If you’re anything like me, you start pulling your Christmas decorations out of the attic the minute Halloween ends. I mean, who wouldn’t want the most wonderful time of the year to start ASAP, right!? But while decorating is a fun way to get in the spirit, it can also be super overwhelming. Especially when it comes to planning a cute tablescape (which is essential for allll of those holiday dinner parties you’ve got planned this szn).
Trying to match all of your existing decor while also staying far, far away from Hobby Lobby can be quite a challenge, to say the least, plus it’s difficult to visualize what all of your schtuff will look like together. It’s stressful! I get it! But my motto is: you never know until you try, so why not play around with some new ideas when it comes to your holiday table? Lucky for you, I rounded up a bunch of tips, along with some of the best holiday place settings to try out this year. So, ask Alexa to throw on some Christmas tunes (preferably Mistletoe by Justin Bieber) and start decking those halls (and tabletops).
1. Incorporate classic red plaid.
You can’t get any more traditional than tartan plaid, so if you’re looking for some decor that will last you through the years, this tried-and-true pattern is the way to go. Mix it with bold metals, black accents, and greenery for more of a modern lewk.
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2. Put bright colors front and center.
We’re big fans of bright colors year-round, and our approach to Christmas decor is no different. Ditch the red and green trees and decorate with pinks, blues, oranges, and even yellows for a more vibrant table.
3. Add glass accents.
Jewel tones are trendy AF, and we love the moody vibe of this holiday spread. But the standouts here aren’t only the deep purple and blue hues, but also the glass accents that give the table a timeless feel.
4. Go for (some minimalist) gold.
Gold doesn’t have to be gaudy—I mean, just look at this gorg garland! Pair it with a white tablecloth, plates, and napkins, and add some silver accents with flatware, napkin rings, and wine glasses.
5. Tell people, “it’s vintage, duh.”
If you’re looking for a way to incorporate grandma’s glassware into your tablescape this holiday season, look no further. Mix old-school, classic pieces with modern elements like minimalist flowers and white-and-wood candlesticks.
6. Push pops of pink.
Hello from the other side, where Christmas hues include oranges, pinks, and blues. We’re getting major tropical vibes from this tablescape and we are HERE. FOR. IT.
7. Use a Christmas tree.
Yes, you can quite literally put a Christmas tree on your dinner table. There are no rules here. Consider adding a mini Charlie Brown-esque tree as your centerpiece and call it a day.
8. Keep it modern with black and gold.
This color combo is super ~in~ right now, and tbh, it looks good no matter the time of year. If you’re a lil lazy and don’t want to change much about your dining table for a holiday dinner, just spruce up your everyday matte-black-and-gold decor by adding greenery and some place cards. See? That wasn’t hard now, was it?
9. Buy fun drinkware.
Parties are automatically more fun with festive drinkware, and this holiday szn you can literally drink out of a snowman with a straw. Add one to every place setting and you have yourself a proper party.
10. Accent with bold beads.
Napkin holders are a chic way to add some character to any table, and this set of checkered, beaded holly rings from MacKenzie-Childs will add a lil pop of sump’n sump’n to your Christmas plates.
11. Layer! Layer! Layer!
Add some dimension to any table by using a bunch of different elements, like placemats, chargers, a table runner, and patterned plates.
12. Use muted reds.
Emphasis on the “muted” here. Sure, the first thing you want to do once Mariah starts her holiday crooning is throw glitter in the air and decorate with as much red and green as humanly possible, but that’s not necessary. A minimalist red and white pattern gets the festive message across without being, well, obnoxious.
13. Blues and golds.
This modern blue and gold tablescape is giving Hannukah in the chicest way possible. The sleek marble menorah completes the scene, and is just begging to be ‘grammed.
14. Get creative with your string lights.
News flash: string lights can go on more than just your Christmas tree. Try using them on your dining table in place of garland or a traditional centerpiece.
15. Set out some bottlebrush Christmas trees.
Bottlebrush trees are all the rage rn, and they look great anywhere in your cozy lil abode—including on your dinner table. Feeling crafty? Try DYI-ing your own and peep some easy instructions here.
16. Keep it cream.
Okay, this one may be a little impractical, but tbh, we don’t care. Using off-white as a primary color when there’s food and wine involved is a little risky, but the payoff of a beautiful ivory table is worth it. It’s clean and crisp and basically turns your home into a space Nancy Meyers would be proud of.
17. Use fake snow.
Yeah, you read that right. Skip the garland and greenery and opt instead for white flecks of fake snow for your table runner. It’s super cheap to buy and a little goes a long way.
18. Go traditional with a pine cone centerpiece.
It doesn’t get more gorgeous and traditional than this. The red candles, the flowers, the pinecones, and greenery? *chef’s kiss.*
19. Add some edible decor.
If you’re already planning to spend some time in the kitchen for the holidays, add the ingredients for this charcuterie board to your grocery list. We’re willing to bet it tastes as good as it looks.
20. Choose a classic combo of silver and gold.
Mixed metals will forever be a thing, and you can get away with a variety of gold and silver ornaments, chargers, plates, flatware, and other tabletop decor.
21. Give Santa a seat at the table.
Santa belongs on your table in the least creepy way possible. Incorporate Ol’ Saint Nick with cute plates or festive cups (but maybe skip the life-size figurines?)
22. Think au naturel.
If you’re a ~nature~ girlie, this table is for you, bb. The brown and green elements give off fancy log cabin vibes, while the nutcrackers, greenery, and animal figurines are reminiscent of a casuallll ski weekend in Aspen.
23. Blend baby blues.
Whether the walls of your home just look better with blue, or you just want something a little non-tradish, this fun tablescape is completely unexpected. But it works. It’s like the adult version of Frozen all wrapped into one fab holiday table.
24. Play with wood accents.
This all-in-one box is chock full of placemats, a centerpiece, napkins, coupes, garland, candlesticks, pinecones, and more. Perfect for those who feel like they lack an eye for interior design (hi, it’s me).
25. Throw around some throws.
Festive throw blankets have so many uses. Grab one with a plaid pattern and tassels and use it as a table runner, or pop one on every chair to give everyone something to snuggle up with.
26. Go all-out glam.
Want all your guests to say, “Wow, that’s chic” when they see your holiday table? Think red berries and gold flatware while decorating.
27. All pink everything.
If you’ve always preferred colored lights on the tree to white LEDs, we’ve got ya covered. With a mix of pinks, this table is basically the sophisticated version of the kids’ table, incorporating maximalist design that is beyond festive.
28. Add confetti.
These fun little paper additions will spruce up any table. Sprinkle them over any holiday tablescape for a festive touch that isn’t glittery (thank god) so it’s wayyyyy easier to clean up once everyone finally goes home.
29. Use ornaments.
We love ornaments on the Christmas tree as much as the next gal, but we especially love them on a holiday table. The different shapes, colors, and dimensions make a statement while still screaming “Merry Christmas!”
30. Carve out a candy cane lane.
No offense, but this is way better than the Candy Cane Forest we imagine Buddy the Elf gallivanted through. Incorporate red-and-white candy cane patterns with deep-green centerpieces and bring out your crystal glasses for a grown-up table that’s still super sweet.
31. Practice those napkin folds.
Check out this how-to video to learn how to fold any napkin into the shape of a Christmas tree, then replicate it for the center of every plate on your dining table.
32. Better in black.
If your home is already dark and moody with matte black accents and furniture, you may want to go minimalist with your holiday decor. Add in little pieces of greenery and brown elements rather than a large centerpiece or place settings full of colors.
33. Add pampas accents.
Feathers and pampas grass are perfect for a holiday centerpiece, and look gorg mixed with faux-fur accents and muted colors. If you’re the type who would enjoy eating dinner on the floor (it’s a vibe, ngl), consider setting up your holiday table as a picnic and have guests sit on pillows for a truly unique experience.
34. Hang it up.
Looking for a sign to hang a greenery arrangement above your dining room table? Here ya go. We are obsessed with these fully-decorated evergreens with red ribbons. They create a focal point for the table that’s way different than the average centerpiece.
35. Flex your DIY skills.
Chances are, you’re already either making a wreath to hang on your door or you’re planning on buying one, so why not use an extra one and incorporate it into your tablescape? Pop in a candle and ~voila~, your holiday table is no longer basic.
36. Go boho.
Elements of sage green and neutrals give off holiday vibes, but in a nontraditional, simpler way.
37. Transform your table into a snowy tree farm.
If you really leaned into the modern farmhouse home trend, this seven-piece set full of farm-fresh Christmas tree decor is the one for you. It features faux trees, red berries, mistletoe, and pine cones in easy-to-display white containers that you can just plop down on your table.
38. Incorporate patterned greens.
Don’t be afraid to mix patterns or use a lighter shade of green when decorating. We’re obsessed with the velvet bows and might just repurpose them during the holiday off-season, TYVM.
39. Add in purples.
Casual pops of purple—or really any color that you love—will help make the table your own. Try to incorporate the color into glassware, napkins, or place cards for something super subtle.
40. Get creative with lighting.
Candles and hanging lights will create some ambiance for your holiday soirée. Use products in different heights and shapes to make it visually appealing, and pair them with traditional centerpieces like greenery and pinecones for a stunning display.
41. Add dimension.
If you don’t want your table to be boring as all hell, dimension is a must. Use varying heights, textures, and patterns when decorating, and don’t be afraid to play around and try something unexpected.
42. Decorate any and everything.
Yes, focusing on your table is important, but if your dining table is surrounded by other pieces of furniture—like a bookshelf or bar—decorate those too.
43. Don’t forget the chairs.
Adding wreaths to the backs of your chairs is an easy way to incorporate decor without crowding your table. That means you’ll have room for the stuff that really matters (ahem, the food).
44. Get creative with placemats.
Placemats may seem outdated, but these fun nutcracker versions prove they can be practical and cute. Really lean into the Christmas theme and you’ll end up with a cheerful table your guests will be obsessed with.
45. Bust out the candles.
Candles are a simple way to liven up your dining table, and when planning a holiday tablescape, buy varying heights of candles to add dimension. Just be careful if you’re using actual flames during the meal so you don’t, you know, catch your cousin’s hair on fire or something.