Make yours the top table

You’ve decked the halls, decorated the tree and wrapped the presents, but there’s one last essential festive task - dressing the table. It should be the stunning centrepiece of Christmas, where family and friends gather to enjoy the turkey and linger long after it’s over.

You’ve decked the halls, decorated the tree and wrapped the presents, but there’s one last essential festive task - dressing the table. It should be the stunning centrepiece of Christmas, where family and friends gather to enjoy the turkey and linger long after it’s over.

Make it easy by choosing one of these four special settings, suggested by the experts, and some sparkling table treats. After all, it shouldn’t just be the feast that gets all the attention this Christmas!

:: Sparkling silver

“For out and out glamour, nothing beats silver. To keep things elegant, don’t add any colour other than pure white,” advises homes expert Alison Cork. “Start with a crisp white linen tablecloth and napkins, and sparkling silver cutlery. I find the John Lewis Silver Jewellery Dip great for pepping up cutlery.

“White china, with a silver charger under the main plate, crystal glasses and glass candlesticks with silver candles, is a classic, sophisticated setting.

“Make exquisite Faberge-style place name holders by spraying walnuts silver, then hand-write the name on a white card which will slot neatly into the natural crack in the nut, and affix the nuts upright to the tablecloth with a spot of Blu-Tack.”

And, she suggests, for an added glamorous touch, rub apples, pears, lemons, plums and grapes with edible silver powder, available from cake decorating shops and by mail order, then arrange a selection of fruit on a cake stand as a table centrepiece.

:: Red & white delight

“Red brings warmth and a traditional glow to a table,” says Kate Dyson, owner of The Dining Room Shop. “My suggestion would be red napkins, a matching runner and red goblets. A low, clear glass bowl vase - or one in silvery mercury glass - filled with red roses encircled by a red berry wreath makes a wonderful centrepiece.

“Always add finishing touches, such as small bud vases with white or red single blooms or miniature presents beside each plate. You could also tie on to the back of each chair, with red ribbon, a small cluster of red baubles and a white label bearing each guest’s name.”

:: Glamorous gold

“Gold is always synonymous with luxury, and it can be interpreted in two ways,” says Clare Harris, founder of Talking Tables, specialists in party and table accessories. Either take a traditional approach by using darker antique shades of gold, or give it a contemporary spin by using sleek, gilded, modern table accessories that will look dazzling and bang on-trend.

“Start with a white table cover base, but layer on gold charger plates, gold crackers, gold napkins, gold table gems, gold candles and gold table garlands. Never be afraid of adding opulence and glamour to a Christmas table. This is a place you want guests to linger and relax long after the meal is over.”

:: White magic

“A winter wonderland look for a table never fails to draw compliments, as it’s delightfully easy on the eye and such a calming contrast to all the colour and detail of the festive decorations,” says Sylvia Oakley, tableware stylist for Villeroy & Boch.

“A crisp white tablecloth, napkins, white tableware and candles are, of course, the main ingredients, but just as essential are elements of the natural world, from pine cones to sprigs of ivy, and a tiny bunch of mistletoe tied with a white velvet ribbon to each napkin.”

Millers Hardware has a large selection of indoor & outdoor lights, festive decorations, candles, lanterns ideal for a Christmas gift or as seasonal decorations. Why not come in and have a look around. Coliseum Lane Portlaoise, 05786 21445 Web:www.millers.ie