Advice and learnings

5 tips on how to style a dining table


Let’s face it – entertaining at home is never just about the food. Taking the trouble to create a welcoming, stylish dining environment tells your guests they are special.
So, to make sure not only your food but your table settings really impress, try these five easy tips.

Throw the rule book out

Grandma might not approve, but today’s casual dining table can be a fresh, fun break from the conventional. For casual dining, have fun mixing and matching patterns and shapes on the table. Many patterns can be blended together on one table or mixed with white ware.

Try starting with a plain white table setting using different shapes, squares and rounds on the one table, then bring in other patterns for bread and butter plates, serving bowls and accessories.

Perhaps put two table settings together and mix a contemporary setting with vintage plates of the same colour as the patterns.

Image credit: HouzzPhoto by The Painted Homes


Pick a theme, colour family or occasion

For a contemporary feel, you may wish to choose a geometric design or a particular colour.

Try combining a geometric design with one or two pale colours and natural materials such as linen, to juxtapose the angular lines with softer elements.

It’s easier to mix and match when you have a theme in mind, then other accessories can be added such as serviettes or glassware.

Say it with flowers

Flowers say welcome. Any flowers will dress a table; even a simple garden posy will make a basic setting special. Although bright colours are eye-catching, try using succulents as table decorations for their subtle colour and intriguing shapes.

Alternatively, you can choose tableware with a floral pattern. Not at all like the flower-print-around-the border plates you might remember from your childhood, there are many contemporary shapes with soft floral patterns.


Invest in different tablecloths or table runners

A once-off DIY styling hack can be a long centre table runner of brown paper, or even colourful wrapping paper can be used to set the mood of the table for a special themed meal.
Tie in your choice of tablecloth with the dining set you’ve chosen. A beautiful tablecloth can bring instant sophistication to outdoor dining.

For simple, summery boho or vintage look, combine washed natural linens textures, serviettes tied with a bow of jute twine, weathered cutlery and chunky glass jugs.

Image credit: HouzzPhoto by Jennifer Young


Choose an unusual centrepiece

You can use something from another part of the house or even use holiday travel souvenirs and build a setting around them for a special occasion. Travel-finds paired with vintage silverware can become conversation starters over a meal shared with new friends.

Feature image credit: Houzz

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