This year, we’re all competing to find the best Christmas table decorations. “Customers are embracing the fun of decorating the table and making it a visual feast for guests,” says Nicola Hattersley, lead tabletop buyer at John Lewis. “But there are three things to consider when creating your Christmas tablescape – colour, texture and a centrepiece to create a talking point on the table.”
Read on for more detail on that and my pick of the best Christmas table decorations this year – but if you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick look at my top five Christmas table decorations of 2023:
How to build the perfect Christmas table
The starting point is choosing your colour theme. “Red and green is a timeless colour combination,” Nicola says. “It brings warmth, particularly when paired with natural materials like jute.” For a sleeker look, she advises mixing metallics with white and then pops of red, from “the candles or ribbons on the napkins”.
Texture comes from layers. “Start with the base layer of a tablecloth to add a sense of occasion, and add a festive runner, which is a simple way to bring in pattern to the mix and the way it travels down the centre draws your guests’ eyes down the length of the table.”
Next, add in height with a Christmas table centrepiece. Carole Bamford, co-founder of Daylesford Organic, suggests natural foliage and floral arrangements but advises keeping it under eye level, “so they don’t block anyone’s line of vision. Avoid using heavily scented flowers which may be distracting or clash with the food.”
Not everything should be new. “Christmas is a time to display treasured pieces and familiar ornaments that bring back fond memories,” Carole Bamford says. “It is lovely to mix these favourites with newer pieces.”
Below is my pick of this year’s best new pieces, from well-known high street retailers as well as online specialists. If you’re looking for a tabletop Christmas tree to use as a centrepiece, there’s a great one on my guide to the best artificial Christmas trees.