8 Christmas Centerpiece Ideas That Flip the Script on Tradition

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A proper Christmas centerpiece does more than just represent the spirit of the season, it extends a fresh dose of interest to the dining table, entry console, or wherever you choose to display it. Going beyond the cookie-cutter winter arrangement, we're looking to a slew of fresh ideas that utilize the best of the season. Think fragrant strands of eucalyptus trailing down a bulbous vase or cheeky neon bottle brush trees that mimic a mini forest. Regardless of if you're keeping it simple or decking the halls to the nines, it's a thoughtful touch that can make a big impact. Read on for eight festive Christmas centerpiece ideas that you can buy or DIY.

1. Structural Candleholders

A candleholder that has the decorative prowess to double as art is a great place to start when looking for a Christmas centerpiece. Invest in a design-forward sculptural option — this black brass option from Ferm Living has the right idea — and pair with a few strands of eucalyptus for a textured accent. To complete the look and take things to the next level, throw in a few statement tapers, too.

Get the look: Ferm Living Candle Holder Circle in Black Brass, $159

2. A Citrus-Forward Arrangement

Winter citrus isn't utilized nearly as much as it deserves to be, especially when it comes to setting a holiday table. Cassandra LaValle of Coco Kelley offers a clever approach with a Christmas centerpiece that heavies up on the vibrant fruit. Using a wide-mouth vase to hold an array of winter greens, the creative filtered in tangerines (vines intact) for a pop of color that definitely won't go unnoticed.

Get the look: Coco Kelley DIY Citrus-Inspired Christmas Tabletop

3. Mini Christmas Village

Emily Henderson's take on a "casual" Christmas centerpiece is about as whimsical and charming as it gets. Featuring ceramic house-shaped votives, the designer emulated a mini holiday village that ran the length of the festive table complete with winter berries, brass candleholders, and juniper stems for good measure.

Get the look: West Elm Ceramic Cityscape Houses, $20 - $30

4. Reinvented Basics

Repurpose anything from water glasses to wine goblets into vases for a Christmas centerpiece. Place a series of five or seven glasses down the middle of the table and throw in fresh florals for a simple yet elevated finish. Take a cue from this Scandi-chic tablescape spotted on IKEA, comprised of an eclectic mix of glassware and candleholders.

Get the look: IKEA Fulltalig Candlestick (set of 3), $12.99

5. Metallic Florals

Glittery dried flowers and grass painted gray on table with candles and dishware

Pampas grass gets a holiday-approved makeover that promises to lend a lustrous element to the table. All you need to recreate this Christmas centerpiece is a medley of dried florals, spray paint (go for a few complementary metallics), and chicken wire to keep them secured. Once you've painted the grasses, shape the wire into a loose ball, place it in the vase, and add your stems.

Get the look: DIY Sparkly Pampas Grass Centerpiece

6. A Scandi Setting

The secret to an effortlessly cool, Scandinavian-inspired centerpiece is all about keeping things simple — and lots of candles. Forego saturated hues and instead, opt for a reserved palette of high-contrast neutrals — think black, white, and beige. Throw in organic elements, such as a linen tablecloth and an evergreen garland, for texture, and complete the setup with tapers in varying heights.

Get the look: DIY Scandinavian Holiday Tablescape

7. Bottlebrush Trees

Bottlebrush trees make for a whimsical addition to a wide range of Christmas decorating ideas — tablescapes included. We're following Sugar & Cloth's lead and designating them for the starring role that flips the script on tradition. Recreate this look in a palette of your choice or take a leap with a saturated pink scheme to make a statement.

Get the look: RSG Mini Pink Sisal Bottle Brush Christmas Trees (set of 8), $4.99

8. A Scented Runner

a table runner made from bunches of eucalyptus branches studded with tapers

Take on a minimalist approach by skipping out on a fabric runner in lieu of a livelier alternative. Eucalyptus is fragrant and bountiful enough to live on its own, making it a foolproof option that's guaranteed to pop. If you're willing to take things a step further, experiment with a mix of winter greens — think juniper, lemon leaves, and magnolia leaves — and layer one on top of the other for a rich effect. Line the greenery down the center of the table and weave in tall taper candles for dimension.

Get the look: DIY Eucalyptus Table Runner


Anna is a New York-based writer and editor with a penchant for travel, design, and interiors.

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