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Dining table decorating inspiration for every occasion

From lavish tablecloths to the silver-plated serving dishes of the Ancient Greeks, the dining table has long served its function as a striking home addition. Yet, in modern homes, dining tables are too often piled under reams of paperwork or simply not used in place of meals in front of the television. This is no way to treat a piece of elegant home furniture.


This is terrible news for a trend that stretches back as far as our histories can see, and it’s also a sure way to waste a home addition that can form the ideal centre point for everything from family meals to formal dinner parties.


Unfortunately, bad dining habits have left many of us uncertain about even starting with styling a table. That’s why we’re going to break down how to decorate a dining table for every occasion so that you can achieve a dining room finish fit for the Ancient Greeks.


How to decorate a dining table for everyday

The best thing about everyday decor is that simple is always best, so decoration in this instance is all about low maintenance solutions with wow factor. Some fantastic daily decor ideas for a dining table that truly shines include –


Big statement pieces

statement large glass bowl


Intricate vignettes might work well when you’re considering how to set the table for guests, but having to clean/arrange loads of different pieces every day is often more work than it’s worth. Instead, standard table decor always looks best when it centres around eye-catching focal points like large fruit bowls or sizable vases.


While you will want to make sure that any tall additions don’t compete with your lighting (which we’ll look at in more detail a little later,) these showstoppers can look great as a standalone item, ensuring you can do more with less.


Dark colours to avoid disorder 

Whites and pops of colour certainly have their place in modern-day dining room design. Bright colours are something of a prerequisite for a cheerful atmosphere when you’re entertaining, but let’s not forget that lighter colours also require more care and, in terms of everyday use, can collect dust like you wouldn’t believe.


By comparison, darker additions such as a navy vase or even an all-black display are guaranteed to take longer to show dust, saving you on cleaning and ruined appearances.


dark navy vase for table vignette


Plants to keep things fresh

Achieving a fresh finish on a dining table vignette can be tricky when that table isn’t in use, but plants and flowers can brighten things up. Whether natural or artificial (honestly, artificial might be best for longevity,) large colourful centrepieces or even standalone orchids can look great.


Equally, clusters of potted plants or even just a single vase of ferns can add a real sense of vibrancy to your efforts. The addition of a small succulent provides a fantastic natural pop to any table vignette you could imagine.


artificial snake plant


Something to add interest

Your table vignette is probably plenty interesting already. Still, it’s always worth adding something to bring a further fascinating element to the space, creating a sense of class and also increasing the chances that your table will receive use between meals.


Sculptures are a fantastic option in this sense, adding variety to your vignette and giving everyone who walks past a reason to pause. Equally, adding coffee-table-style art books to your dining setup can look fantastic and encourage everyone to sit down and take a look!


Complementary overhead lighting

While it isn’t a piece of table decoration in itself, you’re also going to want to spare a thought for overhead lighting, especially looking out for something that complements your existing table decor without throwing out your height variations.


If you have many high pieces, for example, high lighting is always going to look best. Equally, if you’re sticking to a simple or relatively low vignette, there’s nothing better than an impressive pendant light or chandelier to highlight what’s going on down below.


a feature pendant light placed above a dining table 


If you prefer to use lamps to illuminate your space, take a look at our floor lamps and table lamps collections which will perfectly compliment a modern dining space.


How to set a table for dinner

While your out-of-use table setup will serve for the vast majority of the day, it’s also vital that you know how to refresh your dining table for a dinner setup, be that a formal party or a casual dinner with your partner.


Fine tablecloths

Tablecloths are a fantastic way to add a touch of class in seconds. Patterned or brightly coloured cloths are especially great for this, providing a real sense of grandeur and instantly setting the scene for a dinner to remember.


Perfect place settings

If you’re hosting a dinner party, it’s also important that you know how to set cutlery on the table while still sticking to your overall decor theme.


Cloth placemats that offset your colour scheme are always a great way to add contrast and keep table placements fluid, while patterned plates can also add a sense of occasion to this otherwise basic table requirement.


Candles to offset bright lighting

Your pendant light might look great but, if you’re aiming for an intimate dinner party feel, you may also want a few candles to offset the starkness.


As well as adding a wonderful atmosphere, well-chosen, unscented candles that sit nicely in the centre of the table without obscuring your guests can really help add a spark to whatever setup you’re working on.


Practical additions that also serve as key features 

Given how many dishes/serving bowls, etc., you’re going to need for your dinner party, it also pays to turn practical additions into key features in your table decor. This way, you can save space and keep things looking great.


Something like a decorative wine cooler or a bread basket would be ideal for this, as would a striking dining chair or a set of modern kitchen stools that add class to your overall table finish.


a sophisticated grey dining chair 


Whatever your reason for wanting to get your dining table in order, our wide range of products here at Elegante can help you achieve that goal. Simply start browsing today for a dining table that you can be proud of at last.


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