Twinkling candlelight, seasonal greenery and gleaming metallics – Christmas is a great excuse to go all out on a gorgeous table setting

Gabrielle Orcutt, Houzz Contributor
Article first published on Houzz
Lead image M&S Christmas 2014 by Marks and Spencer

When it comes to Christmas celebrations, feasting with friends and family is always a central part of the day. Whether you serve Christmas lunch before going out for a wintry walk, or an elaborate Christmas dinner in the evening, getting the table right is an important part of setting the mood. From Scandi-inspired simplicity to traditional glitz and glamour, here are nine ideas to inspire you come the big day.

M&S Christmas 2014
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Present food beautifully
Nothing says Christmas better than a table laden with lovingly prepared food. And you can make your table setting really special by ensuring all the dishes are elegantly presented. Here, meringues are piled sumptuously on a high stand and goodies are displayed under glass domes.

M&S Christmas 2014
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Decorate with atmospheric candlelight
The glimmer of lit candles on the table is the perfect festive touch, especially if they’re displayed in seasonal candlesticks like this reindeer one. Make sure that any tall candles are positioned carefully so your guests can still see each other and reach across the table. Tea-light holders can be scattered around, too.

Christmas at LuxDeco
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Bring out your glistening glassware
Whether it’s mulled wine, eggnog or bubbles, you’ll need suitable receptacles from which to drink that Christmas tipple! If you’re having lots of guests at your celebration, consider personalising your glasses – try wine glass charms or beautifully tied ribbons in different colours.

Christmas Decor
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Select simple but elegant tableware
A relatively simple setting is a wonderful way to show off elegant cutlery and beautiful seasonal hues. Here, the stone-coloured linen table cloth, dark charcoal napkins and white plates really set off the beautiful cutlery and green foliage and ribbon.

A cosy Christmas Table and Christmas Tree
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Celebrate with crackers
No Christmas table would be complete without the crackers. If you’re feeling particularly inspired, you can even buy kits that allow you to make your own, and then can insert home-made gifts and personalised jokes for friends and family.

Christmas Decor
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Big up a wreath
Wreaths look so beautiful on the front door, so why not bring one inside, too, and use it as a dining table decoration? Pictured above, a wreath is cleverly used as a centrepiece, hanging over the middle of the table. You could also easily hang a wreath on the wall to one side of the table, or use it as a centrepiece on the table itself.

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Say yes to comfy seating
While preparing your Christmas table plans, don’t forget the chairs. Adding a special touch, like these luxurious sheepskins, will make it all the easier to linger over a happy meal with family and friends. It’s also a great way to change the look and feel of a room, adding a cosy note, or try red, green and white seat cushions for a thoroughly festive mood.

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Be arty with branches
Decorations on the table should reflect your personal aesthetic while bringing a touch of festive charm to the meal. This Scandinavian-inspired Christmas look proves that less really can be more. The combination of witty Christmas ornaments, the warm glow of a pillar candle and the bare branch hung with white baubles gives a cleanly modern but delightfully festive look.

M&S Christmas 2014
Photo by Marks & SpencerDiscover contemporary home design design ideas

Hang seasonal pendant lamps
This star-inspired pendant light adds the perfect finishing touch to a traditional Christmas look. A pendant light, whether lit by a bulb or candle, is a wonderful way to change your room style and add a festive touch to your lighting without having candles on the table. If you have a pendant light over your table, consider swapping the shade to something festive over the holidays, or hang lanterns for a similar effect.

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Give your food the best setting with the perfect dining table