How to create beautiful tablescapes that set the Christmas mood

SINGAPORE – The Christmas dining table is where all the action takes place during the year-end, and in 2023, three Singapore-based designers show how to create table settings that are not just festive but also impressive.

Pick from three styles – fully decorated (Maximalist), pared down (Minimalist) or local (Peranakan) – designed to spark conversation and celebrate the year-end festivities.

Ms Juliane Bailey, interior stylist and founder of local lifestyle brand The Jungle Emporium, says table art – the art of presenting food – should be a multi-sensorial experience for guests.

“From the aroma of roast turkey fresh out the oven to the Christmas lights to the thoughtful design touches, guests should feel welcome as well as want to stay a little longer at your party,” says the 45-year-old, who runs her lifestyle atelier out of her black-and-white bungalow at 13 Adam Drive.

Table art, or l’art de la table, is believed to have started in France around the 15th century. According to Mr Jean Francois le Du, a modern French expert on table art and entertaining etiquette, the concept is centred on the “architecture of the table and creating harmony”.

One way to do this is by ditching traditional festive design tropes for a minimalist look, says Ms Brenda Lee, founder of Fiore Dorato, an upscale floral design company with a global roster of clients.

She says coordinating the right glassware, serving ware and cutlery will ensure a cohesive tablescape.

“The Christmas dining table is like a canvas for spreading love and joy,” adds Ms Lee, who is in her 40s. “Besides table accessories, beautiful flowers add a touch of nature’s elegance to festive celebrations.”

There can also be a sense of theatre in the presentation of food during Christmas, says Mr Harijanto Setiawan, founder of floral studio Boenga Flowers, which specialises in themed events and weddings.

“It’s the end of the year, when guests are in the mood to relax and be entertained, so find ways to add drama,” says the 51-year-old.

“Make tablescapes memorable by opting for a tropical Christmas with Asian or Peranakan decor accents, and use lots of local flowers for a stunning floral statement.”

Here are three tablescape styles to add zest to your home this Christmas.

Maximalist: Juliane Bailey, The Jungle Emporium

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