Christmas MasterClass: Styling a table to remember with Nat Turnbull

The shopping is done, the presents are wrapped and the fridge is stocked. Now it’s time to think of the finer details – like dressing your Christmas table. We asked Australian stylist Nat Turnbull for her tips for styling a memorable Christmas table with a thoughtful touch.

1. Get the basics just right and dial it up with colour
Start with a generous table cloth as the base of your look, and add flourishes of colour with a cloth table runner, cloth napkins and lustrous bon bons. “100% linen is always the most beautiful linen you can get, says Nat. “It folds really nicely, and it scrunches really nicely. But if you’re not using that, natural as possible is always the nicest.” Try stepping away from the traditional saturated greens and reds of Christmas, and into muted cool greens and golds. This will also help your centrepieces sing. Contrasting textures and laying stylish items and materials will give your table a beautiful look. “I always love to mix and match, so I’m all for playing with different colours,” says Nat. “But I think if you stick to kind of classic neutral colours with one pop of colour, it’s always a nice addition.”

Bed Bath N Table
and My House are our picks for lines and home wares.

2. Make it welcoming
Make guests feel at home at your table, by adding a considered, personal touch to their place setting. Use name cards to let people know where to sit, and accompany them with some Christmas-style bonbonniere – or kill two birds with one stone, like Nat: “I’ve actually gone with a bauble, which I’ve written people’s names on. It’s quite nice, because then they can take that home with them and put it on their tree.”
To further stir up those warm fuzzy feelings, you can also write a little note for each person thanking them for being there. 

3. Bring the outside in
Natives are a huge trend at the moment, so why not use them to create a centrepiece for your table? Pick something fresh from your garden, or go for local eucalyptus or wattle branches to add interest and height ¬– plus they’ll give your dining room a lush, Aussie Christmas smell.
“I think sticking with native greenery is really nice. I love working with greenery that’s native to where you are,” says Nat. “For this table we’ve gone with some natural eucalyptus, and other kind of greenery to mix in.”

4. Add some festive flame
Candles are a beautiful and inexpensive addition to the Christmas table. Add some tea lights down the length of the table for some Christmas cheer. If there are too many little fingers around the table, switch out the real deal for flameless candles. 

Pick up candles from Dusk and Habitania
 
5. Don’t go overboard
Less is more! Especially when it comes to Christmas. Pare it back and take a thoughtful approach to your table setting – it’ll make sure what’s on the menu is the true hero of the table.