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3 Clever Ideas for Setting a Pinterest-Worthy Holiday Table

updated Nov 16, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Alix Winsby

When you’re getting dinner on the table, there’s one step that often gets put off until the last minute: setting it. As prime entertaining season approaches, we challenge you to start by setting the table — and to go all out. (In fact, a common tip we hear among our favorite entertaining experts is to set the table the night before the party. It won’t get lost in the day-of chaos, and you’ll know that every part of the meal has its place.)

A tablescape can inspire the mood, the music, and even the menu for your get-together. Whether you’re hosting an elaborate dinner party or keeping celebrations small, a few little details add up to a table that really shines. Read on for three tips to setting a stunning table, all of which are shoppable on Pinterest.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Alix Winsby

Click or tap the tablescapes to shop everything you see on our Dine by Design Pinterest board!

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Alix Winsby

If you’re new to tablescaping, we’ve got you: Apartment Therapy teamed up with Pinterest to bring you Dine by Design, an in-person, museum-style exhibition of holiday table settings. We challenged 10 designers to create 10 holiday tablescapes, which were on display at the House of Showfields Brooklyn. For two weeks in November, Dine by Design visitors browsed, snapped, and pinned their favorite ideas. Here are three takeaways from the event that we’ll be using on our own tables this season.

1. Have Fun with Place Cards

Not only do place cards make seating easier, but they can also be unexpected moments of creativity. DIY and decor blogger Rachel Mae Smith of The Crafted Life shared some of her favorites from Dine by Design, including lush potted plants, eye-catching paperweights, and — our personal MVP — pearlescent oyster shells. Use what you have around the house or try something new!

2. Elevate Your Vibe

Whatever their aesthetic, every participating designer added that extra sparkle that makes holiday entertaining feel special. Britney Turner loved how they combined textures for touchable contrast and used statement centerpieces to spark conversation. After all, if you can’t break out gilded foliage during the most festive season of the year, when can you?

3. Mix Things Up (Literally)

Even though they had little space to work with, these designers made maximum impact with layers of visual interest and interesting juxtapositions. Style and decor blogger Krity Shrestha especially loved the idea of starting with a bold patterned tablecloth, then mixing and matching plates and glassware to create an eclectic one-of-a-kind place setting. Adding ornaments to your centerpiece is also encouraged — this time of year, more is more.