18 Christmas table decor ideas – for the most stylish of festive tablescapes

Create a beautiful and welcoming space to celebrate the festive season with our favorite Christmas table decor ideas – guaranteed to elevate your Christmas dinner to stylish new heights

Christmas table decor ideas. Minimalist table design, traditional dining room with christmas tree, colorful table with candles and ornaments
(Image credit: Layered Lounge | Paul Massey | Rowen & Wren)

Beautiful Christmas table decor is one of the most magical touches that can elegantly elevate your festive meal to one of the most memorable moments of the year. 

For many of us, the main focus of Christmas Day is inevitably on the dinner that we share with family and loved ones – and a well-dressed table is often at the center of many Christmas decor ideas, it can almost be as important as the meal itself.

From stylish seasonal tableware to Christmas centerpiece ideas, this curated selection of Christmas table decor ideas will no doubt leave you feeling inspired to create the most beautiful festive tablescape.

Feast your eyes on our favorite Christmas table decorating ideas 

‘Whether the setting is casual or formal, minimal or maximalist, monochromatic or colorful – it's the smallest of details, the tablecloths and napkins, crockery and glassware as well as the candles and flowers that have the ability to make the day truly wonderful and memorable for guests,' adds Tricia Guild, founder and creative director of Designers Guild.

No matter how large or small your festive celebration may be this year, your dining table can always look sublime with stylish Christmas table decor.

1. Lay a beautiful tablecloth

Red and white christmas table

(Image credit: Tori Murphy)

A stylish tablecloth can act as a beautiful foundation for your festive tablescape; enhancing your dining table with inviting texture, color and eye-catching pattern and print. 

Whether you keep things seasonal and traditional and pick a tablecloth that embodies traditional colors of Christmas, such as this red and white Zig Zag Stripe Tablecloth from Tori Murphy, or go for a more modern, artistic look, like with this striking Verdant Floral Tablecloth from Tuckernuck, laying a beautiful tablecloth is one of the easiest ways you can spruce up your dining table for the festive season.

2. Layer up your tableware

Red green and gold christmas table

(Image credit: Emma Lee)

Christmas day dinner calls for only the best tableware and serveware, so get creative with your collections and create elegant, layered looks with plates, placemats, napkins and more – all will go to good use during the many courses and components of Christmas dinner.

We love the use of traditional Christmas colors on this festive table, and how the layered tableware is beautifully complemented with layers of winter flowers and foliage, creating an eye-catching Christmas table garland in the center of the table.

3. Display your best glassware

Red and blue christmas table

(Image credit: Jan Baldwin)

Glassware can take a starring role on your Christmas table too – especially eye-catching colored glassware, perfect for creating a note of colorful contrast, as shown on this joyful red and blue dining table which beautifully takes color inspiration from the patterned curtains.

We further explore the best glassware to shop this hosting season in our dedicated feature.

4. Make it personal with a name setting

Colorful table with personalized menu and table setting

(Image credit: Future)

From simple, hand-written name cards delicately placed over plates and napkins, to fun place-card ornaments, like these adorable Gingerbread House Place Card Holders from Pottery Barn, a name setting is a simple way to make your guests feel instantly welcomed and as they sit down at the Christmas table.

5. Add an inviting touch with a menu

Colorful table with personalized menu and table setting

(Image credit: Future)

Thoughtful additions can really bring the whole Christmas dining table together, and providing a menu so that friends and family know what to expect of their meal is always a welcome addition.

Hand-written menus can add a wonderfully personal touch, but there are of course many other design options to choose from, like Etsy's extensive selection.

6. Choose a stylish table centerpiece

Dining room with festive table


A Christmas table centerpiece can consist of all sorts of components, but some of our favorite looks are created through beautiful natural accents, such as vases of foliage, flowers – and even Christmas wreaths

‘Traditionally, we think of wreaths for front doors but this year you could use it on the Christmas dining table as a centerpiece, or on the wall as a festive focal point,’ says Meaghan Hunter, senior stylist and art director at Neptune. ‘For use on the table, simply add candles at regular intervals for a gorgeous glow when entertaining. For an added layer of detail, use a richly scented seasonal candle in the center to add a festive pine and cinnamon fragrance.’

7. Style your table with winter plants and flowers

Christmas dining room with tree and festive table

(Image credit: PAUL MASSEY)

From traditional poinsettias, amaryllis, holly and ivy, to more modern displays using dried flowers, enriching your home with winter flowers and Christmas foliage is a timeless Christmas tradition.

Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company says, 'When it comes to flowers for a Christmas table, I like them to be super simple, not too arranged, I love them to feel loose and natural, sometimes, I use just greenery and mix in one white stem. For larger displays, I mix lots of seasonal greenery or herbs into my arrangements and add finish with favorite festive flowers.'

8. Create a cozy atmosphere with candles

Decorated dining table with festive accents

(Image credit: Rowen & Wren)

There is nothing better than using candles to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere on a dining table. Candles can not only create warming light, they can make your home smell good for Christmas, and they act as stylish decorations, adding beautiful height, color and shape to your Christmas table.

Content creator Rosanna Falconer says, 'lighting is so important on a Christmas table. Avoid artificial lighting and instead turn to the romance of the best candles. Taper candles look beautiful, particularly down the center of a long banqueting table – just ensure they don’t obscure guests’ views. 'Pillar candles also look spectacular clustered together in different heights and colors, and I never go without tea lights in glass votives. They cast a gorgeous light and  can last for hours.'

9. Take the lead from your room’s existing decor

Large open-plan dining an living room decorated for christmas

(Image credit: JODY STEWART)

If you're unsure on where to start with you Christmas table decor, why not take the lead from the color scheme and style of your existing decorating ideas? Guaranteed to create a cohesive, coordinate and elegant look. 

Beautifully shown in this large open-plan living and dining room, the dining table perfectly complements the blue and white decor of the space. 

Swapping a traditional Christmas color palette for one that echoes your existing home decor can create a more contemporary and fresh festive feel.

10. Create a rustic look with foraged natural accents

Cozy dining room with rustic festive dining table

(Image credit: Amanda Reynal, photography by John Bessler)

Anyone looking for an antidote to the excess of bold and bright at this time of year might consider a more pared-back style with a calming color palette and rustic elements – the result will still be beautiful and uplifting. 

Tapping into nature with fresh foliage, rustic materials and simple adornments for your Christmas table decor ideas is a fuss-free way to decorate your home for the holidays while creating a warm and welcoming look. The key is to opt for a cohesive style for maximum impact.

Rustic decorations are appealing because of their effortless, authentic appearance, while a palette of natural greens and whites paired with materials such as linen and hessian complements almost every interior. 

11. Establish a more relaxed, Scandi-inspired look

Scandi-inspired festive dining room

(Image credit: Layered Lounge)

A simple, neutral look for you Christmas table decor is far from dull and uninspiring, rather the serene simplicity of Scandinavian decor can lend a light and airy mood to the overtly busy, bold and bright festive period. 

The key ingredients for the more minimalist Christmas decor shown here are plain, slub linens, tablecloths in a natural, neutral shades, classic, white tableware and traditional candlesticks with tall beeswax candles. Small festive accents, by means of the ceramic trees and the green runner and napkins are all that’s needed to make this table by Layered Lounge a restful yet uplifting place to enjoy good food with good company.

12. Create a coordinated look

Table laid for dinner with lit candles, Christmas crackers and a large central lamp above.

(Image credit: Future)

If you want your Christmas table to create a strong visual impact, then stick to a color scheme. From traditional red, gold and green, to red, white and blue, you can be as bold or as subtle as your like with your chosen theme – just keep it coordinated. 

'I always start with a theme or color palette and try to ensure every element of my Christmas table taps into that,' says Rosanna Falconer. 'Don't be afraid of color – it brings so much joy and personality! Monochrome always works well – think shades of green from eau de nil to jade. If you're feeling more adventurous, warm and cool colors contrast beautifully like a deep magenta with a punchy turquoise. I tend to begin with a white tablecloth – providing a blank canvas for the creativity on top.'

Paula Sutton of Hill House Vintage also adds 'my advice would be to decide on your color scheme first and once you have this the accessories can follow. Napkins, plates, glassware and decorations can all be chosen with your palette of choice in mind; I advise sticking to a three-color combination so that it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. Also don’t forget that you don’t have to be too strict; the important thing is to be surrounded by treasures that you love and that bring you joy, after all it’s meant to be the happiest time of the year!'

13. Embrace a maximalist style

Maximalist red and white christmas dining room

(Image credit: Future | SARAH KAYE REPRESENTATION LTD | Photography by Polly Wreford, styling by Sally Denning)

What better time to embrace a maximalist tablescape than at Christmas? Styling a Christmas table provides the perfect time to really get creative with colors, patterns and a mix of tableware, serveware and accessories; it will be sure to add a layer of joyful fun to your festive celebrations – and make your dining table a real talking point. 

Here, a traditional red and white scheme has been elegantly exaggerated through a modern mix of tableware and stylish accessories. A classic striped tablecloth has been paired with with bold gloss furniture, rustic geometrics and vibrant berries for a contemporary take on the traditional red and white scheme.'

14. Go for a bold, bright look

Colorful blue and pink festive table

(Image credit: Molly Mahon)

As this year has seen the rise of more colorful and playful decorating styles, such as dopamine decor, for a thoroughly modern take on the festive table, go extra bold with clashing, neon brights. 

Think hot pink, turquoise, vibrant orange, and purple for a color-pop look that won’t fail to bring everyone masses of joy on Christmas Day, as shown through this wonderful table design by Molly Mahon.

Once the festivities are over, this contemporary palette of power-packed decorations will work equally as well for a summer birthday party or an alfresco get-together during the warmer months.

15. Mix patterns, prints and colors

Green tablecloth, red tablecloth, wicker place mate

(Image credit: Faro Home)

'A beautiful tablescape makes the meal a visual feast too,' says Farheen Allsopp, co-founder of Faro Home

'This Christmas, we have brought back our favorite jewel tones with emerald green, ruby red, and gold to create a warm and eclectic look. Layering the table with pattern, print and texture gives depth to the table and our eyes, with plenty of delights to look at. The pretty, Ikat block print tablecloth creates a versatile foundation piece, with the jolly ruffle napkins and natural jute placemats forming an elegant contrast. I love styling foliage and fruits directly on the tablecloth, multiple floral arrangements, candlesticks of different heights, and little treats like a bauble, flower, or sprig of rosemary tied to your napkins – a fine recipe for celebration, comfort and cheer.'

16. Leave a gift for your guests

Colorful bright christmas table with presents and decorations

(Image credit: Designers Guild)

Adding Christmas table gifts to your tablescape can add a wonderfully thoughtful decoration to the space – and they can double up as decorations and table settings, too. 

On this beautifully bright table, wrapped presents are not only used as decorations, but each guest has been gift a fun, festive ornament, delicately placed on their plates  – who wouldn't want to be greeted by a gift at the table?

When searching for innovative place setting and gift ideas, be sure to take inspiration from wherever you go – there’s no reason why you canot make something spotted at a wedding, for example, make the transgression to the Christmas table. 

17. Style your table with Christmas ornaments

Overhead view of a table laid with colourful plates, Christmas baubles and lit candles. Festive table settings and cooked dishes at Christmas time

(Image credit: RE:FRESH (LAURA EDWARDS))

Christmas ornaments do not jus belong on your Christmas tree, they make for fabulous Christmas table decorations, too. 

Whether you adorn vases of flowers and foliage with a few hanging ornaments, or go for a more rustic, scattered approach like on the colorful dining table above, these decorations are guaranteed to make your Christmas table feel more festive.

If you’re looking to give both your Christmas dining room decor and tree a new look for this year but are keen to limit waste, think about migrating beloved ornaments to the dining table instead.

18. Don’t forget to decorate your side tables

Close up of decorated sideboard with tree and presents

(Image credit: Future | SARAH KAYE REPRESENATION (LTD) | Photography by Polly Wreford, styling by Sally Denning)

With food, drink, and tableware taking precedence at the Christmas feast, space might be at a premium for adding lots of extra table decorations. If this is the case, consider styling a sideboard or buffet table with a festive flourish, instead – don't forget about the coffee tables and side tables in for Christmas living room ideas, too.

Use your extra table to display Christmas tabletop trees, candles, glassware and more, or, transform a table into a cocktail station for the festive period, ideal if you're planning on doing lots of entertaining.


How do you decorate a simple Christmas table?

‘The table for Christmas Day starts with a white tablecloth and napkins, lovely white china, and sparkling glassware,’ says Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company.

‘Next, I run a mixture of both tall candlesticks and lower tealight holders down the center of the table – I work with both scented and unscented for lots of candlelight but without the fragrance becoming too strong. I love to add in lots of very simply arranged white flowers and greenery down the center of the table also – but always keep this low so they are easy to talk over. I’ll add to the napkins a sprig of green, perhaps rosemary, and a tied-on named place card.’

How do you set a Christmas table?

‘Always start with a crisp white linen. Elegant and clean, it allows for the details of the table to pop,’ says Emily Boschetto, Founder of Matilda's Bloombox

‘A charger is the perfect way to introduce the “season” of the year without buying new tableware, which can become expensive. The texture and color tones of a good charger is the best way to keep consistency in the table, without sourcing multiple plate options, which can be hard to store, not to mention expensive!’

‘Choose long, wax candles in a color tone that brings to life the color you want to own your table. Red is a classic for the holidays. I chose “sage green” this year for Thanksgiving, as I wanted the table to be fresh, vibrant and clean looking.’

‘Invest in a flatware service for special occasions. I have the 20 piece Gold Versaille set from Neiman Marcus, which are one of a kind. I love the gold and pearl accents and I use them for every family ‘occasion’. My mum also has a set so when we have the whole family we can combine together.’ 

How can I make my table look good at Christmas?

'I love to take a personal approach to laying the table, starting with a tablecloth,' says fashion and interior designer, Matthew Williamson. 'I think there is something so special about having a textile to sit at – it softens the physical experience and provides a platform for color and pattern, upon which you can clash your flatware and glassware. Experiment with different candlesticks at varying heights to create layers and add a vintage vase for your cut flowers or leaves. The plates could very well match, or if you prefer, take a more eclectic approach, laying contemporary chargers with mismatched dinner plates.'

For some further inspiration for your Christmas table decor ideas or for some fresh new finds for your table, there are some beautiful new collections of festive decor to shop, from McGee & Co.'s Holiday Shop, to the Magnolia Hearth & Hand Holiday collection at Target.

With over 30 years of working in journalism on women's home and lifestyle media brands, Rhoda is an Editorial Director, Homes Content, at Future. Over time, Rhoda has worked on the entire homes and gardens portfolio including Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors, Livingetc, Ideal Home, Style at Home, Woman & Home, 25 Beautiful Homes, Amateur Gardening and Easy Gardens. She was also editor of Country Homes & Interiors for 14 years, leading it across print and creating the blog Country Days. She has also worked at Woman’s Weekly, Family Circle and Practical Parenting.

With contributions from