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Hosting this Christmas - Elevating Your Dining Furniture

Hosting this Christmas - Elevating Your Dining Furniture

Hosting over the festive season while a mammoth task, is the ultimate way to make your friends and family feel special and create lasting memories over food, wine and a beautiful table - including the dining furniture. We know how important it is to meet the expectations of eager guests over the festive season and with the extravagant ‘tablescape’ taking hold of the nation, the modern dinner party has evolved rather drastically.

Whether it be nailing your seating plan so conversation flows, or choosing how many pieces of cutlery are overkill, the rules for your festive dinner party have never been so forgiving. So, whether you're a seasoned host looking to refresh your entertaining space or a first-time host eager to make a lasting impression, with a little help from experts, here’s how to make your dining room do the talking and set the stage for a memorable evening while eliminating all feelings of bah humbug!


It’s all about the tablescape

While the term ‘tablescape’ is new, the act of adorning our dining tables extravagantly to impress our guests is age old and something we’re not willing to let slide as #tablescaping attracts a huge 11.2 million views on TikTok. From elegant centrepieces to carefully chosen tableware, the aesthetic presentation of a dinner party enhances the joy of dining. Designing and decorating your own tablescape not only showcases personal style but also reflects the occasion's significance, fostering a sense of celebration. 

By paying attention to the details, we transform our every day, functional dining table and dining chairs, into carefully curated furniture designed purely to set the scene of an unforgettable festive feast. You’ll want to start afresh with a completely bare dining table and chairs, ready to shapeshift ahead of your guest’s arrival. Before you start out, decide on whether you’re opting for a minimalist theme or maximalist theme - consider the size of your table when doing so, unless you have a large or extendable table, minimalism will ensure your tablescape isn’t too cluttered.

Start your tablescape with some form of garland or table runner which creates a necessary divide for your table as well as becoming a focal point - decorations should be below eye-level to ensure conversation isn’t stunted but remember to vary height of ornaments to create balance. Your centrepiece should incorporate the basis of your theme so think about the colours you use and ensure that this then remains coherent throughout. Foliage is the go-to tablescape staple and while this creates a stunning display, if you’re wanting something more lowkey or modern, opt for candles or ornaments which you can scatter strategically. 

Just remember, tablescaping is a creative and personal endeavour, so feel free to experiment with different elements until you achieve a look that suits your style and the occasion.

White Christmas trees and floral plate on dining table
Floral plate and pink candle on dining table

Perfect your tableware 

Simplifying tableware at a dinner party can enhance both aesthetics and practicality, especially when hosting for a larger crowd. Often at dinner parties the table can feel too full with utensils, glasses, jugs and platters that serve no purpose. Modern dinner parties are all about simplicity, allowing room for guests to relax and enjoy the true fineries of the evening. 

Opt for versatile dinnerware which reduces the need for specialised sets - choose an eclectic mix of dinnerware or simply pare back with neutral plates and cutlery. Choose multipurpose glasses that can accommodate both water and wine to streamline the tabletop as too many glasses can cause spillages, breakages and create unwanted clutter. 

Embrace the beauty of simplicity by forgoing excessive utensils—stick to essential flatware for each course. If your guests are confused about which utensil to use for their current course, there are probably too many options crowding your table. Consider using cloth napkins for an elegant touch while minimising waste compared to disposable napkins - don’t forget to protect your wooden dining table from any spillages. Then to add to the overall aesthetic of your tablescape, focus on a cohesive colour palette that unifies the table setting. 

Declutter the table by avoiding unnecessary serving decorations, ensuring that each item serves a functional or aesthetic purpose. By embracing simplicity in tableware selection, you create an understated yet sophisticated atmosphere, allowing the food and the company to take centre stage.

Close up tablescape on dining table
close up tablescape of placemat, decorated plate, fork and holly on a dining table

How to achieve ambience 

Creating ambience at the dinner table when you’re hosting Christmas requires a multi-sensory approach - lighting, comfort and scents all play a part. When it comes to lighting, opt for soft, warm tones with candles or string lights to create a cosy atmosphere. 

The table plan plays a crucial role in shaping the ambience of a dinner party. The dynamics of the group, relationships among guests, and the occasion's formality should guide your seating choices. A well-thought-out table plan not only ensures a balanced distribution of personalities but also creates a visually appealing setup. Ambience is all about making these guests feel special, Amira also suggests: “You can create a sense of occasion before the party even begins by sending out invitations and matching their style to the design of your place cards. You can also hand-write a note, there is nothing like the personal touch.” For a setting that brings everyone together, select a round dining table like this one: Perth Round Extending Dining Table

You’ll also want to consider how you space your guests out to allow for smooth service, ensuring guests can enjoy the culinary experience without disruptions. Make sure dining chairs are spaced out evenly with enough room for arms to reach around and grab their food and drinks from the table. Anything too cramped will feel chaotic and anything too spaced out may create some awkwardness. Explore our extensive range of dining chairs: Woods Dining Chairs

Choose a playlist that complements the mood, whether it's the classic Christmas playlist, background classical or lively tunes, know your crowd and choose the right backing track to your unforgettable evening.

Candles and patterned plate tablescape on dining table
Christmas tablescape on dining table

Modern menu 

The traditional Christmas dinner while not entirely on the decline, is proving to be less appealing requiring hours of prep and often creating lots of waste. Much can also be said about the inclusion of people with different dietary needs who often have slim pickings when it comes to the festive feast. So how can you cater for all while also making your day stress free when hosting Christmas? 

In the spirit of modernity, reimagine Christmas dinner with a festive and interactive grazing table for your main meal. Instead of the traditional plated servings, arrange an abundant spread of diverse, bite-sized delicacies on a long table. Incorporate a mix of global flavours, from sushi rolls to charcuterie, showcasing a fusion of culinary traditions. You could even integrate interactive stations at one end of your festive tablescape, like a DIY taco bar or a custom cocktail corner for a personalised touch. 

Dietary needs are also important to consider, embrace plant-based options and experiment with inventive, meat-free dishes that cater to diverse dietary preferences. Ensure there are gluten free options kept separately should some of your guests need this. If you’re still wanting to opt for the traditional Christmas dinner, serve a simple two courses by focusing on classic comfort dishes. Roast a turkey or ham, pair it with traditional sides like mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. Keep desserts uncomplicated with a festive pie or cake and remove the stress of going overboard.

Pink Christmas tablescape on dining table
Cake with patterned plate on dining table

The art of a memorable Christmas dinner lies not only in the delectable dishes but in the ambiance created by your dining furniture. Our curated pieces are crafted to elevate these moments, blending style with functionality. From dining tables that foster connection to dining chairs that cradle comfort, transform your home into a haven for joyous gatherings all year round. Browse our collection of dining furniture: Woods Furniture

20th November 2023

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