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Festive dining in style with colour co-ordinated purple & metallics

As purple is one of the hottest colours this season it's easy to team this rich colour with metallics, such as gold and silver, to make a stunning display in your dining room. The beautiful reflections from gold and silver will make your festive table sparkle and shine, creating a magical surrounding in which to share your festive culinary delights with family and friends. Like any colour combination you have some choices as to how to use each colour. You can split the use 50-50, make the purple the more dominant colour or the metallic, the choice is yours, whichever way you choose the end results will look fabulous.

If you start with a neutral background of a cream or white table cloth you can then add an on-trend purple table runner. This central area of the table is best left for placing serving dishes and of course table decorations. Alternatively you can use a plum purple table cloth and white plates – the rich aubergine will make the white of the plates look spectacular in an unpretentious way. For those who adore a totally co-ordinated a purple table cloth and napkins are the way to go.

As Christmas is a special time it's nice to have linen napkins, keep the paper ones for the children or an informal evening buffet. If your table top needs added protection from potential heat marks table mats and coasters will add a touch of pattern. Clean your glasses and cutlery so that it sparkles to add to the effect. For a Christmas-y touch scatter tiny gold or silver baubles onto the table runner. A centre decoration is the norm, but make sure that it's the right size otherwise it can overpower the table, not to mention making it impossible to pass serving dishes or see the person sitting opposite, on the other hand if you make it too small it will look disproportionate to the table.

Candles are ideal for creating a magical touch and the flickering flame will of course be reflected in your glasses and cutlery – however, if the candles are too tall they'll actually become a hindrance, not to mention a potential health hazard. When setting and decorating your festive table try and remember the less is more 'rule', a few beautiful decorations can provide more impact and style than ones which are overly fussy and clutter your table.

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