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Three ways to design your Christmas table for maximum kudos

Most of us will have the majority of presents bought and cards sent by now. Well done if you have, and if you haven’t quite got there, there’s still a week to go! 

Whatever state of readiness you’re in right now, it’s definitely time to turn your attention to planning for the big day itself. If you’re hosting on Christmas day, you’ll be wanting to make the maximum impact possible with a beautiful table display to impress family and friends. We give you the run down on how to curate your Christmas spread so that it looks good and works perfectly.

  1. First, choose your colour scheme. It’s really easy to get distracted into buying lots of different table dressings because they’ve caught your eye, but will they all work together or will it just look like a stumble through a haberdashery? There’s nothing wrong with combining lots of different styles, so long as they’re unified by colour. Try to keep it to a maximum of three colours or less – it will be easier for the eye to take in as a whole and will allow your food to really shine.

 simple christmas table

A gorgeously simple Christmas display. Image credit: Lushome.

Within those three colours, choose one colour to be bold with, and two others that compliment it as background shades. Combinations of red:gold:timber or purple:silver:grey are good examples of colour groups that work well together. Too many bright shades will overwhelm your guests on a day when there’s a lot of sparkle about anyway!

 silver Christmas table
Shades of purple with touches of silver and grey make this a calm but festive table.
Image credit: Lee Caroline


  1. Consider your guests. Have you lots of little ones to cater for? All adults? Some older people with mobility or sight issues? Anyone with particular disabilities? Christmas is a very important occasion for considering the comfort of your guests, so plan your table according to what will make them feel most at ease. Lots of children might mean candles are kept out of little fingers’ reach in the centre of the table for example. Older people may prefer to be seated at the corner of the table for maximum manoeuvrability. Those with physical or mental impairments might benefit from a meal that doesn’t need complex cutlery to navigate it, so soup might be better than crab claws to start. The more unspoken thoughtfulness you can extend to your guests through your table setting, the more they will enjoy themselves. You can find more tips on how to make Christmas easier for those with disabilities here.


  1. We all adore those gorgeous images on Pinterest of packed-out Christmas tables with piles of knick-knacks interspersed with candles, but us actual humans like to be able to reach the roast potatoes without setting an mini origami Christmas tree on fire. If you have planned well in advance, there’s a real temptation to add to your Christmas table simply because you find you have time to spare. Trust us though, your original idea was the right one – more stuff means less space for food, elbows, and spinning those little plastic things that come out of the cracker. Your time is better spent admiring your Christmas tree with a warm glass of something delicious and you will be thanking yourself when you’re actually able to find a space for the gravy boat.
 cluttered christmas table
A beautiful setting, but not much space for the Brussels sprouts!

Image credit: John Lewis