For almost all of us, this Christmas will be different from most – but even if your celebrations are smaller, it’s still worth putting the effort into making them special. Perhaps this year more than any other, paying attention to detail and creating an atmosphere that brings joy and uplift will boost all our spirits. So whether you are seeing friends or family, in real life or on Zoom, a festive backdrop is a must. We asked stylist and photographer Tamsyn Morgans for how she would go about creating a vintage festive table – and the results were so gorgeous we couldn’t wait to share them with you.

What was the inspiration behind this beautiful vintage festive table?

I recognised that many people will be having a small celebration – perhaps just two people together, or four as in the table I created. But I wanted to show that small can still be beautiful and that it really is worth making a special effort to ensure that Christmas 2020 still has a sparkle and magic.

Because this Christmas will be different, I wanted to draw on memories of Christmas past and so chose ‘vintage Christmas’ as my theme. For many of us, it’s the Christmases of our childhood that linger most vividly in our minds, so recreating the romantic glow of the past seemed a positive option. Even in a modern home, you can recreate the warmth and glow of a traditional Christmas with a few props and attention to detail.

Can you talk us through some of the elements you used?

Decorating your home with beautiful jewel-coloured blooms and greenery evokes a traditional Christmas like nothing else. The scent of roses, lavender, eucalyptus and sprigs of fir will fill the room – and our sense of smell more than any other is vital in transporting us back to Christmases gone by.

So my centrepiece is based on The Real Flower Company’s Copper, Plum and Gold Rose Table Wreath. The rich colours work beautifully with the theme of a vintage Christmas. I also added elements from the Romantic Antique Bouquet to give an even more muted palette – I love the deep reds and dusky pinks of these roses.

For a longer table for a larger gathering, you can divide the bouquet into small posies that can be arranged in empty bottles or jam jars tied with ribbon and placed at intervals along the table. You could also place a single rose on each plate.

What about lighting?

Once you have your wreath in place, make sure you have a lighted candle at its centre. You don’t need a silver candlestick – any tall candle will give a feeling of warmth on a dark winter day. To increase the sense of a Christmas glow, place tea lights around the edge of the table. You can also hang fairy lights within the room to give an extra sparkle and dangle trails of ivy and other greenery from the central light as you won’t be using it once the candles are lit.

Do you have suggestions for crockery?

Christmas is a time for using the most beautiful things you have. Obviously my blue and white china gives a uniform vintage look, but you could use anything as long as it is beautifully presented. Stacking a large and small plate for each place setting gives a feeling of anticipation of treats to come and adds to the sense of occasion.

What else have you included?

I used real cloth napkins tied with gold ribbon to give a feeling of opulence. I also used fabric to make my own crackers, filled with small surprises. Of course, you want to avoid anything plastic, obviously modern or commercially produced. The main aim of the exercise, though, is to have fun creating something personal, special and welcoming – a table that will elicit a ‘wow’ response before you have even put food on the plates!

You can browse our wonderful collection of Christmas door wreaths, table wreaths and Christmas table centrepieces here.