When it comes to table settings, Christmas is a time to pull out all the stops and create a sense of occasion with candles, flowers, small table gifts, seasonal napkins with beautiful napkin rings and – if you are lucky enough to have them – your antique glassware and best china.
Inspired by the beautiful Christmas window at our London showroom which features a festive dining table, today I’m pleased to share with you some thoughts on table settings that you can easily put into practice at home using items you are likely to already own! As is so often the case with interiors, the key is to build up layers – a small candle or sequinned place mat might not look like much on its own but when combined these touches can really elevate your dinner table into something magical!
Tea lights in beautiful glass holders are essential to create a sense of wellbeing and warmth. Aim to create a soft, golden glow to dispel the greys and blues outside and watch as the tiny, flickering lights are reflected in the glasses, sequins and silver that make up your table decoration, bringing the whole scene to life.
Scented candles are another important part of your festive lighting scheme as they not only add beautiful ambient light but their fragrance will complement the decoration with hints of spice and citrus.
Antique glassware such as my collection of cranberry glass (including the beautiful decanter pictured above) really comes into its own at Christmas time where it creates a wonderful sense of occasion and ceremony. Now is the time to pull out your most special glasses and pieces of china and really relish the beauty they bring to your table.
Fresh flowers are often in short supply at this time of year – resist the temptation to buy something straight from the hot house at your local florist and look to the British countryside for inspiration. Greenery such as laurel leaves, ivy and of course holly can all be used to create a natural looking display. Even plants that you might usually think of as ‘weeds’ such as seed heads can look beautiful as part of a display on the Christmas table. I personally think that a slightly rustic and natural looking floral display is the perfect counterpoint to a glamorous and beautifully laid table.
Layer your place settings by using a charger followed by an antique china plate and soup bowl to really make an impact. I always top each place setting with an individual present – a beautiful votive or bauble for the adults and a small wrapped gift for children is always well received, especially if the children’s gift contains an activity such as a magic trick to learn or a joke book to keep them entertained!
I hope I have given you some ideas for ways to create a dining table your friends and family will remember this year! My most important tip of all though is to relax and enjoy yourself – as soon as the guests are seated, take time to look around you and savour the moment. The hard work will be (mostly) done and after all, you’ll have plenty of helping hands should you need them!
Our London and Barbados showrooms are both full of beautiful items with which to dress your table at every price range – we look forward to welcoming you in the run up to Christmas! To help ease the stress of the inevitable last minute preparations, our London showroom will be open until 7pm on Thursdays and on Sundays 11.00am – 5.00pm.