1. Don’t skip staple pieces
A set of eight Chinese blue and white bowls. 18th century. Estimate: £800-1,200. Offered in Interiors on 16 December at Christie’s in South Kensington
Good cutlery and a dinner service are key — but you don’t need to buy just one special dinner service that makes an appearance only once a year. Invest in something versatile and timeless, like blue and white porcelain or celadon glaze. Once your staple pieces are established, you can use décor to change the look and feel of the table.
2. Add a touch of old school glamour
A set of four George III silver candlesticks. Mark of John Scofield (of London) acting as retailer overstriking that of John Younge & Co. Sheffield, 1779. Estimate: £4,000-5,000. Offered in Interiors on 15 December at Christie’s in South Kensington
To set the scene and add a sense of occasion, decant wine into a claret jug or cut glass decanter. Champagne coupes are also a must at Christmas — as are silver candlesticks with tapered candles.
3. Go for restaurant quality
A near-set of eight Victorian graduated copper preserve pans. Late 19th century. Largest 21 in. (53.5cm). Estimate: £1,500-2,000. Offered in Interiors on 15 December at Christie’s in South Kensington
Restaurants and bars can offer some great decorating ideas. Make like the most fashionable restaurants and have guests serve themselves from copper pans. Don’t overdo it however — you want your guests to feel like they’re in your home.
4. Now’s the time for big bright sparkles
Ten Roman glass vessels, circa 1st-4th century A.D. Estimate: £2,000-4,000. Offered in Interiors on 15 December at Christie’s in South Kensington
Introduce splashes of bright colour to a traditional colour scheme. Punctuate a holly and ivy centrepiece with bold and sparkly decorations
5. Don’t forget the finishing touches
A suite of cut and gilt glassware. 20th century, probably Bohemia. Estimate: £1,500-2,500; A composite William IV/Victorian silver table service of Queens and Kings pattern. Estimate: £2,400-2,600. Offered in our Interiors on 15 December at Christie’s in South Kensington
Flowers are a must. For a more relaxed arrangement, go to your local flower market and pick up eucalyptus, thistles and berries for a festive scene. If you’re throwing a more formal dinner party, go to your florist. Fill as many vessels as possible; you don’t have to stick to vases. Tablecloths are good for creating drama but if you have a beautiful grain or inlay on your on your table that is better on view than covered; just go with some large linen napkins.
All furniture, table-ware art and objects from Christie’s; christmas decorations from VV Rouleaux; tapered candles from The Conran Shop; linen tablecloths and napkins from The Cloth Shop
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