How to Decorate a Table for a Dinner PartyBy Fable Staff
Decorating your dinner table is a fun task that can make or break your dinner party. Everyone who sits down for a meal is going to enjoy a beautifully decorated table. Whether you're hanging out on bar stools in a breakfast nook or you're serving up a meal on an antique, solid wood dining table (that just so happens to match your coffee table), these home decor tips can take your table from everyday to stylish.
If you want to be the host that does the most, decorating your table based on the weather and seasons is sure to impress. Think pastels, florals, and white for a spring brunch, or deep blues for a summertime dinner on the back patio. Fall and winter, on the other hand, call for a cozy, comforting vibe. Earthy warm tones, such as dark browns and deep reds will give your table setting that welcoming feel.
Of course, you should also always adhere to your personal style when you're designing the perfect dinner table. If the modern farmhouse dining look is your thing, make sure that you're aligning your color scheme with that natural wood dining room furniture and those sleek lines. If you're all about that contemporary modern style that seems to be trending everywhere, make sure that the tableware you choose goes with your classy marble-top table and those minimalist dining chairs.
No matter what atmosphere you are trying to achieve, here are some foolproof tips to decorating your dinner table.
Start with Layering
Layering your dinnerware provides your table with more depth. When done properly in terms of dining etiquette, guests will feel as though you really know what you’re doing—even if you secretly don’t. Seriously though, multiple plates aren’t just for a formal table. Start with your Salad Plates and Dinner Plates, and then consider what other items you can layer to really elevate your dining space.
Make sure that your Salad Plates and Dinner Plates have something in common—they should either be the same color, like a soft Dove Gray or a rosy Blush Pink or choose coordinating colors in the same finish. Indeed, all Fable ceramics are semi-matte and the glazes are specifically chosen to complement each other, making this task easy. For a touch of drama, consider pairing together Midnight Blue Dinner Plates and Speckled White Salad Plates.
Another great way to layer on your dining room or kitchen table is with cups and saucers, especially if you’re serving a multi-course meal. If you’ll be offering your guests tea or coffee after dinner, choose a mug that will sit on top of your dessert plate so that it can act as a saucer. Our Mugs are the perfect option for bringing that layered aesthetic to your table. Like our other products, they’re even dishwasher and microwave safe, making cleanup a breeze.
Add a touch of extra class for a more formal table setting by including wine glasses alongside your water glass. Whether you choose stunning crystal or more casual glassware, the look of wine glasses on the table really adds an extra touch of elegance. You don't need a crystal chandelier to feel like you're in a five-star restaurant (but it certainly won't hurt!).
Under the Dishes
Adding a placemat underneath your plates is also a wonderful way to add another layer and mix it up a bit if you're bored of your dining room set. We recommend picking a placemat that is the same shape as your table, or one that matches the shape of your plates, in order to mirror the design for maximum cohesion.
Falling for Florals
Once you have your table set, it's time to dive into decor. When it comes to dining table decorations, incorporating florals is a great way to bring a table to life, whether through floral prints or live flowers. Florals offer a homey feel to your dinner no matter what the season is.
Adding live, in-season flowers will make the space feel fresh and leave your it smelling beautiful, not to mention that they make a perfect centerpiece. Putting one big vase of flowers on your table acts as a great centerpiece to your dinner set-up.
In fall and winter, when fresh flowers are a little harder to come by, dried flowers offer warmth and life to a room that could otherwise feel dull due to the gloomier weather. Try incorporating numerous small vases on your table for a low-key effect. Focusing on oranges, reds, and yellows with lots of greenery is a great way to spice up your dining room table for the cooler seasons.
That said, flowers can be quite expensive, and their life span is pretty short. If you are looking for something to last longer, try out floral print placemats for a touch of freshness.
Bring on the Glow with Candles
To give a lovely, warm glow to a space, include candles on your table. There are so many available scents and designs out there, you’ll definitely be able to find some that match the vibe of your dinner.
Tea lights or tea candles are a dainty way of decorating your table. By clustering groups of them together, you’ll not only have some stunning decor, but you’ll create a soft, romantic lighting effect that’s perfect for date night. Open a bottle of wine, order some takeout, and settle in for a lovely night with that special someone.
If you’re into DIYs, consider making your own candles. You can reuse glass jars, such as the ones your pasta sauce comes in, and totally customize the color, size, and scent of your candle, so it’s perfectly cohesive with your dining room.
For a more homey vibe, try reusing old wine bottles as candlesticks. Place a tall, skinny candle in the opening of the wine bottle for a rustic-looking candle holder. The look gets even better with time, as the melted candle wax drips down the bottle. Just make sure to set that wine bottle on a plate or in a small dish to allow for easy clean-up.
Tablecloths & Runners
One of the most classic ways to decorate your table is to add a tablecloth or a table runner. If you're dealing with a small space, this is a great way to add a pop of color without adding extra clutter.
A table cloth covers the entire table, which can be an advantage if you’re working with a table that you don’t absolutely love. You can even transform a card table into a luxurious place to sit with the right tablecloth. On the other hand, a table runner runs down the center of the table, sometimes on the bare tabletop and sometimes over a full tablecloth. A good tablecloth or table runner will not only look great but will also protect the table from hot dishes or spills.
Choose the Right Napkins
If placemats or table runners aren’t your cup of tea, consider using cloth napkins to add a layer of elegance to the table. Sure, paper napkins are convenient, but nothing elevates a table like adding the perfect linen napkin.
Choose patterned napkins to mix it up a bit, or fold your everyday cloth napkins into a new shape to make it look like the table was set by Martha Stewart herself. You can even add a bit of bling in the form of a napkin ring—there are endless options when it comes to these accessories.
Serving Utensils & Flatware
You don’t have to pull out a set of heirloom silver utensils to make an impact with your flatware. Choose a coordinated Flatware Set, and make sure that your Serving Utensils and flatware are in a similar shade or finish. You want your silverware to complement your table as a whole but not detract from everything else that’s going on, so keep it clean and sleek for the best results. (All our flatware is dishwasher safe, so keeping it clean will be easy to do.)
Choosing a Focal Point: Centerpieces
Perfect for any time in the year, centerpieces are a phenomenal way to dress up your dinner table. They can help set the theme and the tone of the meal, and they really draw the eye, so it’s worth giving your centerpiece some thought. You may want to consider the shape of your table when choosing a centerpiece—for example, a rectangular dining table would benefit from a lower, wider piece. In contrast, a round dining table will look fantastic with a taller vase.
An easy centerpiece that works in all seasons is a tall vase filled with pampas grass. The subtle, neutral color scheme will allow you to use this in any month of the year, and it’s a clean, elegant design.
You can also incorporate elements of colored glass into your centerpiece for a more eye-catching design that brings real beach vibes. For a more casual vibe, fill a colored glass bowl with different fruits, adding an element of freshness to your table. Otherwise, choose a unique colored glass vase and let it stand alone.
All the Little Things
Another fun little decorating tip for your dinner table is to include little objects or knick-knacks to really make it feel personal. Of course, this doesn't work as a space-saving measure, but if you're working with a bit more space, or you have an extendable table, then it can be a sweet touch.
Place cards are great little object to include on your dinner table. They give a little bit of special attention to all of your attendees (and it can help you fend off future fights if you’re hosting family Thanksgiving this year).
Our final tip is to use small crystal dishes to serve condiments such as cranberry sauce or mint jelly. Bonus points if your salt and pepper shakers match—your grandmother would be proud.
Just remember to be conscious of adding too much to your table. Otherwise, it can feel cluttered and busy, drawing attention away from the big occasion. You want people to remember the laughs and smiles shared, not the overly busy table.
Dine in Style With Fable
The dinner table is more than just a place where you eat: it represents nourishment, joy, celebration, and understanding. Decorating your dinner table the right way can only increase these feelings and create an atmosphere where you can make long-lasting memories. When you sit down to your home-cooked meal, and you feel like you're in a fancy bistro, you can step back, take a look at your table, and think to yourself, “Wow, I did that!”
Try playing around with various types of decor, and we’re sure that your dinner table will be perfectly decorated. Now, go on—it’s time to get creative.