We all want our homes to feel a little magical at Christmas time. From our front doors and hallways to the Christmas tree and roaring fireplace, together with our families we create spectacles to enchant. One of the most important elements of our Yuletide interiors though, has to be the dining table. Whether yours is set in its own room or within the hustle and bustle of the kitchen, we look back at three of our favourite ways to decorate tabletop, chairs and the area that surrounds them.
Cosy. Country. Heritage.
We set this scene in a beautiful barn conversion, but the elements will all translate just as easily to a cottage. The two key features of this interior are timber and light.
The beams are an emphasis but the real focus is much lower down in the room. A sturdy statement table is what roots this entire look. Our Balmoral is traditional in style and its solid oak baluster legs are impossible not to notice (Edinburgh would also have much the same effect). Around it, we’ve used our oak Suffolk dining chairs, which have a lighter frame so the room doesn’t become overpowered by wood.
Timber will always exude warmth and is what helps to create a ‘winter woodland’ theme. To build this feeling further, you can pull in your log basket as a prop, or stack chopped logs nearby as we’ve done.
Strands of fairy lights are a real must in any Christmas scene. Their twinkling bulbs in warm white can make a room quite mesmerising. They work well hung from above, so if you do have exposed beams or rafters that you can wrap them around, then make the most of them. Otherwise, get creative and work with what your room has to offer. It might be that you have shelves or artwork that you can drape them along. Fairy lights will also look lovely down a table’s centre, but here we’ve used them more as the backdrop, dotting them along the timber-clad cupboard area that lines the walls, in between garlands of green.
Then there are the candles, another staple in your Christmas table setting. We’ve used our Charcoal-coloured Blyton pillar candles down the length of the table. They feel even more cosy with the depth of shade in their wax contrasting with the glow of the flame. And sat bedside them are a few of our dappled Neve tealight holders. It always works better to have a mixture of candles so your display is varied, but it’s all about balance. Your tabletop needs to mix things up enough, but not so much that it becomes chaos, especially as your food will also form part of the display when it’s served. Your backdrop is where you can introduce more contrasting characters. We’ve used a mixture of our Highbury and Chancery candlesticks, mercurised gold Erith tealight holders and an assortment of our glass hurricane lanterns all around the room, and yet it all perfectly pulls together.
The other key thing to mention in our country barn scene is the use of textiles. A simple linen tablecloth (see our Emily design) softens the strength of the table in an instant, and with the addition of a few chunky wool throws on chair backs and plump velvet cushions on the nearby bench, the entire room becomes soft and snug.