, teals and blacks help create a more modern look. Crisp table linens and white crockery look fantastic when paired with gold candlesticks and metallic ornamental flourishes. If you want to add a hit of formal glamour, you could consider tying fabrics around the chair backs.
If you’re looking for something a little more refined and sophisticated, minimal tableware and black and gold accents work perfectly.
Firstly, as mentioned, consider your table linen to enhance the overall look of your dining room. Here at Couleur Nature we have a beautiful range of French tablecloths to suit every time of year - including a selection that look great during the festive season. A tablecloth can really lay the foundation for the overall colour scheme and mood of your room.
A great alternative to a French tablecloth, if you’d like to keep some of your table exposed, is to use a table runner with a splash of color, which can quickly add glamor to your Christmas table. If you’re not sure of what size you’ll need for your table, consult our handy size guide.
Christmas table settings
Our mantra is to keep things elegant yet simple - it’s Christmas, so you’re going to have lots going on, whether it’s children running around, ensuring your guests’ drinks are topped up, keeping on top of organising the food. So here are our top tips to creating simple Christmas table settings that look fantastic.
Let’s start with the basics: placemats. Couleur Nature have a range of machine washable fabric placemats that are perfect for the holiday season. Choose a set that complements your tablecloth or runner for a truly festive look.
For a simple and effective way to lay out your plates, start with a large base plate at each setting - gold or silver works well for the holiday season and adds a decadent feel. Place the dinner plate on top of the base plate, and finally, the starter plate on the top of the dinner plate. This layered look not only saves you time in not having to bring out the plates for each course, but adds a touch of class.
Next, you should place the coasters at the top right of each placemat.
Cutlery is often a big worry for people setting the Christmas table but our advice is to keep it informal and simple. Follow these guidelines: first, place the dessert spoon on the outside right, then the starter knife and fork closer to the plate, and finally lay the main course cutlery closest to the plate.
When it comes to drinking glasses, we advise a similar ‘keep it simple’ principle: set down the glasses in the following order from left to right as you look at the place setting:
- red wine glass
- white wine glass
- water glass
If you have one set of glasses that is slightly tinted this can do wonders to add a bit of accent, colour and dynamic to your Christmas table.
A lovely decorative detail for your wine glass is a festive charm which can add a touch of personality and fun to the table (plus it stops people getting their drinks confused when they’re mingling after the meal!).
Finally, for a great, cost-effective way to create place name holders, simply wrap some tissue paper in the table colour scheme around your hand, then put in a decorative tin or plant pot, with a name tag on it. Voila: a great personalised touch that adds to the overall festive feeling.
A great finishing touch is a linen napkin - these bring elegance to your Christmas table setting, particularly when finished with a napkin ring.
One option is to simply fold your napkins in half and rest them on the nest of plates. An alternative is this trick which creates a pouch to put your cutlery in. Follow these simple steps to create a beautiful cutlery holder:
- Fold the napkin in half, then again, to make a square.
- Fold the top left corner diagonally so it reaches the bottom right.
- Turn the napkin over.
- Bring the right side of the napkin to the centre, followed by the left.
- Flip it back over and you’ll see you’ve created a pocket for your cutlery as an alternative to putting it next to the plates. Pop the cutlery in and place the napkin to the left of the plates.
Christmas table ideas
If you’ve some some leftover baubles from your Christmas tree, why not use them as part of your Christmas table setting? You could have them hanging, pendant-like, over the table or scatter them among the tableware. For a dramatic effect, combine hanging baubles with vintage ornaments, elegant candelabras or table centerpieces and vibrant colors.
Christmas table decorations
Last but not least, if you’re in need of a focal point for your table, a Christmas table centerpiece could be just the thing you need. Take a baking tin and tape some garlands of ivy around the outside rim. Use some adhesive putty to secure some candles into the base of the tray, then cover the bottom of the tray with colored pebbles from a craft store. Finally, arrange some fruit amongst the pebbles.
Your Christmas table should now be set perfectly, so all you have to worry about is having a good time and enjoying your meal...oh, and don’t forget the Christmas crackers!