4 Creative Ways To Style Your Christmas Table in Less Than 15 Minutes

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Those familiar with hosting a Christmas day feast know the mad rush of getting ready before the guests arrive. And decorating the buffet or the main table can be a challenge.

Where do you start? Is it OK to use the same patterned napkins as last year? Will it end up pretty or kitsch or cliché?

We’ve got four simple styling tips to make sure your Christmas table is anything but boring this year.

In just 15 minutes, you’ll have a beautiful table setting to get your guests talking and inspire them with festive cheer!

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Featuring: Cashmere Isabella dinnerware and Kensington Palace cutlery from Maxwell & Williams on Montreal table linens from L&M Home. Shop tableware online at Zanui.

Contrast Christmas With Contemporary

It’s no good to have your table too matching. All good stylists know you need to work with contrasts: light and shadow, bright and neutral… So take an idea and work with its opposite.

Traditional Christmas decor – we’re talking napkins with little trees and brightly coloured bon bons – look a little less garish when paired with modern, neutral styles.

Simplify your style with staples you use everyday

Keep your festive dinnerware and centrepieces, but tone the table down by using the everyday items you have around the house. Here’s how to tone down the OTT at your table:

  • Layer neutral table linens in a plain style
  • Use everyday platters and boards to keep the look contemporary
  • Drink from classic crystal glasses (not the plastic, patterned ones with Rudolph on them!)

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Featured: Sparkle DOF Glass (Set of 4) from Marquis by Waterford with Star of Wonder servingware and Cashmere Isabella dinnerware from Maxwell & Williams on Montreal table linens from L&M Home. Shop tableware online at Zanui.

Use Native Flora From The Garden

There’s nothing better than fresh flowers, so instead of adorning the table with those Christmas figurines you use every year, try something different! Go fresh 😉

Think about colour

If you have a beautiful garden, pick some tree leaves or neutral flowers (nothing too bright that will clash with your Christmas palette).

Don’t worry about the arrangement

Use native flora down the centre of your dining table as a stunning centrepiece or in a tall vase. Don’t worry about making it too fancy – tough Australian plants look best in a rustic setting!

Be resourceful!

Try banksia pods as a stand-in for pinecones, and casuarina fronds or fresh rosemary instead of pine leaves. You could even use fallen branches to create a minimalist tree effect, strung with lights or tiny baubles…

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Featured: Sparkle Flute (Set of 4) from Marquis by Waterford, Kastehelmi Footed Bowl, Clear and Kastehelmi Cake Stand, 31.5cm from iittala. Shop tableware online at Zanui.

Personalise Place Cards

Make your guests feel more than welcome with their very own place card at your Christmas table.

It’s a small thing that can make an impact, and making your own is much more special than buying from the store!

You won’t believe how simple this quick Christmas craft is. In just a few minutes you’ll have an impressive decor piece. Check out the how-to video below.

Add Classic Candlelight

For Christmas dinner, you can’t pass up mood lighting. And candles are as cosy as they come. In Australia, we tend to forget about beautiful candles in the summer months but if you’re dining indoors, candlelight can add charm instantaneously.

Flameless candles for safety

A strategically-placed candelabra at the table can add an element of wonder to your setting.

If you’re not keen on having a live flame at your table, you can opt for flameless candles – they’re battery-operated and made to flicker just like the real thing!

To scent or not to scent?

If you’ve been cooking a feast and your home smells of Christmas turkey or a fresh-from-the-oven pudding, use scent-less candles or simple fairy lights.

You want your guests to drool just a little bit when they walk in the door 😉

Alternatively, light a fragranced candle just before guests arrive to give them that welcoming feeling of coming home.

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Featured L t R: August Candle Holder and the Cooper Stone Candle Holder, Large from Amalfi with the Hammered Round Plate with Glass Candle Holder from Casa Uno. Shop all candles & holders on Zanui.

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Kyra Thomsen is a writer and editor from Sydney, NSW. She has experience in copywriting, blogging, journalism, and social media. After completing two degrees in Creative Writing and English Literature in 2013 she began work with the content team at Zanui. Kyra was the winner of the 2012 Questions Writing Prize and her work has been published in print and online for numerous sources, including Writer's Edit, Seizure, and Fairfax Media among others.