BY TAMRA BOOTH, KEEEPS
Many of my favourite Christmas memories are of those gathered around the table, sharing a meal and getting the drinks flowing with my favourite people. Whether that be my family, friends or colleagues, there is something about wearing that Christmas hat, pulling a cracker, and having a good laugh around the table that is inherently Christmassy.
And with so many Christmas memories being made around the table, it’s no wonder that tablescaping has become a massive trend, particularly at Christmas. There is nothing better than perfectly curated Christmas tabletop décor to get you into the Christmas spirit and feel all cosy and festive.
When dressing a Christmas table, it is important to think about how you want it to feel. Are you going for high energy, bright and fun, or a more muted, romantic and calm feel? Will you go for minimal Scandi-style or full-on festive? Keep this in mind when considering each stage and you won’t go far wrong.
A colour scheme should always be picked first. If you’re going for festive, you will probably want to go traditional red and gold. If Scandi, you will opt for a neutral scheme introducing some occasional pops of colour.
Once you have chosen your colour scheme, move onto the centrepiece. What will take centre stage? Candles, a vase and flowers, a nodding Santa?!
Above all, when dressing the table, remember, it’s Christmas and you want this to be a fun thing to do, to get you in the mood for Christmas. It shouldn’t be something to stress about, so don’t overthink it, keep things simple, and don’t overcrowd the table (it should still be functional!)
With that in mind, here are some Christmas tabletop décor ideas to provide some festive inspiration this merry season:
1. A cracking centrepiece
Apart from the food itself of course, a beautiful Christmassy centrepiece should be the focus of the Christmas table – and at other celebrations throughout the seasons. This should always be the starting point. Find something that you want to be the cherry on the cake, the star of your Christmas tabletop décor. It’s what your eye goes to first and it is what you will mould the rest of your Christmas tabletop décor around.
We always love a gorgeous ceramic vase paired with some festive blooms or a candle centrepiece. Go-to interiors influencers, Jess at @Gold_is_a_Neutral and Kate at @k.home_design have both created gorgeous Christmas dining tables using tapered candles as their centrepiece items.
Sometimes, creating a stunning Christmas tabletop can be done using everyday items. A ceramic fruit bowl for example is a great way to style a table using fresh foliage, seasonal fruit and fairy lights – and voila you have a homemade Christmas table focal point!
At Keeeps, we’ve created height by using our Tall Lined Vases as our Christmas table centrepiece.
2. Festive Fabrics
Whether used for ornamental purposes or to protect the table and flatware, tablecloths and placemats are a must while setting a table. Traditionally, tablecloths were made of white linen that would protect beautifully carved tables from food spills. However, in recent times, tablecloths come in an array of materials, designs and colours to dress up an ordinary table. Sometimes, choosing a simple place setting can be just as effective as a more decorative style.
Napkins are another must-have item. Whilst napkins are traditionally presented in a napkin ring to make it look stylish and tidy, we love our napkins tied with our ceramic gift tags made by Emily Grace Woolford along with a decoration of your choice – simple but so effective.
Keeeps has worked with Charlotte from Cloth & Clay previously who not only is a talented potter, but she also makes a variety of handmade textiles too! In fact, we loved her work so much we asked her to make the beautiful linen aprons for our shop and studio. Her selection of table runners, napkins and other handmade textiles, are to die for and we can definitely vouch for the quality of her work.
When dressing our table, we followed our number one rule and kept it simple with a plain white runner, with the focus solely on our sea green celadon jug which also provided the pop of colour we needed.
3. Christmas Crockery
With prettying up your Christmas tabletop becoming top of a lot of people’s to-do list, Christmas plates come in all sorts of designs now. From full-on Christmassy patterns to pared-back options that can be used all year round.
When deciding on your Christmas crockery, you should think about what you’ll be serving over Christmas. Do you want side plates for bread roll or dessert plates for that Christmas pudding? Do you want it all to be Christmassy or just some of it? Are you going to be serving up in dishes, plates or platters? If you’re having a few guests, you may want to buy dishwasher safe dinnerware, because nobody wants to be washing up on Christmas Day!
At Keeeps, we have a number of handmade plates, bowls and platters available in our pop-up store and online. Alternatively, try Emma Bridgewater, whose factory we recently visited in Stoke, who has a divine collection of Christmas-themed tableware.
4. Switch on the Christmas Lights
Nothing brightens up a room like twinkling indoor Christmas lights. Christmas lights are key for adding a touch of festive sparkle to your Christmas tabletop décor. From twinkling fairy lights to tapered candles to a scattering of tealights – lighting plays an integral role in setting the scene for a cosy and festive Christmas dinner.
If you’re going for a warm ambient glow in your room, then warmer copper-coloured lights are a popular choice. Or, opt for bright white lights if you’re focusing on neutrals, and creating your own winter wonderland themed tabletop. Fairy lights or candles will do the job – anything that creates a calm and welcoming atmosphere and a glowing room to enjoy.
We’ve used the traditional tealight holders from Keeeps in our Christmas tabletop décor, which brings warmth to a neutral display.
5. Bring the outside in!
Christmas trees, poinsettia, snow, mistletoe, pinecones, wreaths – so much of what we associate with Christmas is from the outdoors so it makes sense that foliage, flowers and plants should form part of your Christmas tabletop décor.
With little sunlight and so many heavy (but delicious) foods around in December, plus running around organising, planning and cooking, you can find yourself feeling a little out of energy on Christmas day. Adding a potted plant, perhaps some festive ivy, or a bright, red-berried plant, or some Christmassy foliage can help bring some life and energy to the table to keep you going!
To sum up...
So, our top tips are:
- Choose how you want the table to feel – whether you’re going full-on festive or a more serene and calming feel.
- Choose a centrepiece, to reflect your “feel”, and base the rest of the table around the centrepiece.
- Choose a colour theme. Again, this will be based largely around the centrepiece but will help you buy or curate the accessories for the rest of the table.
- When in doubt - keep it simple. Some of the best tables are those that go back to basics.
- ENJOY IT! It’s Christmas after all!
And of course, Christmas activities always feel more festive with a nice mugful of mulled wine so our bonus tip is to grab your mug (handmade of course!), fill it to the brim, and get decorating!