I’ve always loved dressing the table for Christmas. It was my job as a child, and I’d spend much of Christmas morning in my parents’ garden with a pair of scissors, decimating their holly bushes in a bid to find the prettiest sprigs. It’s a task I take very seriously to this day, and even though we’re not hosting Christmas this year, I still want to create a festive atmosphere for December meals with family and friends.
As with the rest of our decorations, I’ve kept our Christmas table simple and elegant, with a grey, white and green colour palette, flickering candlelight and lots of natural foliage.
I chose eucalyptus and grevillea as their long, silvery leaves look wonderful laid flat. I took the same approach as I did when dressing our mantelpiece and placed individual strands straight onto the table, rather than weaving them into a garland. This meant I could easily arrange them around the candles and place settings, and build exactly the look I wanted.
The candleholders are a mix of brass, black and pink ceramic ones which I had dotted around the house – I don’t think it really matters that they don’t match as the foliage covers most of the bases, and I love the fact that they’re all slightly different heights. I opted for tall, tapered candles as they look so striking on a dinner table – my all-time favourites (used at our wedding) come from Danish brand Ester & Erik and are rather pricey, but I managed to find cheap alternatives at H&M Home.
For the napkins, it had to be linen: it creates a stylish, relaxed look, and it requires zero ironing as it works best when slightly crumpled. I wanted white napkins to contrast with our grey tableware, and these ones were an absolute bargain (£3.99 each) from H&M Home. Rather than fold them into formal squares or triangles, I simply held each one from a corner and tied a loose knot in the middle, making sure any labels were hidden on the underside. I then tucked sprigs of eucalyptus into the knots and laid them diagonally across the place settings.
If you’re looking for more table-styling inspiration, here are a few posts from other bloggers that have caught my eye:
- A simple and natural table from Ingredients LDN
- Two understated schemes using Lyngby ceramics from Elisabeth Heier
- A quiet Christmas table from Mademoiselle Poirot
- Charcoal-coloured linen and hyacinths from Stylizmo
- White and grey styling with mini wreaths, also from Stylizmo
- Brass cutlery and eucalyptus napkin rings from Therese Knutsen
- A whimsical table with Kähler Design decorations from Cate St Hill
- Muted tones and raw materials from Hannah in the House
- A super-minimal table setting from Selina Lauck
- And my own festive tables from previous years – one rustic, the other elegant
You’ll also find plenty of ideas on my festive Pinterest board, ‘A Simple Christmas’.
All photography by Abi Dare