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Elle Decor Italia

5 design ideas for the best Christmas table settings

Simone Bretti, Italian Eye, Marianna Morelli, Ido Garini and Blacksheep: a set of unique mise en places for the imminent Christmas season


With Christmas right around the corner, we asked a bunch of designers, stylists and creatives to unveil their table settings. Shown above, Italian product design Simone Bretti’s green-chic table

The need to create an original, possibly ever-changing Christmas table setting tops the chart of traditional festive duties. Although idea hunters may leaf through magazines or keep an eye out to their local, trusted restaurant’s setting, we are willing to help, too: that is why we asked 5 experts – stylists, food/product designers, and creatives – to unveil their best kept secrets on how to artfully blend food and design for the upcoming festive season.

Here’s what we discovered.

According to Italian Eye, Christmas is a mix of Italo-brit traditions

A quirky flower arrangement made of golden cycads leafs and fuchsia shimmering touches is set to shape a mix of British and Italian elements. Our Christmas table is a feast of vintage tableware and accessories collected from antique shops and markets across London. Instead, food is an homage to the Italian culinary history, and our Christmas cocktail is made of Negroni served in a special crystal glass with golden finishes. A few period brass candelabras from our private collection charmingly complete the scenario; lastly, a minimalist table setting is the best way to enhance the vintage chairs and table’s wooden texture.


Foto credit: Photo by Charlotte Huco. Fiori Palais Flowers, location Lassco Ropewalk London.

Interior designer Marianna Morelli goes for a “Total Gold” table  

A “Total Gold”, traditional, shimmering table reflecting guests’ creative spirit and lifestyle. A golden universe made of embroideries, fabrics, leather and metal: an ancient wooden table enriched with lush details for an equally minimalist and maximalist Christmas setting, which is only slightly defused by a set of white towels with hand-stitched golden mouths. 

I fancy the idea of an original, modern mise en place, but still traditional and classic.

A vintage teapot with a crystal glass set lies at the rear of the table, ready for a relaxing break after a long lunch. A few books, scissors, paper clips are just next, so to turn personal work tools into actual ornamental features and remind us that real luxury is nothing but life itself.



Food designer Ido Garini and his “Luxurious Chic” setting

To us, the Christmas table setting is a proper journey into food, tables, and natural materials’ aesthetics. We took an essential ingredient like raspberries and celebrated its innate beauty and culinary relevance, by combining gourmet food with poorer ingredients yet dignified by the presence of unique accessories and habitats. A series of differently sized cones made of clay and slate creates an actual “forest”, matched with a towering raspberry totem guarded by a ‘raw nature’ display dome with hand-carved base made of 2,8-billion year old Finnish stone plate resulting from the creative collaboration between Studio Appetite and Hukka Design. The table is dotted with a number of Dessert Playground trays made of solid oak wood with brass finishes which were recently staged at the London Design Festival within the Food Religion installation. 



Food designers at Blacksheep see Christmas as a charming synopsis

Our everyday efforts are focused on creating Food&Beverage one-of-a-kind experiences. To this end, our table setting had to unfold around a very emotional dimension. We conceived a seasonal, deconstructed cocktail based on a frothy pulp released by roasted apples. 

We drew our major inspiration from Wassail (Old English Was Hael, literally: be hale), a beverage of hot mulled cider traditionally drunk as an integral part of wassailing, a Medieval English drinking ritual which is here revisited from a contemporary perspective and matched with carbon dry crackers, blue cheese and sage twig. Our table setting is strongly deconstructed, and indeed features a naked marble top with grab-and-go foods like Himalayan pink salt blocks. Needless to say, cutleries are made of gold-plated brass. Isn’t it Christmas, after all?



Product designer Simone Bretti pays tribute to Green Design

Christmas carries along a long list of widely familiar and seasoned codes tracing back to our childhood: colours, tastes and traditions that recur from year to year, changing from one family to another, and yet simply perfect.

Such emotional mix is converted into a selection of paper modules designed to improve every single ingredient and invaluable recipe.

By maximising creativity, paper allows to give tables and family gatherings a playful and imaginative touch, the same found in Christmas decorations and the ritual of present opening. 

Raw surfaces are highlighted by a traditional chromatic palette, which is meant to shape a cozy, warm environment echoing our past and best memories; 100% biodegradable paper, for its part, is a respectful and sensitive tribute to Mother Earth. 



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