Looking to set the perfect Christmas table this year? Here are 5 tips from a tablescaping pro

By Fiona Frawley

December 23, 2021 at 4:34pm


If you've just read that title and thought to yourself "what the f is tablescaping?" - fear not.

We come bearing gifts (helpful information about what tablescaping is and how to incorporate it into your spread this Christmas).

You may have noticed over the past few years a trend of immaculately presented Christmas tables popping up on your timeline from midday onwards on the 25th. Delicately placed succulents. Ribbons and twine lovingly securing napkins in place. It goes far beyond the usual prep of taking out the Good Tablecloth and throwing an iron over it on Christmas Eve.

Image via Tara Fay events on Instagram

If you're looking to get in on the action and have a table so scaped it'll render the most contrary of dinner guests speechless, you've come to the right place. We had a chat with Tara Fay, the founder of Fay Events and a tablescaping aficionado, who provided us with some handy tips for anyone attempting tablescaping for the first time. On the tablescaping craze as a whole, Tara had this to say:

I think for people who don't entertain regularly or it is their first time hosting, the thoughts of having to present a perfect table along with incredible food and drink can be huge pressure. It seems like tablescaping is the new buzz word for 2021 and 2022 and that does add extra pressure. 
However just remember most of us have been setting tables for years and tablescaping without realising it was a thing.
We feel better already. Looking for some actionable tablescaping tips that you can use while planning your Christmas spread? Let's get into it.

Step 1: Stop panicking and go back to basics

T: What style of table do you like sitting at?  Do you want a go big or go home or do you want a laid back and simple approach to your table? Remember to leave room for the food and drinks.
Image via Tara Fay events on Instagram

Step 2: Start with a colour and style and work from there

T: For example, let's look at a traditional red and green.  Do you want table linen or not?  When measuring for your guests leave space for the chair, the plate or mat, cutlery and glasses.  You need a min of 30-40 cm per person on a table and then obviously the space for the chair.

Image via Tara Fay events on Instagram

Step 3: Think of texture, light and colour


Texture - mixing types of surfaces, so napkins, napkin holders, this could be string, gift wrap ribbon etc.

Light - I am of the personal opinion that you can never have enough candles, and it's the most simple way to add instant atmosphere to your table.   If you don't have small candle holders for night lights, don't underestimate old jam jars etc.

Colour - if you want green and red, you could always just have cut foliage which en-masse is always impressive.  The colour does not have to be everywhere, simple touches, like a coloured candle or napkin or plate is enough.
Image via Tara Fay events on Instagram

Step 4: Plan ahead

T: The main thing is to think ahead, plan for the different days you need to entertain and if you have more than one lunch/ dinner you have to host, try to plan around the colours etc and what is required. Do you have replacement candles, napkins etc if necessary?
Image via Tara Fay events on Instagram

Step 5: Floral additions

T: Succulents or mini poinsettia are a great Christmas table alternative, but most importantly remember it's your table so you get to decide what it looks like!

Image via Tara Fay events on Instagram
If you're interested in seeing more of Tara's beautiful work, you can check out her website HERE.
Header image via Instagram/tarafayevents