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Whether you are having a cosy Christmas meal with the family this year or planning Yule Tide party for all of your friends, remembering to set a festively themed table will really help set the correct mood whilst giving proceedings a natural centrepiece to gather around. With the help of the guide below, setting a beautiful Christmas table couldn’t be simpler, quicker or cheaper so let’s not hear any humbugs, Christmas begins here!

Firstly, you need to decide on a colour scheme for your table. For a traditional lookaccent pillow case baby burlap rug, pairing two of the following- red, gold, green and white, in any combination will result in a very warm and traditional finish. Alternatively, you could go for a winter wonderland theme by using blue, purple, white or silver in any pairing, though if you do choose such a look, be sure to include lots of candles and warm lighting to avoid a “cold” feel. If planning a party with a little more sophistication, match your table décor to your existing furniture, soft furnishings, curtain fabric or colour scheme for grown up subtlety and elegance that won’t overpower your room. Whatever you decide on, limit yourself to just two colours to avoid an overly busy table top.

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When it comes to choosing decorations, start with your centrepiece and build around it with matching details. A Christmas wreath laid in the centre of the table can be the beginning of a perfect centrepiece for your table arrangement. It can be decorated with any object you may want to use as a theme. If you’re a little busy or short on creativity then ribbons and bows provide a failsafe option. Inside the wreath, place a large candle or several tapers. For added decorative effect, vary the height of the tapers. Another great centrepiece is a festively coloured table runner. Add a modern touch by lining the runner with evenly spaced tea lights in decorative glass holders.

Further your theme by carefully selecting and preparing your napkins. Use two napkins of different colours for each place setting. Place one napkin on top of the other. You can roll them separately or roll them together, but the important thing is to tie them together. Tie them with a beautiful wired ribbon and attach a decorative bell or piece of holly or mistletoe bell attached to the ribbon. With your napkins inside your ribbon napkin holder, artfully arrange them and place them in the centre of each plate. If you want to continue the theme of bells or holly, tie them to the backs of chairs, or hang them from the chandelier to create an apt continuous theme.

Make sure your cutlery matches! It sounds obvious but mismatched cutlery can really spoil the theme you have spent so long deciding on. The cutlery you use does not have to be expensive; just make sure it is all the same type.

Once your table is set, light your candles- after all, that’s what they’re for. Always keep a handy stash of spare ones in a nearby cupboard to maintain the ambient glow throughout the whole holiday.

Having guests to stay during the festive season doesn't have to be a stressful time if you plan ahead and have everything they need accessible. Although it's not a military operation, ensuring that you have some sort of order in your home will go a long way to making your life easier and your guests welcome.

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