Dining trends – for Christmas and beyond

It’s looking Christmassy in our showroom just now. Together with Hay and Wrong for Hay, we’ve been setting the rooms up to display ideas for how to decorate for the festive season and – very importantly – the Christmas table. That part of Christmas day when you sit down to lunch or dinner is the best bit of the day surely. Although yes, it does depend a little on the company!

Whether you’re dining with loved ones or a motley crew, below are some of our ideas for laying a table, along with a tour of inspiration from other tastemakers we love. And if you’re a Christmas avoider? We promise, these are ideas that will carry you well beyond December, give or take a cracker.

The showroom all decked out for Christmas

We’re lucky to have a lovely large dining table to play with here. Much like buying a bed, when it comes to choosing a dining table – and if you like to entertain – it’s worth getting the largest one your room can take. But assuming that part is already in hand, lets dissect the details.

To top the table we’ve used one of our Paisleys as a runner at the centre, giving a textured, coloured and patterned focal point to the scene but without covering up what is a very lovely table. A Turkish Perde Kilim running along the bench seat picks up the same colours – and also adds some cushioning.

Don’t forget to add Christmassy foliage to your table

As Skandium’s Lucio Longoni pointed out in our last blog post, what happens next is about adding layers and height. We’ve used Hay and Wrong for Hay tableware and candlesticks (and their lovely matches – details!) to achieve this variation and make sure the table is not a flat landscape.

Our final touch: some Christmas foliage in the shape of berries and eucalyptus. If space is too tight for a vase, why not scatter it as we have?


Eagle-eyed readers you may have noticed that we stuck to a fairly rigid palette of red and navy blue for the main elements of our table. We are not alone in colour-coding our dining sets. Below are some more ideas and current trends surrounding colour at the dining table.

Image from Society Limonta

This beautiful scene from Society Limonta looks like a Flemish Renaissance painting – heavy on the drapes. It’s all about the green tablecloth and brass jug, both of which offset the thick navy blue curtain rather beautifully. Everything else tones from there and does so in the same muted way. If you have a linen tablecloth, go for linen napkins too. If you’re going for such an expanse of colour and pattern on the tablecloth everything else just needs to be kept simple.

Image from Canvas Home, available from Selfridges

Canvas Home is making a very compelling case for lilac here – and that fits with the current love of all things pastel. The trick is in making pastels chic and not sickly and pairing this lilac table with crisp white crockery and cool brass cutlery achieves exactly that.

Image courtesy of Skandium

Who says you can’t have a monochrome Christmas? Not Skandium anyway. This is a table in their showroom as put together by super stylist Despina Curtis. In contrast with the Society Limonta scene, this is all about bringing detail in with the smaller items – the tabletop itself being bare (a black or white tablecloth would also work). Take Dazzle ships as your inspirational cue using stripes at the heart of a clever monochrome pattern clash.

Blue and brass. It’s a killer combination and if your blue has pattern in it, then err away from adding too many more colours to detract from it. Although as the pomegranate proves, a tiny dollop of warm red does look great against the cool blue and white. We also like the unexpected rustic wood plate here as a nice contrast to the slick brass details. The brass napkin rings are by Ferm Living.

the fine tuning

As ever with decorating, the devil is in the details with putting together a very fine table setting. For the winter months – see also the UK generally – think about adding warming textural details, a Gotland sheepskin to your chairs or bench, or a Tula rug (similar to the one we placed on a sofa). If you have a simple tablecloth consider coloured or patterned tableware and don’t forget really lovely napkins. Last minute paper napkins thrown on a beautiful table? Considered a decorating crime in polite circles.

Clockwise from top left, Gotland Sheepskin from Trill Farm, Tela glassware by Wrong for Hay, Napkins from Merci, Astier de Villatte plates from Graanmarkt 13

Set the mood with lighting

A detail not to be overlooked – and thus deserving of its own section – is mood and lighting. A few things to bear in mind. Where food is in the equation, scented candles are a no no. Save them for after. Low hanging chandeliers or pendant lights are great for setting the mood and making a statement as demonstrated below by Ochre. Your light’s position will set a height limit for your candles. In short, low light, low candles. Downlights integrated in your ceiling mean you can go crazy with tall candles.

Arctic Pear chandelier from Ochre

Finally, clusters of candles, such as these ones from Toast – on a nearby fireplace, at one end of the dinner table or simply put together in small groups at intervals along the table – can never go wrong as long as they’re not too close to the merriest guest.

Candles and image from Toast

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