Tips for designing an elegant Christmas table, from the tastemakers on the McCoy Homes Interior Design Team.

The response to last month’s article, Create the Perfect Thanksgiving Tablescape, was so great that we have decided to produce a similar explaining how to design an Elegant Christmas Table. The Holiday season is a time to gather with friends and family, and putting effort into a home-cooked holiday meal is a rewarding experience for anyone. However, you can go the extra mile to create a truly memorable experience by taking the time to arrange your table with a beautiful holiday arrangement. The centerpiece, place settings, and other decoration on your table can be thoughtfully arranged to create and elegant tablescape – elevating the ambiance at any Holiday dinner. And, of course, the tastemakers on the McCoy Homes Team have a few tips to help you create the perfect tablescape for your most special Christmas meals.

Design with Natural Elements

A little bit of greenery and seasonal foliage can go a long way toward creating a perfect holiday dinner table. During the fall, seasonal vegetables like pumpkins, corn, and apples are fantastic choices. For the winter, branches from your Christmas tree, pinecones, and sprigs of holly leaves can be beautiful additions to your dinner table. 

Traditions Rule the Day – but be creative!

There may not be a “right” way to set your holiday dinner table, but there is certainly a way that’s right for you. Try to stick to a simple color palette, but don’t be afraid to play with textures, materials, and colors on the place settings and centerpiece to achieve the look you envision. We love the unexpected mix of materials in the image above: polished silver with a rustic wooden charger.

Set a Wax FREE Table

Candles on the table are timeless decorative touches, but the smell of waxy wicks can interfere with the way your family tastes the meal you’ve prepared. For a similar look without having to worry about burning smells or melting wax, you could consider one of two options for your holiday dinner table: flameless candles or Lucid candles.

Elevate Your Linens

If you’re breaking out the nice cloth napkins for a holiday meal, why not roll them up with something out of the ordinary? Simple silver or gold rings are timeless and functional, but you can also get creative and make something that’s a little more exciting. Five Minute Crafts has produced a video on napkin folding that we think is helpful. We’d recommend avoiding things like real leaves and sprigs of pine, though. You don’t want your guests picking flecks of leaves or pine needles out of their food!

Links to the napkins pictured above: Williams Sonoma, LiveMaster and Fine Linens.

Design a Thoughtful Place-Setting

Ballard Designs has produced an article with really great table setting diagrams for most occasions: Basic, Informal and Formal. As with most things, we recommend flexing your creative muscles within a traditional framework. Use a formal place-setting template for Christmas dinner, but mix and match your dinnerwear, use a unique charger or get creative with your place card.

Decorate with Tiered Displays

Layer food and decor on a tiered display to both save on space and to create a sense of abundance! You can use all kinds of tricks to place your prepared foods at different elevations, either on the dinner table itself or on a sideboard for buffet-style plating. In either case, an elevated cake dish or piles of covered books can be the perfect solution to displaying your various foods at different levels. This not only looks more dramatic and adds visual interest but can also make it easier to manage to pass the serving dishes around.

Above: The Patisserie Glass Serving Stand from Ballard Designs.

At McCoy Homes, we strive to provide our readers with the best homemaking and interior design tips we can find. We know how special the holiday season is for you, and we want to help you make your holiday meals into extraordinary experiences for you and your guests. What is your favorite way to decorate for meals during the holiday season? And do you have any tips for creating the perfect tablescape? Email us your favorite decorating tips and the best parts of the holiday for you and your family!