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Christmas table decorating ideas for stylish dining

From magical festive centrepieces to striking modern schemes, find inspiration in our pick of 2020's best Christmas tablescapes

frosted whites dining table
Photography: Beth Kirby

Christmas lunch might be a more intimate affair than usual this year, but that needn't mean it can't be special – or stylish. We've rounded up our favourite festive looks for dressing the table to inspire you, from simple schemes and DIY decorations, to show-stopping centrepieces with all the trimmings. Decking the halls before the table? Hit up our Christmas decorating ideas first.

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1 Dark tales
christmas dining table with candles
jessica williams

Add a shot of drama to proceedings with this contrasting black and white theme reminiscent of a Dutch master, here designed by bespoke planner and designer Anne Ladegast-Chiu of Hilde.

For black candles, try ‘Black Dinner Candles’, £8 for six, Nordic House and for similar candleholders, try ‘Concrete Duo’ candleholders, £10 each, Decorum. ‘Model A’ chairs, from £207, Tolix. Floral arrangements by Still Life Flowers

2 Let there be light
christmas dining table with white pieces, society limonta
Society Limonta

Evoke dreams of a cool, white Christmas, with this stripped-back palette of snow-and-ice shades. Add glowing candles and a contemporary glass lamp for a sophisticated Scandi feel.

‘Tab’ tablecloth, from £235; and napkins, £25 each, Society Limonta. ‘Esag’ candleholders, from approx £45, Atipico. ‘Bolle Soffio’ table light by Giopato & Coombes, £1,692, Viaduct. ‘Silver’ chairs by Vico Magistretti, from £856, De Padova

3 Take a bough
christmas dining table with branch and baubles
Styling: Mary Lennox

Steer away from the traditional tree and max up the wow factor with a bauble-dressed sprig suspended above the table, as inspired by Laura Muthesius and Nora Eisermann of blog Our Food Stories.

Crystal baubles, £4.99 each; and tableware, all Zara Home. For similar vintage ‘Bentwood Bistro’ chairs, try Vinterior. Bough styled by Mary Lennox Flower Studio

4 Earthy delights
photographer lucy levene and styling by us luminosacontact  miriam at helloluminosa eventscom
Photography: Lucy Levene Styling by Miriam at Luminosa

Bring the outside in for a nature-themed setting, rich in earthy shades. This table, created by sustainable event designers Luminosa, hints at warm winter sun with dried floral arrangements and organic textures.

Organic calico tablecloth, from £80; and cotton napkins, £14 each, Luminosa. For similar coloured candles, try ‘Eco Dinner Candles’ in Old Rose and Pearl White, £12 for six, British Colour Standard. For similar dried flowers, try Kitten Grayson

5 Light and shade
photography by our food stories
Photography: Our Floor Stories

Let your tableware do the talking with beautiful smoky grey glass in clean shapes that lets the light shine through. Limited decoration required, this is all about simple, elegant styling.

‘Trestle’ table, approx £2,152; ‘Triangolo’ chairs in Steel, approx £904; ‘Adam’ bench, approx £603, all Frama. Tableware, glassware, cutlery and glass vases, H&M Home

6 Frond embrace
christmas dining table with fronds
Beth Kirby of Local Milk

Create a Narnia-esque fairy-tale mood with an enchanting centrepiece of tonal dried flowers and bleached fern. See Beth Kirby’s Local Milk blog for a guide to making your own.

‘Haydee’ white linen tablecloth, approx £82; linen napkins, approx £23 for two, both Celina Mancurti. For similar plates, try ‘Organic Shaped Dinnerware Set’, from £4, West Elm. Find silk ribbons at VV Rouleaux and for similar floral arrangements, try Worm

This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration October 2020

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