Our Favorite Christmas Table Settings
"I love to blend the high and low, the formal and informal," says Buffy Hargett Miller. This seasonal tablescape starts with gray-and-white plates (Juliska's Country Estate in Flint), which she brightens up with cheery bursts of red, simple patterned table linens, shiny silver pieces, and a cascading centerpiece garland. Buffy's tricks could apply to most earthenware, pottery, or transferware dishes. "This styling is just right for informal holiday gatherings like Christmas breakfast or even a family supper during December," she adds.
1. The Centerpiece
Garland draped down the table acts as a runner. Insert pops of color with red berries, green pears, small apples, and fresh amaryllis. Simply place small vases throughout the garland and trim an amaryllis stem to fit snuggly over the rim of the vase.
2. The Place Setting
Skipping the fancy chargers that are typically pulled out for Christmas dinner, Buffy selected matching Country Estate salad and dinner plates. At each setting, she layered plates with gray-and-white-striped napkins and black flatware from CB2, which she tied together with ruby-colored ribbons. In lieu of place mats, Buffy improvised with red plaid dish towels folded in half. "It was just the right look. I wanted a fabric with a large print, but a table-cloth would have been too dressy. These were a less expensive option," she says.
3. The Holiday Touch
"Silver goblets and peppermints are the quickest way to bring Yuletide cheer and glitz to any table," says Buffy, who admits she still borrows her mother's silver pieces during the holidays. "I mix them with pewter candleholders to take the shine down a notch." The place card holders are easy to make. Hot-glue three candy canes together with the curved ends fanned out at the bottom so they will stand up. Tie on a place card at the top, or prop one at the bottom like you would set art on an easel. Fill silver bowls with additional red-and-white peppermints, or scatter them down the table.
We're Seeing Red
This bright and merry table setting channels Santa Claus with vibrant shades of ruby. We love the crafty touch of baker's twine wrapped around the glasses.
A Twist on Tradition
Traditional Christmas reds and greens get a bold twist with this statement-making Ikat-print tablecloth.
Let this star confetti-inspired table setting take you all the way through to the new year.
This forest-inspired setting exudes cottage charm. Our favorite touch? The delicate, moss-filled place cards.
Red and White, Candy Striped
Candy canes aren't just for hanging on trees. Let the classic Christmas candy inspire your dining room décor.
Rustic and Refined
A unique table surface transforms this non-traditional table, while elegant accessories keep it stylish.
Brilliant and Bold
Oh, come, all ye print lovers—gather round this festive, leopard-inspired table.
"It's traditional with a twist," says Buffy Hargett Miller, who played up the mint and gold tones of Royal Crown Derby's Darley Abbey pattern. At first glance, the colors are a surprising choice, but she selected mainstay Christmas blooms, like poinsettias and amaryllis, along with a smattering of vintage bottle brush trees and ornaments to create this fresh take on formal style. "Most people do red and green, but I lightened the shades to coral and mint," says Buffy, who set the palette off against a powder blue velvet tablecloth.
1. The Centerpiece
Go for the unexpected when picking traditional flowers for this whimsical table setting. Buffy chose white ranunculus, star of Bethlehem, silver dollar eucalyptus to compliment colorful amaryllis and poinsettias. Fill a small glass vase with about 15 seasonal blooms and fill the gaps with eucalyptus.
2. The Place Setting
"Picking a tablecloth in a rich hue is an easy way to make any pattern feel more festive," advises Buffy, who set the scene in blue. She layered the fancy Darley Abbey plates on top of inexpensive gold chargers, which she picked up from a crafts store. "Gold is gold," she says. That extra hint of shimmer also helps the pastel plates pop off the darker tablecloth. To prevent this setting from feeling too fussy, she used pieces of mismatched everyday silver-plated flatware she's collected over the years. Buffy secured each folded napkin with ribbon and threaded the tails through a big gold button.
3. The Holiday Touch
The tabletop was peppered with a mix of vintage bottle brush Christmas trees in blush pink (you can find similar ones on Etsy) and mercury glass ball ornaments with coral ribbon detailing. Their retro shapes are unique, and their textures complement the loose flower arrangement. "While the ornaments and trees are so nostalgic of my childhood, the colors that we used are unexpected," she says. Gold spray-painted pinecones bearing names written on eucalyptus leaves serve as place cards. Finish the table off with mercury glass votives for a warm glow.
Gilded in Gold
Layers of antique plates found at thrift stores give this table intricate detail.
There's nothing wrong with letting your favorite holiday dessert inspire you in every way possible. Hence this simple, red velvet cake box inspired display.
A fresh take on the usual forest greens of Christmas.
This sophisticated table is relatively simple, but the bold tablecloth and jewelry-like garland makes a stunning impression.
This casual table setting screams Southern style, while winter shades of blue and crisp white lasts beyond Christmas and into the New Year.
The aptly placed antlers, rustic salt container, randomly placed feathers, and fresh-picked cotton centerpiece make this setting one of our trendiest yet.
This airy table setting works great in dining rooms with large windows.
For tables with great natural wooden finishes, skip the tablecloth and opt for draped napkins and rustic décor.
Color-lovers, rejoice! This crafty table works summertime colors into a seasonal setting.
Classic Southern traditions, like that of giving citrus fruits during Christmastime, serve as the foundations for this classic setting.
This gala-worthy setting has a secret: gold chargers are available on amazon.com for a steal.
Layered with Linen
For a casual setting that works for a variety of occasions, stick to complimentary colors that feature various patterns.
Lit Up and Lovely
We love this cheerful table setting, and while it makes a wonderful kids' table, we love adding a dose of whismy to the adult table with lights and toys, too.