For many of us, the promise of a Christmas hunkered down around the same old dinner table we’ve spent so much of the year at may make things feel less special. The key is to dress it for the occasion, drawing a clear, sparkling line between everyday eating and festive fun. Whether it’s an intimate holiday supper for two, cocktails with friends, a family feast before the children hang up their stockings, or an indulgent Christmas Day dinner, there’s a table theme to suit every moment. A few simple tricks and swaps will help you serve up that seasonal glow.

1 Bring the outside in

The Scandinavians get a lot right in winter, and their focus on natural elements within a cosy, candlelit home is a great way to relax into Christmas. Bring the outside in for cheek-flushed, fireside dining with wooden platters, rosemary-sprigged place settings and ivy-and-holly centrepieces. You don’t need to live by a Swedish pine forest to pull this off: send the children outside to forage for greenery and add a touch of home-made charm.

Keep the palette simple with natural tones, wintry whites, soft greys and, of course, fresh greens. Wood furniture makes the ideal base, like the solid oak Adley Table (£650) and Benches (£229 each). Eat from plates in earthy hues, such as the Warwick Dove Dinnerset (£30) – stylish stoneware with a hand-painted rim that makes the simple that little bit extra-special. Add a playful platter with a tree-shaped cheese board (£16, two cheese knives included). Finally, top it off with a statement piece: this branch ceiling light (£99) continues the rustic, natural theme with three hanging lights to oversee the festivities.

Hunker down: nothing says rustic style like perfectly paired colours and textures

2 Stars and stags

There may be fewer friends and family dropping in this year, but buffet tables and help-yourself suppers can still feel like a treat. One or two key decorations positioned along a wall or side table – such as this 3D star light (£25) – will set the tone without overdoing it. Delicate yet durable materials such as fine porcelain and glass, paired with classic seasonal motifs like stags and stars, make for a special table set for sharing with your loved ones. Top marks go to the 12 Piece Audley Dinner Set (£35), a soft cream porcelain set featuring a timeless deer character that the family will love to see return over and over again.

Dress the table with sprigs of red berries, and pop tealights into glass jars dotted around the table for a twinkling transformation. Make sure you have plenty of serving dishes; they don’t have to match – the contrast between the classic white Malvern platter (£14) and the glass star serve bowl (£10) is the perfect example. Finally, add elegant glassware such as the Nova range of champagne and wine glasses (£14).

Light up: simple lighting can be the most effective

3 Big, bold luxury

When things outside get dark and gloomy, go bigger and bolder inside, embracing dark hues, bold textures and grown-up decadence. It might seem counterintuitive, but dark greys and contrasting berry reds will make for a more relaxing dining table, buffering us from the elements outside. Add thick, warm textiles to the dining chairs for a cocooning effect – perhaps these faux-fur sheepskins (£35-120) – and extra texture with this corded table runner (£12) corded table runner and matching placemats (£12 for four).

Complement an everyday dinner set like the Warwick Charcoal Dinnerset (£30) with contrasting copper- or brass-toned cutlery, such as this stainless steel 16 Piece Cutlery Set (£38). Add some adults-only outsized glassware, like the grand cut-glass Averie Tumbler (£12 for two) and Wine Glass (£14). And for the perfect festive atmosphere, opt for some statement candleware – such as the Turned Wood Centrepiece (£55), handmade in India from mango wood – perfect to place at the window, mantlepiece or on a dresser for a relaxing, warming glow.

Opposites attract: contrast dark crockery with metallic cutlery for ultimate chic

4 Razzle Dazzle chic

With the annual office party and New Year’s Eve blow-out off the menu, you’ll need to bring the party closer to home. Think art deco motifs with tables dressed in gold and pearlescent hues, for evenings spent shaking off the gloom with cocktails and fine dining. More is more with this look, so don’t be shy – mix up sequins, shiny metals, sparkles and fairy lights.

Next’s Razzle Dazzle range is inspired by the glitz and glamour opulence of the 1920s. Go for gold with this sparkling sequined Gold Table Runner (£24-30) and Gold Metallic Laser Cut Placemats (£12). Dine from dazzling tableware with the Freya Dinnerset (£55) and Glasses (£26 for 4), each featuring a striking golden design. Or for one small-but-iridescent update, try the Angel Wing Gravy Boat (£10).

Finally, toast the season in style this Christmas with the Bar Drinks Trolley (£125) in gold with mirrored shelves to add an extra touch of sophistication to everything from simple serves to complicated cocktails.

Shine on: go the whole hog with gold accessories and details
Easy updates for the season ahead

Whether you want to tap into new trends, up the cosy factor or make your home more special for the season ahead, Next Home has everything you need to make effortless updates that will transform every room.From easy accessories to so-comfy sofas, and stylish lighting, tableware and furnishings that will make instant impact, it’s never been simpler to make your home work harder, so you can focus on enjoying every moment with your loved ones in the place that matters most.

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