Christmas table ideas
With the menu ticked off your list, now you can turn your attention to dressing your table in true festive fashion – with foliage foraged from your garden
Christmas table settings are becoming almost as important as the meal itself – and they can certainly take as much work! Whether your style is more minimalist chic or you lean towards maximalist exuberance, our elegant and modern Christmas tablescaping ideas make the most of flowers, vegetables and natural foliage from your garden, with minimal effort and cost. You will be a Christmas table decorating pro in no time!
Invite your guests round to enjoy our festive entertaining ideas and Christmas buffet ideas. Still looking for gift ideas? We've rounded up the best foodie hampers for Christmas, and if you're feeling extra crafty, try your hand at Christmas cake decorating or a homemade gift or two. Heading out on your Christmas walk? We've got the best snack inspiration for winter walks.
Listen to olive's new happy to host podcast series, this week featuring Georgina Hayden on tablescaping, party themes and playlists.
Christmas table ideas
Floral Christmas table ideas
Dried flowers have been popping up in the most stylish places recently, especially the helichrysum, or strawflower. Strawflowers are a doddle to grow and dry well, holding their shape and colour for as long as you like. Throw a packet down in the spring and you’ll have bunches throughout summer and well into autumn. You can pick up a bunch or packs of the dried heads on Etsy. We made tiny wreath bases from a few garden prunings and dotted them with small flower heads for a personalised Christmas wreath for guests to take and hang on the tree. See our favourite foodie Christmas baubles for more tree-decorating inspiration.
Dried flowers also make a lovely finishing touch for gift wrapping. Go all in with a maximalist table setting, mixing colours, patterns and textures to create a joyful mood that’ll be personal to you.
Natural Christmas table ideas
A simple touch can be enough to elevate your Christmas table, and you can’t go wrong with fresh greenery. We’ve been adding touches of green to our tables at this time of year for centuries – as the winter draws in, there’s something uniquely cheering about evergreen branches and sprigs. Make your guests their own miniature Christmas tree snow globe by propping a sprig of rosemary under an upturned tumbler. Branches of evergreens down the centre of the table are an effortless touch – prunings from the garden or whatever you can forage on your weekend walk will give a sense of occasion.
White and green make a classic combination on the table.
"Edimental" Christmas table ideas
The recent trend of mixing edible ingredients and ornamentals in the garden has given new life to plants previously confined to the veg patch. Artichokes are one of the real stars of the trend and, when dried and given a golden sheen, the thistle-like heads make a beautifully festive flourish on the Christmas table. Larger heads can be dried and arranged as a centrepiece, while smaller heads can be used to finish place settings. Dried properly, they will keep for years.
We can’t resist the combination of deep blue and gold together.
Gold Christmas table ideas
Grasses and seedheads take centre stage in the autumn, with new shapes and forms developing as summer flowers fade. Grab bunches from the hedgerow or the park as they appear, and hang upside-down to dry. Different seedheads, arranged singly in small vases and pots, look beautiful at any time of year, with some grasses swaying in the slightest of breezes. Use environmentally friendly spray paint to give them a metallic sheen. Small arrangements dotted down the centre of the table make an understated centrepiece. Single seedheads with a name tag tied on are great for a complementary place setting, and organic finishes and warm neutral colours complement the intricate foraged forms.