10 Easy (But Cool) Ways to Style Your Dining Table, According to Designers

published Jul 18, 2019
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Credit: Viv Yapp

Confession time: Unless you’re flexing your hosting muscle and throwing a fabulous, multi-course dinner party, there’s a good chance your dining room table is one of the most neglected surfaces in your entire house. On any given day, your dining room table is covered with bills or that online order you keep forgetting to return.

The good news? You don’t have to wait for your next dinner party to make your surface shine. At Apartment Therapy, we firmly believe that your home is your happy place—and every nook, cranny, and surface should be designed to bring you joy. To help, we asked a handful of design experts to share their best tips to spice up your surface. With any luck, their advice will encourage you to keep your table looking its best all the time:

Credit: Serena & Lily

Why Not Wallpaper?

“Try using a fun wallpaper as a table runner! Wallpaper is a great way to add color and pattern onto your table without overwhelming it with three-dimensional objects.” —Kirsty Williams, chief design officer at Serena & Lily

Show off the Fruits of Your Labor

“Decorate the table with vegetables that are in-season, some driftwood, or shells found on the beach. Something that speaks to the season and the locale.” —Kirsty Williams

Credit: Mimi Brown

Design in Droves

“Our go-to way for styling a dining table is scattering several small bud vases that evoke an abundant garden on the table. It is a simple, but beautiful way to style any table.” —Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller, founders of Carrier and Company

Something Old, Something New

“Use all the small treasures—the simple and fancy ones. It’s okay to mix them up. It’s okay to be nervous that you’re using them, but do use them! I always panic a little inside when I use my grandmother’s red glasses,  but it is such a treasure know I am enjoying something that she enjoyed and that I’m using something I love and sharing it.” —Elizabeth Stuart, interior designer

Credit: Elizabeth Stuart

Herbed to Perfection

“For instance, a sprig of rosemary tied with twine on your napkin gives a wonderful casual flair for a dinner party. Rosemary or even fresh mint mixed in your flower arrangements will guarantee that a guest will say how wonderful your table is!” —Elizabeth Stuart

Credit: Viv Yapp

Pristine Plates

“When planning a table, everyone always wants to start with the centerpiece of the table, but I always start with the table setting. These are essential for any table setting: classic white plates, neutral chargers, and cloth napkins. There’s no need for extravagant spending: I find most of my pieces I find at IKEA, Tuesday Morning, Walmart, or Target Dollar Spot. Less is more in my opinion and the less time it takes to put together, the better.” —Ashley Moore, owner of Moore House Interiors

Keep it Simple

“The easiest way to style a dining table is with a vase of fresh flowers! You can change them weekly and play with different pops of colors and heights!”—Alessandra Wood, interior design expert and vice president of style at Modsy

Credit: Emma Fiala

Set the Mood

“We’re a big fan of floral arrangements, they can bring life to the table and act as a focal point while bringing in a pop of color. If you don’t want to go with a floral arrangement, adding candles or lanterns can set the mood at the table.” —Jade Joyner, co-founder and principal designer at Metal+Petal

A Personal Touch

“A great tip when styling your dining table is to always use an odd number of objects to create visual interest and make sure objects don’t interfere with eye contact.” —Jade Joyner

Au Naturale

“For entertaining, we love long communal tables with a mix of nature down the center. It’s easy to create a wild landscape with our rustic pots, beach stone vases, recycled glass cloches and jars filled with nature, moss, succulents, elements foraged from the garden. Our rustic pot is especially great for this!” —Alex Bates, co-founder and creative director of Bloomist.