Scandinavian style is all about the aesthetic of white walls, light wood and all-natural decorations – even the Christmas table follows this aesthetic. Here is the setting up guideline for creating the elegant and ethereal Scandinavian Christmas table of your own.
The Table and the Coverings
If you have a massive natural wood table, even a little bit rustic or vintage, that would be just perfect. And you don’t need to cover it with large tablecloth. It makes a huge difference by placing one or more pure linen table runners or table mats in red, dark blue, white, beige or gray. Quick suggestion here: Scandinavians mainly use table linens that are made of 100% linen fabric, not cotton, and never plastic.
When your table surface is not natural wood, it would be a good idea to cover it overly with large natural tablecloth for the Christmas Eve. As modern linen tablecloths are easy to care, machine washable and many of those even don’t need ironing, this could be a great investment for many years.
White pure linen tablecloth is so Scandinavian and Nordic, but in some cases – for example for families with small kids – a bit of sensitive choice though. Much more practical option is to choose dark, burgundy red tablecloth, as spots on it don’t frustrate you so much afterwards. Purple and gray linen tablecloths are also good to go as warm and elegant background for your Christmas table.
With whatever you choose to cover your Christmas table, either the large linen tablecloth or go with the runners, the final touch to authentic Nordic style table setting is added by pure linen napkins. Best practice is choosing tablecloth and napkins in same color and material. If you consider of making a little bit more playful-minded setting, the napkins should be in contrast color. For example white napkins go well with red or dark blue linen tablecloth. One great and very Nordic style tip is to decorate your napkins before serving the food with small natural branch of fir or pine. Also placing the same or contrast color napkin rings, made of 100% linen fabric, are popular.
Scandinavian style tableware´s design is clean and simple. As Scandinavians are also very pragmatic people and everyday life is as important as special dinners, then casual tableware is very well usable on Christmas Eve, too. If your budget is limited, one good option is to acquire Swedish design dishware from IKEA, as their shops are worldwide. If you prefer something fancier, then what I highly recommend is famous Finnish brand Iittala – they send internationally through their online shop. Now Iittala even has launched a special Scandinavian Christmas fairy-tales’ theme plates, bowls and mugs. Why not to make an excellent gift for yourself?
When picking the decorations or the centerpiece for your Scandinavian or classical Nordic style Christmas table, it is good to use only real, natural pine or fir branches, or real plants. Adding extras, as balls or ties, please avoid ersatz and gewgaws as much as you can. Better options are paper decorations, made of recyclable carton or genuine red berries, cones and nuts. Simple form and straight white candles suit perfectly, too.