Christmas Dining - table dressing to impress

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Interior design isn’t just about renovating, revamping and repainting. It’s about keeping your look fresh all year round too. So a huge part of keeping your home looking as good as it can be is those little extras; the simple aesthetic lifts that can turn a decent looking design into an impressive interior for guests.

Christmas is the perfect example of how simple superficial changes can transform a room for a specific purpose. It reminds us that decoration doesn’t always need to be permanent to be effective. Decking the halls with boughs of holly is fun for all the family, but gaudy tinsel and flashing lights aside, Christmas is also a great time to inject a bit of temporary class into your design too.

The dining room is the perfect place to invoke that classy Christmas spirit. It’s more of a formal space, the area where your friends and family are going to gather together to eat. So decorating the table and surrounding room is a perfect way to show off your Christmas chic.


The best place to start is with a perfect Christmassy centrepiece. The centrepiece alone can turn a normal Sunday roast into a Christmas banquet. It’s not always easy to get right though. You want it to be just impressive enough, but not so overwhelming that it will take up all the space for food or block the eye line of guests at each side of the table. Using Christmassy foliage is a good way round this, sprigs of evergreen firs, fir cones, holly with berries and twigs in a wreath makes a great centre point that won’t take up too much space and will complement the plates and bottles that the table will also be decorated with.

There are two fail-safe styles to decorate your dining room for Christmas dinner. The first is a warm cosy look, to make your guests feel as though they are in a Lapland Christmas lodge. The second is to go for a more vintage, homemade feel, where your guests will appreciate the special effort that has been made. There are loads of other ways to decorate of course, but either of these approaches is easy-to-do and brilliantly effective.

The Lapland lodge look is all about a warm colour scheme and some classic Christmas lighting. Your whole room can be changed with lighting alone. And at Christmas, creating a cosy mood with good lighting is easy: Fairy lights are ubiquitous in shops at this time of the year, and can be hung around your dining room to be used instead of the main lights. Then, on the table, candles are a Christmas staple. These can form part of your centrepiece or be dotted around plates and serving dishes to add to the ambience.

A green and red colour scene is a good place to start with the table decorations. These are the classic colours of Christmas and, alongside a bit of gold and some warm candlelight, your whole look will be complete. Red and green napkins are easy to buy, and with a few more soft furnishings, like rich red cushions on chairs, you can’t go wrong.


Adding touches of homemade handiwork immediately makes things feel Christmassy, the time of year when we all go that extra mile to make people feel welcome. The easiest table decorations to make yourself are things like hand-made place names. A gold pen and some strips of card are all you need, or try cutting up old Christmas cards and sticking on some Christmas foliage if you want to go for more complex designs.

Adding simple flourishes to the table is easy: a sprig of green holly on everyone’s plates is a nice touch, wrapping your cutlery and napkins in ribbon or scattering your table with gold cut-out stars adds to the effect. Making things look a bit rustic can also be effective; some old wooden tree decorations can look great on the table, ad a simple white tablecloth can be transformed with a few pinecone, twigs and sprigs of holly.

If you’re feeling really bold, you could have a go at making your own Christmas crackers. Not only will your guests be incredibly impressed with your craft skills, but you’ll also be able to personalise the little prizes and messages found inside. It’s the personal element that will make your table dressing the most attractive. Here’s how: Don’t forget to add the jokes.

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