A Guide to Tablescaping Indoors for the Winter
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A Guide to Tablescaping Indoors for the Winter

Flowerbx's Whitney Bromberg-Hawkings gives her top tips

A the turn of the season, means a turn of the tables. And as ‘en plein air’ tablescaping, becomes a little more dicey in the colder months, here’s our guide to tablescaping through the winter months. And if you’re steadfastly organised, Whitney Bromberg-Hawkings, drop some early festival table decorating tips. 

The Best Kitsch Christmas Decorations

How to Master the Art of Festive Tablescaping

With Whitney Bromberg-Hawkings, CEO of FLOWERBX

Flowerbox vase

Photo: © Sarah Brick

First: Consider the mood

First of all, consider the mood – are you hosting a large family event, or a more intimate night with friends? Once I have established the atmosphere I focus on decor, starting of course with the flowers. Then I move on to food, table linens, coordinating cutlery and glassware. Defining the mood before planning your festive display will help you to create a table that reflects your guests.

Since it’s an indoor tablescaping situation, before moving anything around, consider the space, the light, and how many chairs you can fit in to create more of an intimate space.

How to Decorate your Mantlepiece

Flowerbox tablescape

Photo: © Sarah Brick

Twin your tablescape with your other decorations

At this time of year, now that we’ve moved to indoor tablescaping, I like to carry my floral theme away from the table with foliage accents in every corner of the house. I always have a FLOWERBX holiday wreath on the front door, one of our garlands effortlessly arranged on a mantlepiece or staircase, and vases of blooms in single-variety bunches dotted around the house. An atmospheric fragrance also really elevates the mood, our Eucalyptus candle is my favourite for the lead up to Christmas.

Reflect your menu choices in your Tablescape

For continuity, you should reflect aspects of your menu in your tablescape. ​My favourite way to do so is by mixing a seasonal welcome drink for my holiday guests that matches with the decor. This year, I will be twinning our FLOWERBX Citrus Table with an orange-inspired champagne cocktail.

Photo: © Sarah Brick

It’s all in the detail

The Devil is in the detail – especially at Christmas. Elevate your festive host status by taking extra care with personalised touches like name cards, hand-written menus, and foliage place settings. I always think important detail of all, though, is your guest list and the seating plan. Invite and old and new friends and seat everyone next to someone that they don’t know to ensure flowing conversation and laughter. Everyone will leave feeling interested, inspired and having had a wonderful evening.

Flowerbox festive tablescape

Nervous Host = Awkward Environment

Most importantly, have fun! This is a time of year for coming together with your treasured friends and family so enjoying yourself is an absolute must. A nervous host creates an awkward environment, so once the first guest arrives act like a guest at your own party and enjoy.

Main Photo: Denby Pottery

Festive tablescaping inspiration 2023

Whether you’re a traditionalist or maximalist – get inspired by these showstopping Christmas tablescapes.

Photo 1 of
Truffle Bee's Christmas wreath collection

Truffle Bee’s Christmas Wreath collection sits in a classic festive colour palette – deep burgundy set against a dark green. From €50, truffle-bee.com.

Denby tablescaping

A dark, contrasting tablecloth can add a moody atmosphere to a deep winter tablescape. The Denby Halo, Studio Grey & Modus ranges, from £6.40 to £274.

Floward’s traditional festive centrepiece brings a little floral installation straight into your home. Arrange around a single decoration for a real showstopper. Floward, £135

Emma Britton’s signature floral patterned glasses bring a bit of merry, natural cheer to the table. Emma Britton glassware, from £12.

Helen Ashmore, Head of Design at Laura Ashley, suggests adding candles to your centrepiece for a gentle glow – LED candles will warm up your place settings. Laura Ashley faux leaves LED lights, £45.

Piglet In Bed recommend adding complementary napkins which add dimension and colour to an otherwise neutral table setting. Oatmeal linen napkins, £39.

Lay London

Tablescape rental service Lay London combines a traditional colour scheme with a riot of pattern. Attention to detail is key – don’t forget ribbons, blooms and nostalgic finishing touches.

Photo: Lay London

Summerill & Bishop tablescape

What is Christmas day if not the day to go all out? Summerill & Bishop‘s extravagant marble table linen from the latest collection hits all the right notes in this decadent scheme.

Photo: Nicole Hains / Summerill & Bishop 

Two Bonadea colourful table settings with blue and pink china

‘Seek inspiration from all around you but a Christmas tablescape in particular should be inviting, reflect your personality, and embody your style of entertaining,’ says Gabriela Martinez de Aragon, founder of Bonadea. ‘Draw ideas from the room where you’ll be eating: the textures of your wallpaper and the colour of your walls are all features which can weave into your tablescape.’

Photo: Bonadea

Short on time? Genius dinner-party-in-a-box creator Limonsier take the headache out of entertaining with beautifully-designed menus and simple-yet-stylish pre-packaged tablescapes.

Photo: Limonsier

Nikki Tibbles minimal Christmas table setting with candles, greenery and wooden table

If you’re more inclined to minimalism – a simple, pared-back table can be just as effective and enjoyable as one groaning with decorations. We love this simple and delicate table by Wild at Heart.

Photo: Wild at Heart

Wicklewood orange, purple, blue and red table settings

Why shouldn’t colour have a place on the Christmas table? Take inspiration from this Wicklewood scheme – and get crafty and creative with your colour palette and materials.

Photo: Wicklewood

Two Burleigh blue and white china table settings with greenery centrepiece

Pulling together a last minute tablescape? For a traditional (and low-maintenance) look, clip some greenery from the garden like holly and ivy to layer up the table. Finish with a few of pine cones and red berries.

Photo: Burleigh 

Bonadea tablescape

Keep things traditional (yet modern) a lá Boandea with greens, ochres and a touch of pink or orange to lift your colour scheme.

Photo: Bonadea

Two Bonadea gold and orange table settings with orange and peach centrepiece

‘Laying the table on Christmas Eve makes all the difference,’ says Gabriela Martinez de Aragon, ‘in some households it’s a real ritual – I love that sentiment; of a peaceful time of creativity, reflection, music and taking stock for the next day. It’s a beautiful time to pause and appreciate the guests you have coming, and time-honoured traditions.’

Photo: Bonadea

Kelling designs goes for all-out colour in this vibrant tablescape – with a rainbow of pinks, blues, and greens. A sure-fire crowd-pleaser.

Photo: Kelling Designs

Vista Alegre red, white and gold Christmas table setting

Nothing beats red for a traditional Christmas tablescape – combine cranberry-red glass with table runners, napkins and touches of red pattern on crockery.

Photo: Vista Alegre