Elegant Christmas Table Ideas (Place Settings and Decor)

Discover elegant Christmas table ideas and tips for putting place settings together with a bit of pizazz!

A shiny red striped place setting from the elegant Christmas table ideas blog post.

My goal is to inspire you with elegant Christmas table ideas so you can enjoy the process of creating your own.

Happy Holidays! I am playing with plates and napkins again.

Let’s break the process down into baby steps to help you plan an elegant, coordinated look for your holiday table settings.

Disclaimer: I am not an interior designer. I am a trained and seasoned 😁 graphic designer translating my design viewpoints, opinions, and experiences.

Christmas Table Ideas

Do you prefer elegant and ornate styles or informal and rustic? Good news! I have inspiration for both.

This post is all about a fancier look. Check out the casual and rustic table decor post or this Spode table decor.

Let’s explore what an elegant style means and learn how to create it for your table.

For more hosting, see more entertaining ideas

Red Christmas Table Decorations
What is Elegant Style?

Elegance is a refined grace in appearance or behavior; for example, an elegant woman, outfit, or an elegant home.

When referring to style, elegance is one of the first things that an observer sees and serves to formulate their first impression.

The word elegant may sound pretentious and unapproachable, but I believe it is possible to create an elegance that enhances all styles.

Red and White Table Ideas

Elegant Table Decor

Many trademarks of an elegant table design are in the characteristics of finishes and elements you select.

Elegant pieces can be a lot of different things. They may possess a particular flair or refinement or be well-tailored.

They can also be highly ornamental, decorative, or sparkly. Either way, they communicate the spirit of a special occasion.

Elegance is not reserved for a formal table style. A formal place setting can be elegant, but an elegant table need not have a formal place setting.

Lovely settings also call for good-looking and tasting foods! Try this smoked prime rib, Asian shrimp, or braised pork for your next elegant occasion.

Gold Decor

Table Decoration Ideas

Below are the six elegant-style Christmas table settings I put together for you! I hope the tips and methods inspire you in your table-setting escapades.

How to Create an Elegant Table

Below are several steps to creating an elegant table style. I applied these concepts to each of these place settings.

Gold Glam Table Setting

Color Palette

A great place to begin is to narrow in on a color scheme. Choose one or two predominant colors to guide your decisions.

The color palette may be influenced by what you already have in your collection, which is fine.

Pull hues from the space, your china, rug, table linens, etc., as a starting point.

Experiment using complementary colors, monochromatic, or high contrast for more dramatic effects.

Pink Glam Table Ideas

Table Linen

Step one is to build a base layer. Select your table linens. Consider a tablecloth, table runner, or placemat.

If your table is in good shape and you like the finish, there is no need to cover it up.

Your tabletop can add a lot of warmth to your decor. Skip the tablecloth and use a runner or placemats instead.

Cloth napkins are an elegant touch and also help you carry through the color palette.

Choose a neutral color napkin, adding a pop of color with a napkin ring or ribbon.

Or, instead, select a napkin with a bold color, pattern, or trim and use that as a focal point.

See this candy-toned Christmas decor for more pastel holiday inspiration.

Pink Table Decor


If you are building and buying a look for the long haul, investing in fairly neutral colors for your main pieces is best.

For example, buy high-quality plates or glassware that you love that will last.

You can then easily update the look throughout the years with accessories such as napkins, centerpieces, or table linens.

It is fun and easy to change the table decor with pops of colors, textures, and patterns using less expensive accents.

One or two items can transform the look, celebration, or holiday!

For other tabletop examples, check out these neutral-styled tables: a cream-color decor design and a rustic raclette party.

Remember to balance the table pieces visually by highlighting only a few parts with a bold color, pattern, or attention-getting finish.

Avoid visual chaos by using restraint with other items so everything is not competing for attention.

But of course. There are no rules. YOU BE YOU!

If you prefer a Betsey Johnson style (sometimes I do!!), just ignore me.😁

Shiny Bright Blue and Gold Table Decor

Finishes and Textures

Consider adding small touches that reflect light in your main pieces or within the accessories.

Objects with a bit of shine, sparkle, or glitz can add a lot to your table. Think glass vases, mirrored trays, glass candlesticks, or luminescent votives.

For example, finishes made of glass, metallics, crystal, or marble surfaces elevate the space and ambiance.

A blue and green place setting from the elegant Christmas table ideas blog post.
Blue Table Setting Ideas

Layering your Table Design

Table layering adds variety, depth, and lots of charm. Mix in contrasting textures, too.

Use your holiday table linens as a first layer. Then, consider adding plate chargers and a combination of 2-3 plates or a bowl.

Continue with a fabric napkin with a special fold or a napkin ring.


Flowers are always a good option for the centerpiece.

Try one statement flower alone in a vase, a series of small vases dotted down the center of the table or a larger arrangement.

Or try candle groupings, vases, or vessels filled or decorated with holiday decor, ornaments, etc.

Choose table elements that do not obstruct anyone’s view.

As a general rule, keep your tall pieces at 24” or higher and your short pieces at 12” or under.

A boho style place setting from the elegant Christmas table ideas blog post.
Boho Table Decor


The last part of the table decor is to add details.

Continue with seasonal accouterments; Include small presents for your guests, place setting cards, adornments, pine boughs, or holly.

Include a small dish of melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese mints or tiny truffles by each place setting.

Try repeating elements of your centerpiece design in other places. For example, place a similar flower sprig next to the plates or on the back of the chairs.

A boho place setting from the elegant Christmas table ideas blog post.
Modern Boho Christmas Decor


Don’t use overhead lighting alone. Balance the lighting in your room by adding side lighting, with lamps or candles strategically placed to create a beautiful ambiance.

Gilded China Table Ideas

Cleaning for Your Guests

It may be obvious, but it is probably worth mentioning that a clean and good-smelling home is important.

Prepare for your guests with fresh linens, vacuumed rooms, and well-washed or polished tableware.

Add welcoming scents to your home, too. A scented candle, the smell of your meal, baked bread, or a roaring fireplace will be appreciated and remembered.

Golden Gilded China

Where to Buy Table Decor

Elegant decor pieces are easy to find these days.

Most of the items in this post are from the At Home stores (not sponsored) or are part of my collection.

Although I do show many new pieces in this post, you can decorate on a budget. You may not have to buy a thing.

It is also very easy to find interesting tableware and accessories at very low or discounted prices.

The first step is to scour your own home. With an open mind and imagination, you may find everything you need under your roof.

Open up your cabinets, forage in your yard, dig in the storage room, borrow from a friend, or run to the thrift shop, dollar store, TJ Maxx, or Homegoods to find what you are needing.

These are my favorite places to hunt. I love a good deal.😁

Resale Shops
Dollar Store
At Home Stores
TJ Maxx

If you are looking for more pieces, check out these retailers below.

Pottery Barn
World Market

Elegant table decor is a fun style to play with. I am far from elegant, but it’s fun to pretend.

If you have questions about a certain piece in this post, feel free to leave a comment below or message me here. I am very happy to point you in the right direction!

Enjoy the process of designing a table and experience you can share with your friends and family.

Thanks for following along,

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