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Dressing your dining table for the perfect festive feast

Maia Devereux Maia Devereux
eclectic  by PAULSBECK, Eclectic
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Whether or not you're celebrating Christmas, Christmas-time is a good excuse to take some time to celebrate with friends, family and colleagues. While it may be a bit late in the month to think about remodelling your dining room, you can easily give it a bit of pep and zing with table decorations. Festive periods like Christmas are the perfect time to break out the 'good' china—or to go out and get some if you don't have any! This time of year gives you a chance to give full vent to your creative side, with table centrepieces, nicely folded napkins, flower arrangements; all of the things you mightn't bother with in the everyday. Depending on your attitude to Christmas you might want to theme you dining table for a gathering; then again you might want to avoid all the reindeer, and the red and green colour-schemes and just make the occasion special with fabulous table-settings. Whatever your preference, there's sure to be something below to give you a few ideas. 

12 birds of Christmas

This candle-holder from scandinavian shop has got that festive red colour, but isn't too in-your-face Christmassy. If you want a touch of Christmas kitsch but nothing overwhelming, some touches of red, perhaps in a centrepiece candleabra like this one, or perhaps some red napkins, will do the job nicely. 

Festive prints and patterns

scandinavian  by homify, Scandinavian

Small Animals Tablemats and coasters


These table mats and coasters by Anthea Gray are respectably festive, without being over the top. The collection is called 'Small Animals' and isn't a festive collection at all—whatever the reindeer print might lead you to think. Again, little touches like this—reindeer, bell or star prints or patterns; or touches of red and green, will give a nod to the season without going full-on kitsch, if that isn't your thing. 

Keeping it simple

Why not use Christmas as an excuse to stock up on some fabulous tableware? This fabulous set from L'Atelier Provisoire is understated yet luxurious; perfect if restrained style is your thing. Simple tableware in monochrome or all-white can be jazzed up for a festive table with a striking centrepiece or a brightly coloured or luxuriously textured tablecloth. 

A special occasion demands a centrepiece

You mightn't bother with table ornaments in the centre of your dining table outside of festive times of the year, but why not give them ago at a Christmas feast? Candles on decorative platter are the traditional choice, but there's no need to restrict yourself to tradition! Anything that you think is pretty and striking is sure to delight your guests, too. 

Origami opulence

Love impeccably folded napkins in origami shapes, but lack the dexterity to pull them off on your own? These origami napkins from moji design will take all the hard work out of it. The napkins come with instructions for creating a camelia-like origami shape, and it's made extra easy for you as all of the folds are along the coloured areas. Even if you can't get your hands on these in time, it's worth providing your guests with some neatly folded napkins, to add to the sense of occasion at your Christmas feast. 

Going for gold

by gabel

Red and green are the festive colours, but gold shouldn't be overlooked. Always luxurious, gold will make any table special. And a gold-patterned tablecloth will work just as well for other occasions, too—birthday or New Year's feasts, for example. 

Glorious Christmas kitsch

by gabel

Reindeer? Check. Snowflake? Check. Stars? Check. Red colour-scheme? Check. Christmas wreath? Check. Sometimes it's fun to go all-in: it is the party season, after all! Your guests will get a kick out of a little bit of Christmas fun, so if you want to cover every surface with reindeers, santa hats, stars, holly boughs, and all the rest of it, nobody will begrudge you that at a festive dinner table. And if you have kids, or if kids are to be guests at the feast, they'll love it. 

Making the most of what you have

Winter Autumn 2014 Dining room by The Linen Works
The Linen Works

Winter Autumn 2014

The Linen Works

Sometimes all it takes to create a festive table is to break out the best silver and glassware, light a few candles, and decorate with some seasonal greenery. All it takes are a few little touches—like tying napkins with ribbon or strands of foliage, as seen here—to create the sense of a special occasion imbued with the warmth and love. Surrounding yourself with people you love, and feeding them good food: that's what Christmas is all about—so enjoy it!

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