at home with Alfresco

Creating the perfect table setting for Christmas, or any special dinner party, is a true artform, however with these simple tips you will be an expert in no time.

Firstly, start with a colour theme. You probably already have a dinnerset you wish to use so maybe consider the colours in your plates as a good base. If you have a simple white setting then the world is your oyster! It's nice to coordinate your table setting with the rest of your Christmas decorating, ensuring flow and continuity. It will also give you maximum impact to your guests. Having a base of three colours is a great start and not too much overkill.

Gold pinecones, glassware & silver cutlery.Pinecone Gold Garland, Pinecone Gold Candle Ring, Anna Gare Lucy Footed Dessert Bowl Set of Four, Anna Gare Lucy Footed Parfait Glass Set of Four, York Cutlery, Rattan Placemat Square White, Antlers: Moose Small & Snowflake Candles Champagne.

Secondly, find a theme. You may wish to create a winter woodlands theme or a traditional “Aussie” Christmas theme, with shells, seaside trinkets and a colour theme of nautical red, white and blue. Look out for little ornaments from around your home to include or use Christmas decorations and garlands to bulk up your Christmas table. Placing decorations and baubles in a large glass bowl, mixed with fairy lights, always looks festive and classy.

Finally, and I think most importantly, is layering. Your mantra here should be layer, upon layer, upon layer. You want to make every person at your dinner table feel special, so place special attention to the individual place settings. Start with the bottom and work your way up. Have a placemat, which can be layered on top of a tablecloth, as the base. If you have charger plates, even if you aren't going to eat off them, use them as your first dinnerset layer. You can add another hint of colour by placing a folded napkin across the middle of the charger, before adding the next plate. Making an individual name setting tag is always very special, and necessary if you have a mix of guests who may not know each other very well, and you wish to sit certain guests next to each other. When layering up your table settings, remember how you wish to serve the food. If you will be plating up in the kitchen or a buffet, then don't put all your plates on the table, as you will have to strip them before everyone sits down. The same consideration must go for the table centre pieces. If you plan to have loads of different share plates down the middle of the table, you may wish to consider different layers of fabric as a centrepiece, with tall candle holders, instead of a decorated garland filled with loads of tea lights, as you won't have any room left to put the food.

Above all, have fun with your tablesettings. I hope these photos inspire you, and please check out our facebook and pinterest pages to get more inspiration on how to decorate your table for a special, memorable occasion.

White plates, rattan and navy anchor napkins.

Tea Light Holder Lighthouse, Cafe Dinner Setting, Rattan Placemat Round White, Rattan Napkin Ring White, Laguiole Debutant Cutlery Set 24pc Blue, Anchor Napkin White on Blue.

Red napery, berry candle rings and pinecones.

Bianco Plates, Anna Gare Lucy Footed Dessert Bowl Set of Four, Rattan Placemat Rectangular Brown, Hemstitch Napkin Red, Bird Candle Tail Down, Red Berry Candle Ring & Red Berry Garland with Leaf.