Sitting around the dining table with family and friends over Christmas dinner is one of the holiday's most important and well-loved traditions. Whether they are coming over at the last minute or you've been planning your Christmas day menu since September, impress your guests with these decorative Christmas dining table ideas.

Decorating a Christmas table can be as lavish and luxurious or as subtle and simple as you like. The best festive dining table ideas and decorations are the ones that incorporate your own creativity and tradition.

Christmas dining table decorating tips

Getting your home winter ready as Christmas is fast approaching can be a creative and inspired task. It is reported that some of us start preparing for the Christmas Day meal as early as August - however, if you are not one of them, never fear! We have some great tips for everyone looking to make their Christmas dinner table decoration a talking point this year.

Go Natural

Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands may be the first decorations to come to mind when you think of the festive season, but other greenery can be just as effective at setting the mood for a Christmas Day gathering.

Potted pine trees and spruce are traditional Christmas table decorations, with holly, poinsettias and mistletoe also associated with the holiday. If you have a fireplace or a fireplace mantel, you may want to decorate it with greenery too. Additionally, placing flowers such as red and white roses in vases or empty wine bottles on the table can highlight the traditional colours of Christmas.

Consider Lighting

contemporary lighting with gold candle holders

If you want to draw attention to your Christmas dinner table, highlighting it through clever lighting is a must. It is all about the twinkling and sparkling at Christmas time, and elegant flickering candles can add a perfect, warm glow. Choose white or red candles for a traditional look or create a cosy ambience with oranges and pinks. Purchasing scented candles can infuse your dining space with Christmassy aromas such as pine or cinnamon.

Christmas lights can also be used to add some sparkle to your Christmas meal. Drape these over your dining table for a statement, or hang them all around the space to create a festive atmosphere.

For a larger commitment, consider investing in some contemporary lighting such as hanging pendant lights above your dining table. A standing lamp will also create a more homely effect and you can control how bright or cosy you want the space to feel.

Get crafty

If you have children or enjoy a creative project, making your own Christmas dining table decorations can be a fun task for the whole family. From DIY napkin holders to ceiling decorations, your only limitations are your imagination (and perhaps your ability to wield a pair of scissors and some glue). Some of our favourite crafty Christmas dining table decorations include festive felt cutlery holders, candy cane place card holders, and ribbon and cardboard snowflake napkin holders.

Pick a colour scheme

If you want your dining area to look classy and sophisticated this Christmas, picking a colour scheme can be a great way to keep things looking elegant. An all-white theme can bring a sense of snowy wonder to your dining table - think white flowers, candles, napkins, and lights. Golds and reds work well if you are going for a more opulent and luxuriant look, and greens and browns will give your dining space a sense of rustic charm.

Create a centrepiece

A Christmas dining table centrepiece is a must and will be the showstopper of all your decorations. Christmas table centrepieces are typically floral-based displays, often set in a ring with a candle or candles in the middle. You can create your own, much like you would create a Christmas wreath or there are plenty of places to purchase one too.

More traditional centrepieces can be made with branches of pine, pine cones, and berries. However, if you prefer a more contemporary feel to your Christmas dining table decor, you can choose ornaments, baubles, tinsel, or traditional Christmas decorations to draw attention to the centre of the table and set the overall theme.

Choose a theme

Christmas dining table

Choosing a theme for your festive dining table can also help you to select your decorations wisely and create a striking and arresting display. Let your table be a reflection of your personality, and choose themes that are special to you and your family or those that most appeal to you and blend in with your preferred home decor.

Some common design themes to consider include:

Traditional - Traditional Christmas decor includes greens, whites, reds, and gold with lots of ornaments, baubles, and tinsel.

Rustic - Lots of natural elements and earthy tones will create a rustic-style Christmas setting; think real mistletoe, holly, berries and pine cones.

Scandi - Whites, silvers, and golds are the typical palette of a Scandinavian Christmas, with natural greenery and minimal ornaments.

Minimalist - The minimalist style is popular for those who want to give the nod to Christmas without cluttering their home with too much decor. The focus here is on quality, festive pieces that really draw the eye.

Modern - Modern Christmas designs may see you stray away from the traditional colour palettes and see you thinking more creatively - even shying away from a traditional Christmas tree in favour of something more sleek and structural instead.

However, you can also create your own themes at Christmas time. Some other Christmas themes to consider could be:

  • Glitter & Gold
  • Rainbow brights
  • Santa's Grotto
  • Christmas Animals
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Vintage Christmas

Setting the table

Decorating your table at Christmas isn't complete without setting it too. Consider your cutlery, plates, and glassware, as well as placemats and coasters. Make sure you incorporate these into your theme to ensure that everything looks as beautiful and intentional as you hoped when you set your table.

Display your culinary creations

We must also not forget that a Christmas dinner table has a higher purpose than to look great, and that's to proudly display the Christmas dinner. When planning your Christmas dining table design ideas, consider where you'll put the food and how it will be displayed so that everyone can admire your efforts. The food itself will add to the lavishness of the dining table, so make sure you leave space to display your dishes and make it easy for everyone to fill their plates too.

Be practical

While creating a Christmas dinner table can be fun, it's essential to consider practicality. Make sure you contemplate the space you have to work with and that your decorations don't make it impossible for your guests to sit comfortably and enjoy their food.

If you have a smaller table, you might want to put ornaments on a nearby wall, bookshelf, or fireplace mantel so you can still achieve a wonderfully festive effect while allowing everyone to relax and enjoy the meal at the same time.

Final words

Whether you are hosting a festive feast for your family or celebrating Christmas solo, you can create an atmosphere of warmth and festivity by taking the time to plan your Christmas dining table decorations. Whether you love a modern dining space or crave some rustic traditional charm, we are sure you will make your dining table a real showstopper this year.

Our contemporary crafted dining tables make the perfect base for your festive dining table decor and with a range of dining accessories to perfectly complement your Christmas feast, why not browse our furniture collections today.