How to Create a Traditional Christmas Tablescape

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I truly can’t believe the words that I’m typing! You know I’m the queen of white, neutral, and minimalist styles. But for some reason, a few years ago I went in the exact opposite direction – toward color, layers, and opulence – for this Christmas tablescape.

Christmas tablescape, antique mirror, wood bead chandelier, red ribbon, boxwood wreath, red candles, gold flatware, red and white table decor, Christmas greenery

What is a tablescape?

You might have heard the term tablescape and wondered what this means. It is used to describe the entire look of your tabletop design. From the centerpiece to the flatware and everything in between. In this post, I’m sharing how you can create your stunning tablescape for Christmas or any other holiday!

Christmas tablescape theme

I usually stick with neutral colors but I was inspired by the traditional red Christmas accents I did for my daughter, Juliet’s room.

Once I bravely decided to add color, I had to do some shopping to gather my supplies. The main color would be red with accents of gold and green.

Christmas tablescape, antique mirror, wood bead chandelier, red ribbon, boxwood wreath, staggered red tapered candles styled around 2 centerpieces

Elements of a Christmas tablescape

The key to a stunning tablescape is layering, mixing patterns and textures, and combining things that have varying heights. I like to start at the bottom and work my way up.

Table linens

This design was going to include several layers so I wanted to keep the base relatively simple.

Instead of a tablecloth, I used a red and white striped runner with red and gold chargers, and simple cloth napkins as the foundation.

Dinnerware and flatware

Having a classic white set of dishes should be a staple in every home. They are great for everyday use and versatile enough to easily blend with your seasonal table decor.

I came across these plates on the Pottery Barn website and knew they would be perfect for my Christmas tablescape vision.

The delicate fair isle pattern adds visual interest to each setting and has a holiday look without being Christmas-themed.

Christmas tablescape, classic red color scheme, striped table runner, red and gold chargers, red tapered candles, gold flatware

The gold flatware coordinates with the gold chargers and gold mirror. One of my top design tips is repeating a color or finishing at least once for a cohesive feel.

Add color and texture to your Christmas tablescape:

I’d been wanting to get a gold-plated set but always thought that it would be an expensive investment. I found this set on Amazon and I love that it was affordable, dishwasher safe, and great for special occasions.


Having such an elaborate Christmas tablescape is new for me. However, I was excited about it so I pulled out my Lenox crystal to style the drinkware.

You can certainly use this element as another opportunity to add color, but I like how crystal or clear glass lets the contents do the talking.

Christmas tablescape greenery

This is a long, rectangular dining table so I used two centerpieces. I used cedar sprays from a local store and styled them with real colorful fruit – pomegranates and pears.

You can use real or faux fruit to decorate your Christmas tablescape. The fake stuff is so realistic these days and it may be difficult to find fresh options this time of year.

Here I used two white cake stands which were the perfect height and color as well as a flat surface to style the branches and fruit.

Christmas tablescape, red tapered candles, centerpieces with greenery, pomegranates and pears, crystal glassware with holiday cocktails, striped table runner, Chippendale chairs with boxwood wreaths

One of my favorite details is the mini boxwood wreaths on the back of the dining chairs. The red and white striped ribbon matches the table runner and is the easiest way to attach the wreaths to the chairs.

One of the advantages of having Chippendale chairs is that I can easily hang wreaths from the back. Last year I struggled with the upholstered chairs I had. I used pins and they kept falling.

Preserved mini boxwood wreath hanging on the back of white Chippendale chair, Christmas tablescape with traditional red theme, green and gold accents

In the image below, you can see how I used a larger version of the same boxwood wreath for the mirror to tie it all together.

White dining room sideboard with antique gold mirror, boxwood wreath, white Chippendale chairs, Christmas tablescape with traditional red color scheme

Sources: Gold mirror (similar) | Preserved boxwood wreath | Striped ribbon | Chippendale chairs

Tabletop decor

Candles and candle holders are one of the simplest ways to give any Christmas tablescape an elegant look. You can mix and match colors and styles easily here.

There are two centerpieces on this table and instead of placing candles in the center, I staggered them on both ends too. With a combination of varying heights, these candles look so pretty from every angle.

Christmas tablescape with traditional red color scheme in white dining room, elegant table settings, white dining chairs with boxwood wreaths on the back, red tapered candles, Christmas greenery centerpieces

Let your creativity run wild!

I want to make the point that having all-white walls with white furniture doesn’t have to be boring. It’s just a blank canvas for creativity to explode. This very red setup can be transformed quickly and inexpensively by just changing a set of plates and linens. Imagine the possibilities!


Check out this post that’s full of simple ways to create a warm and cozy winter home after the Christmas decorations come down.

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