6 Tips to help you create an elegant Christmas tablescape


Serve up your Christmas dinner in style with a beautifully presented tablescape. Here, Christine Jacobsen from ceramics and homeware brand Denby shares her tips for decorating your Christmas table.

Christmas dinner is one of the many festive traditions that make the day so special, and a special meal calls for a beautiful table setting to serve it on. With a little planning and some magical finishing touches, you can create an elegant Christmas tablescape to impress this festive season. The tips below will give you plenty of inspiration to get started.

Choose a theme or color scheme

The first step to planning a beautiful Christmas tablescape is deciding on a color scheme. Doing this in the beginning will help you decide what kind of tableware and centerpieces you’ll use, so your festive table will look cohesive and elegant.

There are many ways you can choose a color scheme for your table. Perhaps you’ll focus colors that match your dining room décor, or maybe you’ll opt for a theme this year. Traditional red, white, and green table settings will create a cozy rustic look that’s bound to add a touch of nostalgia to your Christmas dinner.

Take inspiration from a winter woodland and opt for neutral tones of white, cream, gold, and silver for a modern minimalistic look that will let your food be the star of the show. Or, perhaps a bright and bold tablescape is more your style, with vibrant color parings that will bring a touch of festive joy to your meal.

Pick beautiful table linen

Stunning table linen can help create a sense of occasion, so look for beautiful tablecloths and napkins that will provide a good base to layer your place settings and decorations. Patterned linen will add a playful touch to your dining table, particularly if you pick out napkins and tablecloths with a festive print that matches your theme.

Make sure you choose high-quality tablecloths and napkins made from natural fibers such as cotton or linen. These materials are usually machine washable, meaning you can remove any accidental gravy stains and reuse your table linen for years to come.

Add the finishing touches to your table by rolling or folding your napkins neatly and decorating them with Christmas napkin rings or colorful ribbon tied in a bow.

Select stunning tableware


Along with table linen, beautiful tableware can help elevate your Christmas décor. White tableware is a traditional option for Christmas, as it’s incredibly versatile and can match almost any theme. To inject a bit of festive magic, opt for white ceramics with gold or silver touches.

For a more personal touch, why not use your everyday tableware for your Christmas dinner? You can easily dress them up with the rest of your table décor. This is often a more sustainable option, as you’re not having to invest in a dinnerware set that you’re only going to use a few times a year. Plus, if you choose high-quality tableware for every day, it won’t look out of place on your Christmas table.

If you do buy new tableware for the festive season, try to pick pieces that you can use year-round, such as those with simple glazes or geometric designs, rather than Christmas patterns.

Lay beautiful place settings

To help the day go as smoothly as possible, be sure to lay your table with everything you’ll need for the entirety of your Christmas feast. This includes providing all the necessary tableware, such as dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls, along with glasses and enough cutlery for each course.

Lay a dinner plate at each place setting and stack the salad plate on top ready for your appetizers. If you’ll be serving soup, then your soup bowl should go at the top of the stack.

Cutlery should also be placed in the order that they’ll be used, so dinner utensils are on the inside and salad utensils are on the outside. Usually, forks will sit on the left, with knives on the right but, for a relaxed table setting, you can place all cutlery on one side of the place setting if you prefer.

Glassware should sit to the top right of your dinner plates, and it’s a good idea to lay out tumblers for water as well as wine glasses.

Carrie Allen – Passion Prints

I have spent much of 2019 thus far looking inwards and reflecting on what’s important in life, what’s important to me, focusing on my daily rituals, which ground me and give me a cadence I crave, so that I can be true to my authentic self and show up every day full of love and inspiration in all that I do.  (At least that’s my goal…of course we all have good days and bad…)


August Table “Sequoia”“August”, and “Talelayo” block prints in Tern Gray

Following your bliss and passion are key to finding happiness, key to slowing down and embracing each moment.  Life is better when you slow down and pursue things you love.  One of my passions is Indian block-printed textiles.  Patterns made with wooden blocks, hand printed by skilled artisans, with natural dyes, derived from indigenous plants – indigo, turmeric, hibiscus, pomegranate and ochre.  Each print has imperfections that add beauty to the overall artistry.

While block printing was first developed in China roughly 4500 years ago, the practice of block printing is about 2000 years old and trade in cotton cloth is said to have existed between India and Babylon from Buddha’s time.   It was on the Indian subcontinent where hand-block fabric reached its highest visual expression.


Photographs by Mehera Shaw

In home workshops scattered throughout India, you can still find chippas, a caste of printers who continue day after day to stamp lengths of cotton fabric with color using hand-carved wood blocks. They were taught this trade by their parents, who were, in turn, taught by theirs — each generation working almost exactly as the one before, going back at least 300 years.  They are truly skilled artisans.  The recipes for the plant-based dyes are developed within the families and kept alive for generations. The colors are dependent on the quality of the plants, the water and skill and knowledge of the printing masters.

Last year Krister and I worked with an amazing team in a little factory in India to design our own block-printed textile patterns for linen napkins and tablecloths – and August Table was born.  August Table and our block print designs bring together so many passions for me.  Passion for connecting with loved ones over a meal, passion for baking and cooking, passion for entertaining, and a passion for trying to inspire others to find joy in the same.  I also realize I have a love for styling photographs with our textiles, slowing down in the present to capture a moment of our daily lives.

Additionally, we get great pleasure in knowing through the production of our textiles we are providing a source of income to many village families in an environmentally positive approach with mill made cotton and natural dyes.  Using cloth napkins is good for the environment while also bringing a touch of boho elegance to your meal, and the linens get softer and better with each use as they age. A few of my favorite shots from 2018 with our textiles are below –  a visual diary of quiet, caught moments, special moments, celebrations and more.




Carrie Allen created this site as a way for people to share stories about things they love.  She loves chasing quiet, authentic moments and sharing them with her family and friends.  Read more about her inspiration here.