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Image / Living / Interiors

Setting the scene: 10 ways to create an Instagram-worthy Christmas tablescape


By Edaein OConnell
11th Dec 2021
Setting the scene: 10 ways to create an Instagram-worthy Christmas tablescape

From colourways to runners, Christmas table settings can be tricky to master. We chatted with H&G Creations co-owner Sinéad Kelly who has given us her top tips to create the perfect tablescape.

Planning a Christmas dinner can be hard. Between preparing food to ensuring every glass is topped up with wine to being aware of each guest’s dietary requirements, there’s a lot to think about. Then comes the table setting.

You want it to be delightfully festive yet chic, or minimalist and clean, or maybe you don’t know what you want at all. It can be a tricky situation, which is why we decided to go to the experts for guidance. H&G Creations is a bespoke event production and styling service that specialises in themes and making spaces look as brilliant and decorative as possible. So they most definitely know a thing or two about beautifying a space.

We sat down with H&G Creations co-owner Sinéad Kelly, who gave us her top tips for creating an Instagram-worthy festive table setting.

1. You don’t need store-bought table cloths

“If you’re looking for something more bespoke or you are in a pinch, you can make your own table linen with fabrics from a few yards of your choosing from any fabric store. That way you can get that fabric to drop off the edges of the table and kiss the floor. The types of fabric we use most are crushed velvet, silky satin and crushed linen. They all give a really luxe look. The Fabric Counter in Stoneybatter and Guineys on Talbot Street are two great places to buy from.”

2. Get creative with your table runner

“You could glue pages of old books together or use brown or wax-proof paper to create a rustic and beautiful table runner that is totally recyclable when you’re finished with it. Alternatively, you can go all green and use a mix of pine, and eucalyptus, by tying them up in little bundles. Then tie the bundles together and you are left with a lovely fresh garland you can place down the centre of your table as a table runner.”

3. Florals

“Why not go for dried flowers this year? Dried flowers, eucalyptus or pampas grass are great choices. You can get any dried flowers that are leftover from your local florist or you can dry your own. Spritz them with a touch of coloured spray paint for a festive look. They are beautiful and wonderfully versatile. And you will never have to water them and keep them year on year.”

4. Candleholders

“Get creative here. You can use anything from old jars to wine bottles and spray paint them silver or gold. Any bottle, jar or ornate vessel can be upcycled and given a new lease on life on your tablescape for long stem candles or flowers. If you’re pressed for time you can find some gorgeous store-bought ones in Søstrene Grene or Dunnes Stores.”

5. Colour story

“Pick a colour story for the table whether you want to have a classic, modern or kitsch Christmas. Pick two or three colours and use them as a running theme for the whole table so it doesn’t get too busy and has a consistent look and feel.”

6. Charger plates

“These really can elevate the look of a table and make it feel like a special occasion. A charger plate is simply a plate you leave as a decorative place holder to put your food plates on top of.  Try to aim for glass so it’s recyclable. If you’re in a pinch, spray paint some old plates.”

7. Glitter

“Why not add a bit of sparkle to complete the look by dusting the whole centre of the table in some biodegradable glitter? You can find this in Dublin Body Paint shop or online.”

8. Party favours

“Instead of getting your typical Christmas crackers, why not go green and get some small potted plants to place on each table setting?”

9. Lighting

“There is nothing more romantic than dinner by candlelight so fill your table up with candles of different heights and sizes – long stem candles, pillar candles and tea lights. Then turn the lights off and it’s pure magic by candlelight.”

10. Layers

“Layer up your tablescape with charger plates, reusable fabric napkins, name cards with garnish, florals and candles and your table will be looking full, lush and festive in no time.”

Photography by Unsplash. This article was originally published in December 2019.