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How to Set and Style Your Dinner Table for Christmas


How to Set and Style Your Dinner Table for Christmas


Whether you’ve got the in-laws coming for Christmas dinner or a bunch of pals for a pre-Christmas meal, having a beautifully set up Christmas table will bring the atmosphere.


With a wide range of delightful Christmas goodies – including ornaments, tableware and home decor – Pretty Little Home has everything you need to get everyone in the festive mood. 


Formal or Christmas dinner tables can look complicated but they’re not once you know what’s what. You may wonder why setting a table correctly matters. Well, much of it has to do with symmetry and pleasing aesthetics. How a table looks influences our feelings about the event, how we act and even the taste of the food. 


In this article, we’ll show you how to make your Christmas table look gorgeous and inviting, starting with setting it correctly.

How to set a table for dinner


  1. Lay a crisp and ironed tablecloth (creases can completely ruin the look of a set table).


  1. Put placemats and/or a charger plate at each setting. (What’s a charger plate? It’s one that sits underneath the dinner plate specifically to protect tables and retain the heat of the meal.)


  1. Place the dinner plate on top of the place mat / charger plate. 


Check out PLH’s collection of uniquely designed dinner plates and serving dishes


  1. Add the salad / appetiser plate on top of the dinner plate.


  1. Bread plates sit above left of the dinner and salad plate. Place the butter knife horizontally across the bread plate.


TIP: the blades of all knives should always face inwards.


  1. Forks go to the left of the dinner plate and salad forks go to the left of the fork. 


  1. Knives go to the right of the dinner plate and soup spoons to the right of the knife. 

If serving soup, we recommend our gorgeous and subtly festive teal stoneware bowls with gold trims. 


  1. Water glasses go to the right of the dinner plate, above the knife. 


  1. Place wine glasses to the right of the water glass. (To really add elegance to the table, serve water, wine, or indeed any drink from one of our pretty drinks carafes with corks. Why use a drinks carafe? Find out here.) 


  1. Put the napkin either on the dinner plate or underneath the fork. Add festive plantage, such as holly or ferns, to the napkin holder.

Top tips for decorating your Christmas dinner table


Move the chairs

… and any other obstructions away from the table to make decorating and setting easier. It may seem obvious, but so many of us don’t do this and end up getting frustrated trying to get around the table! Decorating is more fun when you have space to move!


Choose a theme

… then use complimenting colours and textures. For example, a ‘starry winter night’s sky’ could include a black tablecloth, with delicate touches of silver and white here and there (consider our dotted white carafe, for instance). 


For a more shabby chic or vintage theme, stand dishes on our beaded trays and place festive foliage inside one of our botanical glass vases.

Hide a multitude of furniture sins under cloth


Expecting large numbers of guests on Christmas day? Need more tables but they don’t match? No problem. Nobody will be any the wiser when everything’s hidden under beautiful fresh cloth(s). 


It doesn’t matter if you use several either as the seams will be hidden by the decorations on top.


Use a centrepiece

Centrepieces are the ultimate Christmas table decoration as they can create a beautiful focal point and give dramatic effect. Check out our article here for homemade centrepiece ideas.

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