Christmas Table Styling
By Belinda Neame. Instagram: @beeneame
Table styling can be a little overwhelming and the question is often asked ‘where do I start?’ My advice is to start by building a base for your Xmas tablescapes. Pieces like timeless dinner sets, cutlery, table linen and glassware. Keep your base neutral, this way you can easily change it up every year by adding in a different feature colour/s. I like to break my table concepts down into two parts:
CREATING THE SCENE
Start with a feature piece/s. I call this the anchor. It’s often the element that creates your colour theme and pulls the table together. Think a floral arrangement running down the centre of the table with a cluster of candles or perhaps some potted colour or foliage in ceramic pots. Always remember to keep centrepieces low so they don’t inhibit your guests from talking to each other.
Alternatively, use the end of the table to create a feature piece so it allows room down the centre of the table for food and drinks. A cluster of potted pine trees dressed with Xmas ornaments really sets the festive mood. Wrap the pots in brown paper and finish them with a ribbon and Xmas ornament. Plants create a beautiful, textural feature and they can then be planted out into your garden after Xmas so there is no waste! If you have space above your table to hang some festive bunting or a beautiful festive wreath, this will add another layer to your table design so it doesn’t all sit low. Just remember to hang it before you move onto dressing the table so you aren’t trying to balance across a table that is all set and decorated!
DRESSING THE TABLE
Tablecloths are beautiful for a formal style table or perhaps a set of placemats for a more relaxed feel. Once you have your tablecloth or placemats in place, move onto your place settings using your dinnerware and glassware. To add interest to your table, don’t be afraid to mix it up. For example, use matching dinner plates and side plates but add a different bowl. There are no rules! As a space saver, I like to create a stack – dinner plate, napkin, side plate and then the bowl. Instead of traditional Bon Bon’s, use some ribbon and tie your cutlery together with a little gift like a brooch or earrings. I love this idea as you can tailor the gifts to your guests. Here you can also place name cards on the table if you are going for a more formal style.
Once your tableware is set and your cutlery is in place, it’s time to add your glassware. I generally work off a 3 glass per person rule – 2 wine glasses and a water tumbler. Mix up the water tumblers and use ceramic cups instead to add more texture to the table.
Finally, at each end of the table, add a cluster of small ceramic jugs for sauces and gravy, condiments and salt and pepper so your guests don’t have to be reaching across each other. Place large, flat style ceramic bowls and serving plates through the centre of the table ready for your meat, salads and veggies.
And there you have it! A beautiful festive table that you can change up and build on year after year.