Interesting Fact: In Scotland, Christmas did not become a public holiday until 1958.
You probably didn’t expect a history lesson when visiting a DIY blog, but I have done a ton of research into this Christmas’s decorations. Welcome to Tartan Scottish Christmas dining room! I have had a blast decorating this area with some heritage items, both new and old in new ways.
The truth is I have been looking forward to this year’s Scottish Christmas decorations for a year! Yes, a full year!
I was supposed to start the dining room makeover last February. I put a mood board together, decided colors, and was ready to go!
Life happened and priorities changed. That’s how it goes.
The Dining Room Christmas Makeover
So about 6 weeks ago, I finally started working on the dining room. Here is the before. The makeover isn’t done so keep that in mind. We painted the walls a dark denim blue color (Van Deusen Blue by Benjamin Moore). We also extended the wainscoting that oddly ended in the middle of the wall. (Why did they do that?!)
The dining room table is also the biggest change in the room. Originally a dark brown, I stripped it and created a raw wood finish, which you can see the tutorial in the link.
Scottish Christmas Inspiration
Beyond the makeover, I wanted to incorporated some of my heritage with a Scottish Christmas decorations theme. The last few years have seen renewed interest in researching our family history by my parents. Scottish Festivals, researching our family tree back centuries, and long conversations about the storied history of Scotland.
So it made perfect sense to me to imbue some of that history into our holiday celebrations. I love incorporating things that tell our stories in our homes. For this theme, I incorporated several elements that set the scene as both traditional and Scottish.
The napkins include our family tartan. I made these Dress Stewart Clan Napkins here. I love that you can adjust the printed size to as large or small as you like, although they are quite a splurge price wise.
A hunter green satin ribbon (found here) adorns the napkins, while little bells are a bit of an ode to Hagmanay or Scottish New Year. Because Christmas was banned for nearly 400 years in Scotland, Hagmanay is the much bigger celebration and it is unique to the lands.
The centerpiece is a mix of artificial cedar garland, olive leaf garland, and red berry sprigs. While reindeer are known to inhabit much of northern Eurasia and Scandinavia, Scotland is known for it’s mighty and majestic Red Deer, so I added some to the garland.
Family Christmas Traditions
Everything just feels so much more magical under the sparkle of Christmas lights, doesn’t it? I added our Treat Tree that we made to this years room and it just feels like it belongs there.
This isn’t specifically Scottish, but we decorate a gingerbread house every year and the smell gets me every time. It’s so Christmas-ey. Interestingly, no one ever eats it after decorating. Never. Does anyone actually eat them?
We don’t have room for a full hutch in the dining room, so I just have a little cabinet in the corner.
The holidays are my favorite time of year to see the house aglow, but this year seems extra special because of the nostalgia behind many of our decorations.
It’s finally feeling like it’s all coming together. Which, makes sense, because that’s one of the best parts about the holidays.
If you would like to mix in some Scottish flavor or just love the traditional Christmas vibe, you can find all of our inspired décor choices here:
- Stewart Dress Tartan Napkins (I custom designed my own)
- Black Watch Ribbon
- Hunter Green Satin Ribbon
- Crystal Goblets (not real crystal)
- Pre-made Gingerbread House
- Small Christmas Tree
- Cedar Garland and Olive Garland
- Faux Paperwhite flowers on Cabinet
- Small Boxwood Wreath
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More Christmas Tutorials