…More beautiful, more lived in, more loved.

Styling10 Of The Best Christmas Table Decorating Ideas

Looking for ways to make your Christmas table sparkle and shine this year? You’re in the right place! We’ve put together our hands-down favourite Christmas table decoration ideas that go beyond the ordinary and create the backdrop to the perfect day.

To some people, setting a festive table comes easily, but to others, it’s a bit of a challenge and that’s where these ideas come in super handy. Little tricks like focusing on a particular colour scheme or personalising elements of the table not only add design flair to tables, but they welcome guests with open arms. And that’s what Christmas is all about after all.

Ready to unwrap the magic and splash some festive cheer? Let’s dive into our top decoration ideas for setting a Christmas table that family and friends will never forget.

Choose a colour theme

A Christmas table with green candles and a foliage garland.
Assorted Festive Tableware. Image: Pillow Talk

While it takes a little bit of planning and searching for the perfect decorations, having a specific colour scheme in mind makes it easier to pull your Christmas table together on the big day. Whether you go old-school classic or step outside of the box and choose something contemporary largely depends on the aesthetic you’re after. Here are some of our favourite colour combinations for Christmas tables:

  • Elegant: Red and Gold
  • Classic: White, Red and Green
  • Contemporary: Black, White and Silver
  • Rustic: Brown, Beige and White
  • Natural: Green and Gold

Image: Assorted Festive Tableware, Pillow Talk

Add personalisation

A personalised place card in the shape of a Christmas tree.
Personalised Place Cards. Image: Twilight Craft Create (Etsy)

One of our favourite Christmas table decorations (and the quickest way to win the hearts of your guests) is personalised place cards. If time permits, you can order custom tags from stores like Etsy Australia for little cost. But if you’ve left your planning to the eleventh hour, just make them yourself! Grab some cardboard place cards from a store like Spotlight and simply write your guest’s name on them with a black or metallic marker. If your guests prefer to choose their seats, pop the place cards in a glass jar at the centre of the table for them to pick out!

Image: Personalised Place Cards, Twilight Craft Create (Etsy Australia)

Go great with your garland

A Christmas table with a luxurious garland decoration.
LED Pine Garland. Image: Pillow Talk

Whether you’re using a table runner, a tablecloth – or both, adding a garland to the mix takes Christmas tables to a whole new level. Usually crafted from faux foliage, many come pre-lit with LED lights (a tick for your table lighting) and embellished with ornaments. Some are uniquely Australian for a native spin on your festive setting, while others have a distinctly Nordic vibe. Whatever style you go for, your garland is the Christmas table decoration guaranteed to bring that extra dose of cheer you’ve been looking for.

Image: LED Pine Garland, Pillow Talk

Layer your plates

A set of Christmas servingware.
Assorted Feative Servingware. Image: Adairs

Want to wow your guests? Layered plates are a fabulous way to create visual depth and bring all the fine-dining vibes to your Christmas table. Usually, a ‘charger plate’ sits underneath the other tableware, protecting the table linen and working as a base throughout serving. Sophisticated and fun, it’s a luxe way to elevate the Christmas dining experience and an opportunity to add contrasting colour to the setting.

Image: Assorted Feative Servingware, Adairs

Don’t skimp on your linen

A Christmas table decorated with green candles and napkins.
Eucalyptus Leaf Table Cloth. Image: Pillow Talk

Nothing screams luxury like glorious linen, so when it comes to your tablecloth (and YES, you need one!), invest in a quality product you’ll use for years. Prints are having a big moment in 2023, so don’t be scared to go for a lovely pattern like the Eucalyptus Leaf pictured above. Just be sure it’s something that can work with other colour schemes in case you change things up next year. And if in doubt, white is the safest choice; it’s timeless and beautiful.

Image: Eucalyptus Leaf Table Cloth, Pillow Talk

Add a unique centrepiece

An outdoor table dressed with colourful tableware and a unique centrepiece filled with lemons.
Citron Green Footed Vase. Image: Adairs

As a conversation starter and festive focal point, consider your centrepiece the celebrity of your Christmas table. And the great news is that there are no rules – it can be anything from faux foliage to lanterns or even a Citron Footed Vase filled with lemons as pictured above! Choose something appropriate to the size of your table and the right colour for your overall palette. If in doubt, we recommend opting for neutral shades or clear glass. Here are some centrepiece ideas to get the inspiration flowing:

  • Fresh flowers
  • Gingerbread House
  • Lanterns with candles
  • Bowl filled with baubles
  • A Nutcracker ornament
  • Bowl or vase of fresh fruit

Image: Citron Green Footed Vase – Adairs

Let there be light!

A dining table with green candles and black crockery.
Ribbed Tapered Candles. Image Pillow Talk

As every decor aficionado will tell you, light is the fastest way to create the perfect ambience in rooms – and at Christmas, it’s a must! Consider running fairy lights along the table runner for a lovely touch of sparkle. Candles in themed holders or mason jars are also a beautiful way to achieve all the cosy vibes we love at Christmas. Or for a classic look that never fails, use tapered candles with lovely glass candle holders that match your festive colour scheme.

Image: Ribbed Tapered Candles, Pillow Talk

Use decorations to add texture

A set of Christmas tableware with decorations.
Beaded Snowflake Ornament. Image: Bed Bath N’ Table

Garlands, pinecones and ornaments are a beautiful way to add texture to your Christmas table, and they don’t need to cost an arm and a leg either. A lovely idea (and one of our favourite tricks) is to use a textured ornament as part of the place setting as shown above. If you’re using linen napkins, tie some string to an ornament and tie it around your napkins for a quick and affordable napkin holder!

Image: Beaded Snowflake Ornament, Bed Bath N’ Table

Set up a drink station

A glass drinks dispenser on a sideboard next to a tray of glasses.
Nantucket Glass Dispenser. Image: Pillow Talk

Having a steady supply of drinks on hand is a must for busy family Christmas gatherings, especially when thirsty kids are in the mix. If you have space, consider setting up a drink station at one end of the table, or even on a nearby buffet. We always go for a glass dispenser because adding fresh fruit and herbs gives you a fab opportunity to add colour and creativity to the dining area.

Image: Nantucket Glass Dispenser, Pillow Talk

Ramp up the fun!

A Christmas-themed napkin holder on a dining table.
Ambrosia Santa’s Caravan Napkin Holder. Image: House

The first rule of the festive season: have fun! Look for some adorable Christmas table decorations that will have the kids tickled pink and the grown-ups gushing. The Ambrosia tableware and decor range at House is an excellent place to start looking, with great items like Santa mugs, bottle holders, dip bowls and novelty napkin holders up for grabs at even greater prices.

Image: Ambrosia Santa’s Caravan Napkin Holder, House

Top image: Adairs

Looking for some ways to cool off after Christmas lunch? Check out Australia’s most stylish paddling pools for modern homes.

Come on in & join the family.

There'll be renos and reviews, redesigns and redos. Everything you could ever need to know about making your home more wonderful, lived in and loved.

Join now