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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.

christmas dining table with candles
jessica williams
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Dark Tales

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 similar napkins, try ‘Lario Alabaster Napkins’, £36 for four, Designers Guild (designersguild.com). For black candles, try ‘Black Dinner Candles’, £8 for six, Nordic House (nordichouse.co.uk). For similar candleholders, try ‘Concrete Duo’ candleholders, £10 each, Decorum (decorum-shop.co.uk). For similar cutlery, try ‘Old Cutlery’, from £22 for a set of six, RE (re-foundobjects.com). For similar side plates, try ‘Hasami Porcelain Gloss Grey Plate’, £12 each, La Gent (la-gent.com). For similar glasses, try ‘Sommeliers Montrachet’ glass, £115 each, Riedel (riedel.com). ‘Model A’ chairs, from £207, Tolix (tolix.co.uk). Floral arrangements by
Still Life Flowers (stilllifeflowers.co.uk)

christmas dining table with white pieces, society limonta
Society Limonta
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Let There Be Light

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; ‘Tab’ napkins, £25 each, both Society Limonta (uk.societylimonta.com). ‘Esag’ candleholders, from approx £45, Atipico (shop.atipico.it). ‘Bolle Soffio’ white marble and brass table light by Giopato & Coombes, £1,692, Viaduct (viaduct.co.uk). ‘May’ flutes, approx £155 for a set of two; ‘Margot’ decanter, approx £248; ‘Margot’ wine goblets, approx £171 for a set of two, all Fferrone (fferronedesign.com). ‘Silver’ chairs by Vico Magistretti, from £856, De Padova (depadova.com)

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

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; tableware, glassware; candles; and table linen, all from a selection, Zara Home (zarahome.com). For similar vintage ‘Bentwood Bistro’ chairs, try Vinterior (vinterior.co). Bough styled by Mary Lennox Flower Studio. (marylennox.de)

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

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; naturally dyed cotton napkins, from £14 each, all Luminosa (luminosa-events.com). ‘365+’ 30cl glasses, £3 for six, Ikea (ikea.com). Hand-built dinner plates, £36 each; hand-built side plates, £28 each, Olivia Fiddes (oliviafiddes.com). For similar antique silver cutlery, try Baileys (baileyshome.com). For similar antique brass candlesticks, try Vinterior (vinterior.co). Vintage chairs painted in ‘Stiffkey Blue’ paint, £62 for 2.5 litres, Farrow & Ball (farrow-ball.com). For similarchairs, try ‘Stefan’ chair, £22, Ikea (ikea.com). For similar coloured candles,try ‘Eco Dinner Candles’ in Old Rose and Pearl White, £12 for a box of six, British Colour Standard (britishcolourstandard.com). For similar bud vases, try Petersham Nurseries (petershamnurseries.com).For similar dried flowers, try Kitten Grayson (kittengrayson.com)

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

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, care of Our Food Stories.

‘Trestle’ table, approx £2,152; ‘Triangolo’ chairs in Steel, approx £904; ‘Adam’ bench, approx £603, all Frama (framacph.com). Tableware, glassware, cutlery and glass vases, from a selection, H&M Home (hm.com)

christmas dining table with fronds
Beth Kirby of Local Milk
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Frond Embrace

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; light pink linen napkins, approx £23 for a set of two, both Celina Mancurti (celinamancurti.com). Vintage brass candleholders, sourced from Etsy (etsy.com). For similar glasses, try ‘Wine Balloon Glasses’, £60 for a set of four, LSA International (lsa-international.com). For similar cutlery, try ‘Gold Cutlery’,£34 for a set of five; for plates, try ‘Organic Shaped Dinnerware Set’, from £4 for a plate, all West Elm (westelm.co.uk). For a similar charger, try the ‘Maguelone Presentation Plate’ in ‘Grey Cashmere’, £27, Amara (amara.com). Find silk ribbons at VV Rouleaux (vvrouleaux.com). For similar floral arrangements, try Worm (weareworm.com)

This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration October 2020

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