Get your Christmas table ready: Seven decoration ideas for the festive season

Give your table a festive makeover with these easy Christmas table decoration ideas

‘Tis the season to deck the halls and get your Christmas table ready for a festive feast! 

The Christmas table serves as the centrepiece of the festivities. It’s where friends and family gather to share a meal and create lasting memories. The right decorations can add an extra touch of magic to this special occasion, creating a sense of joy and celebration.

From elegant to fun and whimsical, there are countless ways to transform your dining space into a winter wonderland – and most of them won’t break the bank either.

A bright table set with red, white and green Christmas table decorationsCredit: Talking Tables

But where to start? We quizzed some of the top interior experts to share their simple ways to elevate your table into something full of Christmas spirit.

1. Rustic charm

Baubles and bulbs

Christmas table decoration ideas for a rustic theme with bulbs and satsumasCredit: Rachel Whiting

Decorating for Christmas doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can create a stunning table setting without spending a fortune.

Stylist Selina Lake suggests using what you already have in the house to build a truly unique festive spread.

“Setting the table for a Christmas get-together should spark joy,” she says. “A table layered with linens, peppered with leafy satsumas, glass dishes filled with sparkly vintage baubles, candlelight and bulbs will create a welcoming spread.

Once you’ve laid your table for dinner, add different elements for a stylishly ramshackle look, such as a glass dish filled with vintage baubles or jewel-coloured candles.

“A pot of forced hyacinths adds height and interest at the centre, while sprinkle of foliage, dotted with leafy satsumas are ideal finishing touches,” she says.

Get more inspiration from Lake in the December issue of Saga Magazine, out now.

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Repurpose household items

Look around your house for items that can be repurposed as Christmas decorations. Mason jars can be turned into candle holders, old books can be stacked and tied with a ribbon to create a unique centrepiece, and leftover fabric can be used as a table runner.

2. Merry and bright

Get ready to colour clash

Colour clashing table for Christmas table decorating ideasCredit: Talking Tables

Embrace the vibrant spirit of Christmas by adorning your table with a clashing symphony of bright colours.

Consider combining shades like electric blue, hot pink, lime green, and fiery orange for a playful and energetic atmosphere. Begin with a vibrant tablecloth that sets the tone for the entire table and then mix and match dinnerware and napkins to add an eclectic touch.

To tie the look together, use a variety of eye-catching centrepieces, such as multi-coloured candles, kitsch Christmas decorations or perhaps a vivid floral arrangement. Don’t be afraid to embrace clashing colours – more is more with this look!

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3. Traditionally lovely

Keeping it classic

There’s a reason why festive colour way such as red, white and gold stick around – they scream Christmas, while still being stylish.

Ryan McDonough, interior design expert at MyJobQuote.co.uk, says adding touches of grey will make it look very modern.

“Use a dark grey tablecloth to help really make a red, white and gold theme pop,” he says.

“Place a berry garland across the length of the table. Add some gold birds, red trees, and pillar candles in various sizes in gold candle holders.”

McDonough suggests mixing decorative plates with plain white crockery and finishing it off with gold cutlery and crystal glasses to add a luxurious vibe.

Adding personal touches to a traditional theme can make it extra special says Whelan-Dunk.

“It can simply be some fresh cuttings of holly from the garden, a favourite scented candle or a shiny red tin soldier that appears every year for nostalgia,” she says.

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4. Pastel perfection

Choose accents from your home for inspiration

Pink pastel Christmas table decorations on a table set for dinnerCredit: Chalk Pink Linen Company

Not everyone wants to go for a traditional red and green colour combo. Whelan-Dunk suggests a chic Christmas table decoration idea can be influenced by the style of your home.

“Christmas tables can be created to compliment any decor or style of home,” she says.

“Exploring more unique colours can be fun by building layers of the same shade, adding candles, foliage, name settings and crackers, the options are endless.”

Pastel pink, mixed with silver or gold, makes a beautifully festive look that will also work well for any New Year Eve’s celebrations says Jo Booth, Senior Brand Manager at Viners.

“This year, table settings are moving away from vibrant and even traditional colours, towards muted palettes or pastel schemes with gold and brass accents,” she says.

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Present perfection

Need a quick and easy way to decorate your table? “Wrap a few empty boxes with the same paper as your gifts, plus ribbon and a sprig of foliage, to decorate a mantelpiece or table,” suggests Lake.

5. A hygge Christmas

Cosy and comforting

a lady lighting candles on a A hygge Christmas christmas tableCredit: BoConcept

Hygge is the Scandinavian concept of creating a cosy atmosphere and being with people we love in the comfort of our home. All of which translates so well into Christmas celebration.

One of the other big hallmarks of hygge is the ambient lighting, that helps to create a cosy and calm that atmosphere.

“In Denmark, we mix a lot between artificial warm light and real candles,” says Signe Kok Nielsen, interior stylist from furniture brand BoConcept.

“A popular Danish tradition is to light your advent candle each day to count down to the most hygge day of the year, so to add an extra touch of magic, scatter candles throughout your space, creating a warm and inviting glow reminiscent of a winter wonderland.”

An easy way to do this is by arranging statement candle holders and a variety of different styles and heights of candles across your Christmas table to create a warm festive feeling.

6. Gorgeously green

Bring the outdoors in

A Christmas table full of natural decorations and candlesCredit: Viners

Creating a Christmas table adorned with greenery and foliate elements adds a touch of natural elegance and festive charm to your holiday celebration.

“Farmhouse and woodland inspired settings are proving popular this Christmas, with wooden accessories, botanics and rustic brown paper being used to hold cutlery together or act as place cards for those who like a more formal arrangement,” says Booth.

An easy way to do this is by creating a centrepiece using an assortment of evergreen branches such as pine, cedar, and spruce. This not only looks visually appealing but also fills the air with a refreshing pine scent. Adding elements  like pinecones, holly berries, or small ornaments give some added texture and colour.

Continue the green theme by creating little natural napkin rings. Get simple sprigs of rosemary or thyme tied with string and wind this around napkins for a fragrant and stylish touch.

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7. Winter wonderland

Dreaming of a white Christmas?

Winter Wonderland christmas table decoration ideasCredit: Ginger Ray

While many of us may dream of snow at Christmas, giving your festive table a snowy makeover is super easy – and a whole lot warmer.

“Begin with a crisp white tablecloth layered with a festive table runner in a snowflake design,” suggests McDonough.

“Add a snow- dusted garland across the length of the table and add some star-shaped tealights, decorative winter plants, and some cute star-shaped nibble bowls.”

For place settings he suggests using silver-rimmed crockery and silver cutlery to up the frosty theme, alongside simple folded white napkins.

“Then, add a beautiful festive flourish with a glitzy silver decoration in each bowl,” he says.

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Jayne Cherrington-Cook

Written by Jayne Cherrington-Cook she/her

Updated:

Jayne is the Senior Editor at Saga Exceptional. She cut her online journalism teeth 24 years ago in an era when a dialling tone and slow page load were standard. During this time, she’s written about a variety of subjects and is just at home road-testing TVs as she is interviewing TV stars. A diverse career has seen Jayne launch websites for popular magazines, collaborate with top brands, write regularly for major publications including Woman&Home, Yahoo! and The Daily Telegraph, create a podcast, and also write a tech column for Women’s Own.

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