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How to set the perfect Christmas dining table

How to set the perfect Christmas dining table

Choose an overall theme

Think of your Christmas dining table as a blank canvas. You have artistic licence to create whatever masterpiece you can imagine, so take your time to visualise what your perfect Christmas setting looks like.

If you're struggling for inspiration, look around the dining room for colours or thematic elements that could be extended to your table. For example, if you have a lot of classic Christmas decorations around the home, you could opt for a traditional theme with a busy table and a red and gold colour scheme.

If nature inspires your home, and you prefer handmade sustainable furniture and decorations, you could invite nature onto your table by placing some pine cones, sprigs of fir and berry garlands. Green and silver might be a great choice to evoke a winter wonderland.

If your home decor is minimalist, perhaps a contemporary dining table with one powerful centrepiece and an elegant black and white colour scheme would look amazing in your dining room.

Plan and prepare

As we explained in our article about taking the stress out of setting your dining table, giving yourself time to carefully plan your Christmas setting will make the day go so much smoother while ensuring your table looks stunning.

Set out placemats to get an idea of how much space you have to play with. If you don't know how many people you will be entertaining, design several place plans to cover all bases.

If you have an extendable dining table, plan your logistics around both its extended and compact forms. Consider where you will place your table to maximise the surrounding space. Make sure everything you need on the day (plateware, flatware, glasses, chairs, etc.) will be easy to find and retrieve.

In the days leading up to Christmas Day, make sure you thoroughly clean your dining table and consider applying an oil treatment to wooden surfaces.

Layer your table settings

There is no single right way to set up a dining table for Christmas, but we do recommend you use a dark tablecloth as a base layer. This should be freshly washed and ironed before placement.

If you have a 7Magok wood dining table, we get that you might want to show off your handmade sustainable furniture in all its glory, but you do need to protect it from red wine, gravy and other Christmas hazards. A tablecloth also gives you more scope for placing additional plates and bowls for multiple courses without risking scratching your precious table top.

A simple way to add richness to your Christmas dining setting is by laying one or more runners across the table. Make sure these are consistent with your overall design theme.

Next, add your placemats and place a dinner plate on each. Everything should be consistent with your colour theme, which is why plain white plates are popular.

You can then place a smaller plate on top (for your starter course or dessert), with a napkin either on top or between the two plates. Additional plates can be placed to the left hand side if needed (which is why a tablecloth makes sense).

Cutlery should be placed with the knife on the right hand side of the plate, starting with the first course and moving outwards.

Next, add glasses for wine and water. Red wine glasses are usually placed above the knife with additional glasses placed to the right of this.

To really give the impression of perfection, you need to line every element of your table up precisely. For example, each piece of cutlery should be the same distance from the edge of the plate and aligned at their base (you can even use a measuring tape if you really want to be precise).

Adding your centrepiece and table decorations

Your centrepiece can be anything you choose, from a vase of flowers to a candelabra to a fun assortment of Christmas decorations. It should be large enough to command attention but not so big that it dominates the space or gets in the way of eating and drinking.

Table decorations can also take many different forms. You could combine tealights and sparkly baubles to reflect light, scatter pine cones and holly leaves for a countryside aesthetic or simply place one or two mini Christmas trees. As long as you respect the overall theme and colour scheme you decided on, you can tie in almost any festive decorations or ornaments.

Extra tips for a perfect Christmas dining table

  • Be sure to include some upmarket Christmas crackers! The jokes may not be much better, but they look the part.
  • Consider artificial candles if there will be children present or if you are incorporating a lot of flammable materials (dried sprigs of fir burn very readily!)
  • Use Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration. You will find countless examples of stunning Christmas dinner settings.
  • Don't let your drive for perfection spoil the occasion. After all, Christmas dinner is about bringing people together and enjoying a fun, festive time.

Do you need a new dining table? Choose handmade sustainable furniture from 7Magok

Are you worried that your dining table isn't up to the job of hosting Christmas dinner? Consider treating yourself to a lovingly crafted sustainable oak or reclaimed wood table from our generous range. Visit our dedicated Dining Tables page to see what we have in stock.

And if you're still looking for Christmas gifts, consider a 7Magok gift card, and introduce a relative to the fantastic benefits of handmade sustainable furniture.

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