When the Real Housewives of Cheshire want to make their Christmas dinner table the envy of Instagram, they turn to one woman.
Debbie Marks is a style and décor expert who has been helping add sparkle to the events and homes of footballers, leading CEO’s and TV stars for over 20 years.
She says the ‘tablescape’ is a trend that started last year but looks set to continue.
"People want to create something special with a magical feeling that looks amazing," says Marks. "But the tablescape is not all about the décor, it’s about bringing people together, having conversations and seeing the wonderful reactions of your guests."
Here are Marks' top 10 tips on creating a wonderful tablescape – even on a budget.
Create a gorgeous centrepiece
This could consist of a beautiful glitter, berry or pine garland, an abundance of candlesticks and votives and some feature décor such as a beautiful reindeer or illuminated glass trees. The colour trends this year are champagnes, whites and silvers but the traditional colours of red and gold can look fabulous if you give them a modern twist – perhaps use a chunky gold candlestick with red berry pillar candles. Lots of candles are a must. Add twinkly lights to the centrepiece for the ultimate showstopper.
Use a table runner
Having a table runner in a beautiful fabric that matches with your napkin colours ties everything nicely together. It’s a central part of your design and acts as a base to your centrepiece. You don’t have to spend a fortune on it. You can buy some material from any haberdashery and sew up the edges to create a stunning look.
Pick the perfect placemat
Each place setting should have a distinctive placement that demarcates each seat but gives your table more of a luxury edge. You want to make sure that when your guests sit at your Christmas table, it feels more special that any other moments throughout the year. I recommend picking a colour to compliment the rest of your tablescape, eg if your colours a primarily silver, then choose a beautiful silver placemat.
A tablescape is definitely not complete without a show stopping decorative glass charger plate. This is your opportunity to bring real finesse to your table. As we are all trying to be more sustainable, choose one that you can use all year round.
Use fabric napkins
Paper napkins are a real no no! If you want to create a luxury tablescape you need a quality linen napkin. I generally use machine washable napkins so that I can use them again and again. Etsy have a beautiful range of hand made napkins.
Napkin rings or napkin detailing
You can't have a gorgeous napkin without a showpiece napkin ring! If napkin rings aren't your thing then you definitely need a really special touch that goes onto the napkin. This could be some string tied cinnamon sticks or even a little gift for your guest.
Does your cutlery match the rest of your table? This is often one element that gets overlooked, however it's one aspect that adds to the entire look so it's important. I love using stylish pieces such as antique silver lace cutlery that are comfortable to use and have an elegant finish to them which complements your table decor.
We all look forward to a drink on Christmas day, so why not make it extra special in the way you serve to your guests. I’d recommend a stylish champagne coupe to make your table extra special.
Making your table a talking point is always fun. I always love to add special features. For Christmas tablescapes I scatter the table with artificial snow and diamantes.
Bring the outside in
Natural elements such as pine cones, pine branches or logs are particularly fashionable at the moment. You can forage for these in the countryside and use them as name placings or decorations for the centrepiece. You don’t have to drive yourself mad running round the shops or spending hours searching online.
Marks' ready-made tablescapes are available to purchase.