Whether you’re having guests over to visit for a casual lunch or dinner, or you just feel like adding a touch of style to your dining room or kitchen, it’s quick and easy to add table decorations effectively with a few easy steps.
In a previous blog we discussed how easy it is to set a casual table by following some simple rules - in this piece we show you how straightforward it is to turn a plain table setting into a beautifully decorated table, using centerpiece ideas, home-made decorations and table linen. These tips work well for dining room as well as kitchen table decorating ideas.
Starting with the basics, matching colors can make a huge difference to the look of a table. Try using colors based on seasons; for example keep it bright and colorful for spring and summer time, and try burnt oranges and browns in the fall. You can match the colors of the plates and dishes with fresh flowers and table linen. A quick and easy way to liven up a table and add focus to a room is with a table runner, such as this beautiful yellow and green example, easily complemented with a matching citrus-based fruit bowl. This forms a great foundation for your table decorations.
Matching your table runner with napkins and simple table decorations is a quick way to add a dash of class to your dining table decor with minimum fuss.
When we’re discussing table decoration ideas a great place to start is with a centerpiece. Centerpieces help set the theme of the room as well as serving a decorative purpose. While often used in formal functions or at seasonal times like Easter, Halloween or Thanksgiving, they are a great way to add a touch of glamour to a room even under normal circumstances - and can be created without being costly.
1. Flowers, candles and vases are all excellent items to use as centerpieces for you table decor. When using these, try to stick to odd numbers. This is more pleasing to the eye and helps create a sense of balance. Using varying heights can work well too (for example using shorter flowers, contrasted with taller branches).
2. Another great tip to help achieve a balanced centerpiece is to have the tallest element in the center of your dining or kitchen table, and gradually utilise lower and shorter items as you work toward the edges.
3. Ensure single item centerpieces aren’t lost on the table. While you don’t need to over-do it by covering your dining table in lots of items (simplicity often works best), having one item stranded in the middle of the table can make it seem lonely. You can see from the images in this post that smaller, supplementary items can help support the main centerpiece to help give it context, without looking too fussy.
4. Don’t forget to make sure guests can see over the table centerpiece! When you have it on the table, sit down and check you can see around or over your centerpiece so your guests can converse without having to peer through foliage or over a vase!
5. As mentioned, it’s often best to keep it simple. The 'candlestick with flowers' idea shown above fulfils this idea beautifully, with a 'no fuss' look that retains a classy feel. It also shows that it’s entirely possible to have a tall centerpiece that doesn’t inhibit guests from being able to see across the dining table to their fellow diners.
6. Large branches in a tall vase make for a dramatic statement. You can also decorate the tops of the branches for elegant seasonal looks, for example butterflies in Spring, real leaves in fall and (fake!) snowflakes around the holiday season.
7. Balloons tied around glass paperweights on a matching colored table runner are a quick way to add an unusual centerpiece to the table.
8. A great tip is to use flowers and fruit which add fragrance and color to the table setting. Try them in a simple jar or in a pedestal bowl. Setting them floating in water in clear glasses is another way to achieve an understated yet classy look very easily.
9. You could make your centerpiece functional - a decorative punch bowl can add focus to the table, at the same time as providing guests with drinks for their meal! Alternatively a bowl filled with flowers is a fragrant way to create your centerpiece.
Table linen is a perfect way to change up your dining table decor and change the look of a room: tablecloths, runners or napkins form a great foundation which you can then dress up with some table decoration using our tips and ideas.
You could try moving the table to a different room before you decorate it - put it in the living room if you have the space, and it can make guests feel more cozy and intimate, or try eating in the kitchen for a more laid back and casual dining experience.
If you’re eating in the kitchen and you need some help with breakfast, read our guide to baking perfect French croissants at your beautifully set and decorated table. Happy hosting!