Most of the inspiration you will find when looking for dining table decorating ideas revolves around holidays or gatherings. And while we love a styled spread for guests, we have to wonder what becomes of this gorgeous table when it’s not in use. To help us brainstorm ideas for a more static setup, we surveyed a number of top designers.
Discover ahead of time expert styling tips from Nicolle Sullivan, Founder and CEO of Sydney-based homewares brand CULTIVER; Katherine Carter, an LA-based interior designer known for her work with Lauren Conrad and Marianna Hewitt; Grace Brackman, associate designer at Maggie Griffin Design; Jenn Feldman of Jenn Feldman Designs of LA; Erin Hiemstra, Founder and Creative Director of Apartment 34; and Andi Morse of Morse Design of Atlanta, Georgia.
Don’t leave one of the toughest pieces of work in plain sight in your home. In advance, our experts share 15 ideas for decorating dining table so that it can reach its most stylish potential.
Feature image by Teal Thomsen.
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Evergreen X Factors
Floral arrangements are a staple when it comes to styling tablescapes, but you don’t need fresh flowers to make a statement, especially if you’re looking for something far beyond a dinner party.
Rethink the product department
“Instead of flowers, you can style with items like fresh herbs and fruits like rosemary, marjoram, basil and lemons.” – Nicolle Sullivan
Master the mix
“If your table is long and rectangular, I love a series of objects that run down the center of the table, like a mix of vases, ceramics, or candlesticks.” – Erin Hiemstra
follow the quota rule
“Creating a tablescape of odd-numbered objects allows the eye to read them as a unit and fill the space. This gives the table a finished look and adds an interesting layer to the home. Then, when you’re ready to use the table, it’s an easy transition to setting and serving.” – Jenn Feldmann
invite your green fingers to the table
“You can use a houseplant in the center if you don’t want to replace the flowers once a week.” – Katherine Carter
Flowers for dining tables? It doesn’t appear groundbreaking. But with a touch of a top designer, a small bouquet can look practically avant-garde.
Give your flowers a fresh look
“I always propose the most classic and simple approach to my clients, which is fresh flowers! We ordered flowers in a tray for a customer from Beverly Hills.” – Katherine Carter
Follow the lines
“Hunt a nice container. Follow the shape of your table…for a rectangular table, for example, a rectangular container works best! Then fill it with your favorite flowers. I love an orchid or a maidenhair fern!” — Grace Brackman
Reconsider the role of flowers
“For Lauren Conrad, we left out the place settings and added florals as place settings for added texture and depth.” – Katherine Carter
Coffee tables and bookshelves aren’t the only places for fancy objects and collectibles. Put them on great display with these dining table decorating ideas.
Sprinkle in unique additions
“To keep things elegant yet relaxed, I prefer handmade pottery that shows it’s been lovingly made.” – Nicolle Sullivan
Opt for eye-catching art
“Another way is to center an amazing work of art. Not only is this an eye-catcher when your table isn’t being used, it’s also an opportunity to start the conversation. For a Mount Olympus client, we used a porcelain bust as the centerpiece.” – Katherine Carter
Top things off with Cool Cutlery
“Silverware that’s more organically shaped and comfortable in the hand is a thoughtful touch.” – Nicolle Sullivan
Inclined, of course
If there isn’t a theme that sets the mood for your table, you have the option to go for a more earthy, natural look that really suits your style. For Sullivan, linen – a specialty of CULTIVER – is the textile of choice.
ready to run
“A linen table runner can be an excellent lighter weight alternative to a tablecloth.” – Nicolle Sullivan
Subdued but useful
“I like to decorate my table with soothing, natural tones – soft pastel blues, pinks and greens that mirror the muted colors of Cultivar linens: Dusk, Sage, Natural and Smoke Grey.” – Nicolle Sullivan
leave out the matchy matchy
“I personally like to combine the colors of our soft linen napkins with our linen tablecloths and linen table runners. For example, the warm tones of the fawn and the cool smoke gray complement each other perfectly.” – Nicolle Sullivan
Dining table decoration ideas for round tables
Round tables present their own unique design challenges, but the zero-corner canvases still have a lot of potential.
“I love using a large bowl on a round table filled with moss, fresh vegetables and fruit, or an orchid arrangement.” — Andy Morse
“For rectangular or oval tables, a bowl or tray flanked by tall candlesticks or hurricanes provides a great look and elevates the style of the room.” — Andy Morse