Christmas table setting ideas: from traditional to quirky

Picture ruffled plates and bowls, red velvet ribbon table decorations, paper stars hanging from the ceiling and frosted glassware filled with your favourite festive drink… Can Christmas come sooner?

I, for one, can’t wait to go all out on jolly table decorations and come up with a cheerful tablescape for Christmas Day celebrations. This year, I am drawn to both dainty and oversized ribbons, pink and red striped table linen, and evergreen foliage with holly berries subtly weaved in between organically shaped dinnerware.

Striped linen, burgundy place mat and dainty ceramics and crockery
Olivia scalloped plates in Raspberry Filet, £134 for a set of four, Rebecca Udall.

What’s your style? Do you prefer a classic Christmas table setting with pops of red and green? Or are you more into a dash of drama with grand centrepieces and gold accents? Perhaps you’re thinking of keeping it chic and simple this year to embrace the Scandinavian flair?

Well, if you’re looking for Christmas table setting inspiration, I’ve got ideas for every taste. Scroll down to explore our merry edit…

Classic Christmas decor in dining room
Freiburg pine pre-lit tree 7ft, £369; Baubles, from £1.99; Paper stars, £14.99 each; Mikasa crockery, from £6.99; Santa and Nutcracker Christmas glasses, £8.99 for a set of four, and Gonk mug and bowl set, £14.99, Dobbies.

Pared-back Christmas

If you’re into a minimalist look, opt for neutral crockery, wooden serving platters, natural napkins decorated with dainty motifs, and a couple of Christmas-themed table decorations. “Take a pared-back approach this Christmas when decorating and adorn your home with Japandi-inspired decor, in the form of neutral tones and organic materials, to create a relaxing atmosphere,” suggests Jack Bowman, brand manager at Sazy.

Simple table setting
Alumilite pasta bowls in Creme, £110 for a set of six; Alumilite oval plates in Creme 27cm, £110 for a set of six; Lizzie tablecloth in Cream, £59, and Islington glass tumblers in Charcoal, £28, Sazy.

“A refined style that reflects sophistication and timeless elegance, this style is rooted in authenticity, helping us connect to the true meaning of Christmas,” adds Jack. Why not get inspired from nature? Slim tree branches, chestnuts and conkers are an easy and effective way of decorating your table this winter.

Natural and neutral table setting
Cosy Retreat dining scheme by Marks & Spencer, featuring Wooden Christmas tree platter, £15, and Textured platinum rim tumblers, £15 for a set of four.
Classic dining table setup
Santosa wine glass, £50 for a set of two; Santosa Sherry glass, £28 for a set of two; Mohani lantern, from £50; Banjara glass dome cake stand, £80, and Sanee napkin in Smoke Brown, £20 for a set of two, all from Nkuku.

Quirky Christmas table settings

From gothic flower-themed candle holders and moody tree ornaments to an explosion of colour and glitter – it’s time to embrace your quirky side this Christmas and let your creativity bloom. “An essential for me with any tablescape scene has to be a great centrepiece,” says Lucy St George, co-founder at Rockett St George.

“This can be an impressive floral display, a gorgeous statement candelabra or a collection of objects displayed at different heights that add interest and drama to your dining space. The beauty of these finishing touches is that they can be easily changed up to suit the theme of the meal or entertaining occasion and also ensure that the dynamic of the room is ever-changing.

“At Christmas, I love a green and gold theme for my centrepiece, with natural details and foraged foliage introduced to the table amongst glamorous hints of gold. This helps to create a truly magical setting, with gold accessories catching the light and reflecting a gorgeous glow across the table,” she says.

Black and gold Christmas decor
Dark floral luxury Christmas crackers, £45 for a set of six, Rockett St George.

What’s more, disco ball-inspired decorations and mirrored statement pieces are rising in popularity. Plus, sparkly tinsel, gold oversized stars and flirty stripes are another modern way of decorating your dining table for the holidays.

Colourful Christmas decorations
Scalloped edged tableware, £16 for a dinner plate, Rose & Grey.

Click here for 30 present ideas for interiors lovers

Scandi style

Do you love Scandinavian style? Every year, it continues to be a big influence in the interiors world – no matter the season.

Scandi table setting
White Friso tableware, from £9; Sintra 16-piece cutlery set in Matt Champagne, £160; Linen napkins in Moss Green, £26 for a set of two; Black and white striped ribbon 5m, £7, White ceramic pinecone decorations, £34 for a set of six; Douro wine glasses, £75 for a set of four; Textured glass tealight holders, £30 for a set of three; Modern ceramic trees, from £18; Ribbed ceramic tree, £25, and Faux fir garland, £35, Layered Lounge.

But how can you embrace this warm and clean look? “Think minimalist furniture in subtle, natural blonde oak and seating dressed with laid-back soft textiles and textured throws, echoing the colour palette of any Christmas decorations. Stick to clear glass, wood and paper decorations in cream and white, warmed by pearly amber, soft grey, ink and rose gold,” says Danielle Le Vaillant, head of photography and film at Cox & Cox.

Christmas table decorations
Starry Scandi table setting by Cox & Cox, featuring Four ribbed wine glasses, £50, and Ruffled serving platter, £25.

“Simple white dinnerware and clear glass are all that’s needed to complete the perfect calming Scandi vibe but we like to add lots of lit glassware and naked wire lights to bring the Christmas sparkle. You could also create extra magic by hanging a centrepiece high above the table – either oversized light-up hanging glass ornaments or some pampas and other dried grasses, delicately twinkling with warm white fairy lights,” recommends Danielle.

Scandinavian dining room
Polar Planet Christmas scheme by John Lewis, featuring Foliage motif mango wood serving bowl 24cm in Natural and green, £24, and Marble cake stand in white 20cm, £25.

Timeless Christmas

We think you can never go wrong with a classic table setting. Picture traditional pops of red and green, mistletoe-patterned runners and placemats, blue and white dinnerware, and timeless cutlery. All that’s missing is a traditional Christmas pudding or a chocolate yule log, and bubbly glasses of fizz.

Alison Howell, design and development manager at Burleigh, says that the most important aspect when styling a Christmas tablescape is to have fun with it. “Christmas is a wonderful gathering of friends, family, and food, so why not create a vibrant display full of colour and pattern? To begin, I always recommend selecting a few base colours and peppering them around the table. Blue and white is a timeless match that always pairs well together,” advises Alison.

blue and white ceramics in Christmas setting
Blue Calico and Blue Arden collections, from £22 for a 19cm plate, Burleigh.

“At Christmas, however, I love incorporating a forest green hue into the tablescape; festive yet stylishly elegant. This year, we have noticed consumers wanting to shop locally and support British craftsmanship. People are keen to understand where the decorations and products they use have been made,” she adds.

So why not make a day out of visiting the local interiors shops on your high street to find trinkets and treasures for your table setting? Grab a hot chocolate while you’re at it to keep warm, and happy shopping!

Mistletoe place mat
Christmas placemat, £49, Braided Rug Company.

Are you ready to turn your kitchen-diner into a winter wonderland? I can already hear faint Christmas jazz playing in the background…

While this article contains affiliate links, by which we earn a commission, we make sure to only pick products that we love.

Enjoyed this post? Click here for more festive decorating ideas for your kitchen-diner

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