Creating the Ideal Table Setting

Do you have a table setting theme you use for your Christmas lunch or dinner? It is not something I have ever thought about, but while researching content for this blog, I found out that people, in fact, do have themes and colour schemes for their tables. Crazy!

It’s your turn to host the Christmas dinner this year, and while you are running around, spinning all those plates to get things organised, your last thought might be the table settings. You throw on a tablecloth, make sure your plates and cutlery match and that’s about as far as it goes. But it doesn’t have to be that way. All you need is a plan!

Step 1 - Inventory

Before deciding on what you would like your table to look like, it makes sense to do a complete inventory of the stuff you already have. It would also be a good idea to make sure you have enough crockery and cutlery too.

Do you have a tablecloth you like or always use? That could be your starting point. Did you buy placeholders or napkin rings in the sales last year which might help? These would be good to use somewhere too.

Once you know what you’re working with, it will be easier to build out from there.​


Step 2 - Theme

Now you have a list of items you already have, deciding on your theme should be relatively easy.

​​​​​​​If you do need some inspiration though, social media can be a great source of information. Platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are great tools to find some styles and designs you like. You can use hashtags such as #tabledecorideas or #christmastableideas which will give you endless tips and ideas.

If you’re not that social media savvy, you could always use your phone or a camera. Take some snaps of colours, shop displays, town centres and other things you see for future reference.

Your theme doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple colour scheme could be all you need to make your table sparkle. I am a fan of silver and red as well as gold and navy.

Choose something which keeps in sync with the rest of your decorations and try not to blow your whole Christmas budget on your theme – less is more after all.​

Step 3 – Table Contents

The next step is to choose what you want on your table. Are you keeping things simple or going all out with decorations? Let’s look at some of the options available.



  • If you’re using existing linen, ensure it is clean, laundered and ready to use when you need it.
  • It may seem obvious, but always make sure your tablecloth is big enough to cover your table with some room for manoeuvring too. Especially if you’re using an extended table.
  • If you need to buy new, it’s always a good idea to buy in plenty of time. The last thing you want is the stress of finding linen close to Christmas.
  • A table protector could be a good investment to protect your table from spills, cuts, and scratches.
  • Place mats can also be a good addition to your table. Not only are they practical, but they can add a little contrast in colour and texture too. If you have some old ones, you could try spray painting them to fit in with your new theme – budget friendly and will look great!

Table Cards

It’s always nice to sit down at a table adorned with your name on a pretty card. For some reason it makes me feel good. Why not make your guests feel special with their own place cards? If you have time, you could make your own using ideas from Pinterest. The design doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective – quite often the simplest designs have the biggest impact.

If you are short on time or are not particularly creative, you could scan shops online or on the high street to find some to suit your theme. You could get the best of both worlds and buy some handmade from an independent retailer from sites such as Etsy or Not On The High Street.


Centrepieces are great for that WOW! factor and can be a talking point when your guests arrive. But there a couple of things to remember when choosing one for your table.

Consider how much room you have and how much you need. Do you have enough space for things like serving dishes, a gravy boat, serving spoons and any condiments?

​​​​​​​If you find that space is still a little limited, you could always remove the centrepiece once you sit down to eat.​​​​

Step 4 – Extra Touches

Now that your table is looking very festive, it’s time to think about any extra touches and decorations you might like to include. Added extras create a bit of excitement round the table and can often be a bit of an ice breaker too, especially if you have anyone new at the table.

The obvious choice is crackers, but not everyone is a fan of these. If you’re thinking about the environment, plastic toys and lots of paper might not be the best choice. However, you can get some awesome environmentally friendly ones online without all the plastic, foil and glitter and can be put into the recycling bin.

You could also change things up with something a little different such as pinecones, candles, or games to get the party started.

For that extra WOW! factor why not add a little favour or table gift at each place setting? The choice is yours!​​​

Step 5 - Preparation

It’s a good idea to prepare your table in advance. Put on your favourite Christmas music, pour a glass of fizz (or whatever you fancy) and get started. Not only do you get some downtime, but it is saves you getting stressed on Christmas Day. You don’t want all the work you have put in to go to waste. Now you have the perfect table décor, it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy the festivities with your loved ones.​​

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