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Christmas dinner table
December 2019
Reading time 4

Struggling for some Christmas table inspiration? Design guru Vanessa Arbuthnott shares her top ideas for your festive table

Christmas is centred around food, family, love and presents – it is a time of giving and receiving and making your loved ones feel special. The Christmas dinner is at the heart of all festive celebrations so if you are hosting your family and friends this year, you need to be sure to set the Christmas table with beautiful lashings of festive joy. You might want a traditional angle this year with accents of pine green and bold reds, or a modern theme with twig trees and minimalistic Christmas sparkles.

If you are in the need of some inspiration, then you have come to the right place. Here, Vanessa Arbuthnott has shared her top seven festive Christmas dinner table ideas, so the guests remember more than the dinner on their plates!


This look is traditional but very effective in making a lasting impression. You can combine the festive hues with the bold red colour palette and the green leaves for a country Christmas look. A table runner would be a good start to set the scene with a berry print accompanied with foliage and classic glass lanterns. In terms of the extra accessories, keep it simple in a bid not to draw attention away from the berries – so think white napkins and red candles.


Christmas isn’t just about the baubles on your tree – move them to your Christmas dinner table as the ultimate accessory. Opt for colours and designs that match your theme and crockery and place them wherever you see fit such as in the centrepiece, in glasses, place settings or in the bowls. Avoid the glittery materials directly touching the plates as this leaves behind a glittery residue!


A common link between Christmas and décor is sparkle… and lots of it! Fairy lights are used to jazz up a Christmas tree and the hallways, but have you ever thought about implementing this into your dinner table? You can use lights to highlight a focal point such as a centrepiece, or you can buy ornaments that have a glitter embellishment. A little sparkle around the table will translate into festive joy. 


Nature themes are a good way to incorporate a modern theme into your Christmas dinner settings. Think green leaves and minimalistic linens to create a calm atmosphere. A quirky addition is also using a rock as a name place, simply use a metallic marker to engrave the name and your guests will be very impressed with your unique and natural efforts. 

Mini Christmas Trees

Nothing says a festive joy like mini trees! Mini trees are can be easily made and then used as place settings – or you can buy miniature ones from craft shops or even card shops. If you have a real Christmas tree you can even cut branches from the back to add a personal touch to your dinner table. Go the extra mile and dress the trees with mini baubles. 

Dark Themes

If your tabletop is of a darker colour palette, instead of hiding it away, embrace it! You can create a monochrome scheme with lighter accents by combining contrasting tones such as black and white. Team this look up with simple accessories such as baby pink napkins and copper gold touches in the form of glassware. 

Colour Pop

Go for a less obvious choice this year and surprise your guests with a colour pop! Opt for a colour which suits your surroundings. For example, if you have a cream dining room opt for a teal theme which will sit nicely. Team the vibrant colour with lashings of gold or silver and minimal decoration on the centrepiece to avoid a clash.

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