I love, love, love a good table setting. To me it sets the scene and puts the finishing touch on a beautifully prepared meal.

As a kid, I took (and still take) great delight in being asked to set the table. I would try different approaches, like swapping the “correct” placement of the knife and fork, to add interest. Today I am very particular about table settings and how they should look, but more importantly, how they make a guest feel. I always aim for a comfortable and relaxed setting that has layers of interest, but never too fussy.

The Christmas table setting is one place that we can get carried away and go over board, or in our busy lives, throw together, and end up with a dogs breakfast. With a bit of pre planning and not to much fuss you can also create a stage that will wow your guests.

Tip #1

Lay your foundations: A tablecloth goes a long way to creating a base to build from. While you may have a beautiful table, by adding a tablecloth you have raised the bar. It does not have to be Christmas themed cloth, in fact I encourage you to go classic white and keep it simple. Do take the time to iron your cloth, it’s the difference between good and really awesome!!

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Tip #2

Keep it simple: Do yourself a massive favour and make sure that everything you are using can be easily cleaned. Linen should be able to go in the washing machine; not the dry cleaners. The best plates are the ones that can be put in the dishwashers and cutlery should not have to be polished. Leave that palaver to the Queen, she has people to help her with those details. You should be enjoying your guests.

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Tip #3

Leave space: I am the first to admit that I can get carried away and think that big is better, however there is nothing worse than a crammed table. It makes for a very uncomfortable dinning experience. Leave space between your settings and space for your guests to see the whole table. Keep arrangements low or high, at least 50cm of vase, so that arrangements are above seated guests. Have space for serving plates and often over looked water jugs. By having space you are also creating impact.

Tip #4

Light the mood: Lighting for me is so important, it is what sets the mood. One of my massive pet peeves is restaurants that get their lighting wrong, I feel it is so unprofessional and shows that they have no understanding for the comfort of their clients. Make sure you are all over your lighting, if you can dim the main lights, do so while it is still light. If you can’t dim them turn them off and add lamps to the corners of the room. To have your guests linger long after the desert dishes have been cleared away, use candle light. Buy t-lights in bulk and spread down the centre of your table. The warm glow will have your guests feeling comfortable and well cared for.

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Tip #5

Choose your colour: Theming a table is about having fun and creating. For the most effective Christmas Table settings I suggest choosing two colours and building around these. The trick is to use the colour in a few places, not all over the place!! Have the colour tie things together and create a flow that is pleasing for the eye to follow.

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Tip #6

Enjoy the moment: Spend more time at the table you have set beautifully enjoying the company of the people you love than at the kitchen sink… Boxing Day is for cleaning up the mess!!

For more table styling tips and inspiration check out Fantail Productions Pinterest board

Happy Days and Happy Holidays x