25 Christmas Dining Room Decorating Ideas To Bring Joy To The Table

Christmas Dining Room with Wreaths
PHOTO: ERICA GEORGE DINES

Sure, presents under the tree are pretty magical, but the dining room is where the true magic happens during the holiday season. There’s nothing more festive than enjoying the company of family and friends gathered around the dining room table. Of course, Christmas decor is an important part of the festivities, and where better to start than the site of holiday meals?

If you’re looking for Christmas dining room decor ideas, we have everything you need to bring a bit of cheer to the table. Whether you’d your holiday design to incorporate festive greenery, placeholder settings, chair backings, or all of the above, there’s something on this list to brighten every dining room.

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Choose a Few Showstoppers

Mirror a Wreath
LAUREY W. GLENN

You don’t need to wrap your whole dining room in garland and wreaths to celebrate the season. Instead, pick a few elements and make them extra special. Here, a magnolia wreath and matching magnolia centerpiece steal the show.

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Bring Out the Florals

Pink and green table setup in dining room with Christmas tree in the back
ALISON GOOTEE

Flowers are just as welcome during the Christmas season as they are during the rest of the year. For extra festivity, choose arrangements with an abundance of red and green, such as these roses.

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Use a Tablecloth

Blue and Green Dining Room with Striped Walls decorated for Christmas
ALISON GOOTEE; STYLING: ELIZABETH DEMOS

Not sure how to bring festive colors to a neutral space? Try using a colored tablecloth. Wreaths and red flowers tie the space together.

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Embrace Neutrals

Neutral-toned dining room set up with Christmas tree

If the woods and furniture in your dining room are neutral-toned, consider continuing that palette with your decor. Gold, cream, and white accents—such as tree ornaments, place setters, or flowers—bring festivity to neutral-toned spaces without making neutral elements seem bland.

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Consider Cool Blues

Christmas Dining Table Centerpiece
ALISON GOOTEE; STYLING: KK HARRIS

Richmond-based designer designer Sara Hillery prefers to forgo the traditional reds and greens, instead opting for sophisticated cool blues. Paired with live decor, the blues hint at the season without overwhelming the space.

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Add a Pop of Color

Circular dining room table, background decorated with wreaths and garland

Though typically thought of as summer colors, bright oranges, pinks, and blues can ramp up the festivity of a space when paired with more traditional Christmas motifs.

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Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment

A rainbow palette of flowers adorns a dining table
HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ

A rainbow of flowers bestows the Christmas dining table with more liveliness than single-color flowers could achieve. Along with scattered pomegranates, the flowers suggest a Christmas bounty of plenty.

08of 25

Embrace the Existing Palette

Idea House 2023 Dining Room Holiday
LELE FAIN PHOTOGRAPHY

The dining room in the 2023 Southern Living Idea House features warm woods and white paint, making a white-and-neutral Christmas tree ideal for accentuating the space’s existing charm. The tree ornaments are made from upcycled wood and recycled cotton.

09of 25

Keep it Simple

Formal Dining Room with Green Wallpaper and Pops of Blue and Salmon
MARTA PéREZ; STYLING: VERO DESIGNS

If your dining room decor is already busy, consider keeping your holiday decor to a few defining touches. In this case, family silver, inexpensive grocery store flowers, and a hint of color prep this space for the holiday season just as well as a decked-out Christmas tree.

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Make Your Own Magnolia Wreath

Christmas Decorating Ideas: Magnolia Wreath
PHOTO BY ROGER DAVIES

It wouldn’t be Southern Christmas decor without Magnolia garland. You can make your own with the help of a florist foam wreath.

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Utilize the Background

Festively decorated dining room with blue peacock wallpaper

If you don’t want to crowd an already-cramped table, try moving some of the decor to other surfaces. In this dining room, flowers strategically positioned on a cabinet behind the table extend the chandelier for an elegant look.

12of 25

Use Seatbacks

Christmas Decorating Ideas: White Tulips
PHOTO BY BETH DREILING HONTZAS

Cloth and ribbon tied to the backs of these dining room chairs bring lots of festivity without the hassle of hanging garlands and wreaths. White tulips punctuate this room’s classic reds, greens, and golds.

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Modernize

Browns Holiday dining room and tablescape decorations
ERICA GEORGE DINES

For more modern dining rooms, try minimalist decorations like this willow wreaths. This twist on traditional Christmas decor still elevates spirits while maintaining the modern vibe of the space.

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Encourage Conversation Flow

Christmas Decorating Ideas: Round Dining Table
PHOTO BY ERICA GEORGE DINES

Keep your centerpiece low to encourage Christmas table conversation. This works particularly well with a circular table.

15of 25

Cozy Garland

Garland Christmas Centerpiece
PHOTO: HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ; STYLING: BUFFY HARGETT MILLER

Ditch the centerpiece in favor of a table-length garland. We promise it looks just as good on the table as on the fireplace.

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Embrace Bold Reds

Idea House Holiday Tour
KRIECH-HIGDON PHOTOGRAPHY

In the Southern Living Kentucky Idea House, a red-and-white table setting pops against the dining room’s neutral backdrop. Instead of one large centerpiece, try distributing decor down the length of the table.

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Repeat Shapes

Repeat Shapes

A circle mirror, hanging plates, and circular flower arrangements carry a sense of consistency throughout this holiday set-up.

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Expand Your Palette

Blue dining room with orange curtains
JAMES RANSOM

Fresh-cut lisianthus blooms and gold accents increase the festivity of this blue and orange dining room, demonstrating that any space can be made Christmas-y.

19of 25

Bring Formality to Unexpected Places

Round dining room table with wreaths in windows
BRIE WILLIAMS

Tall tapers, like those at designer Maggie Dillon’s table, bring formality and height to the tablescape without blocking conversation.

20of 25

Up the Greenery

A spruce-and-magnolia garland like this one adds liveliness to the holiday scene. An arrangement of flowers, fruit, and greenery on the table is the finishing touch.

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Organic Elegance

Greenery Branches Christmas Centerpiece
PHOTO: ALISON GOOTEE; STYLING: SUZONNE STIRLING

When it comes to your dining room decor, not just any greenery will do. In this centerpiece, clippings of silver fir, cedar Lebanon, and dogwood berries set the season.

22of 25

Go for Gold

Christmas Decorating Ideas: Built-In Bookshelves
PHOTO BY ERICA GEORGE DINES

Spice up the season with this underappreciated Christmas color. Golden pinecones extend the golden theme from the centerpiece outward.

23of 25

Accent with Blue

Festive table set-up in front of engraved fireplace decorated with garland

Even if you’re primarily decorating with red and green, blues like these frosty glasses can add more cheer and diversity your Christmas decor palette.

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Choose a Color Scheme

Natasha Lawler Charlottesvile Home Decorated for Christmas Dining Room
HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ

In this Charlottesville Home, napkins, candles, and fruit caries a yellow theme while leaving room for a bountiful Christmas dinner. Wreaths, a fireplace garland, and centerpiece flowers carry a parallel green theme throughout the room.

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Pick a Plant

Select Scale

Here, the repetitive use of the same red flowers on the table and on the mantle creates a simple yet elegant look for Christmas decorating.