Now we’re spending more time at home I thought I’d put together simple styling ideas for your dining and how to make the most of the space. You don’t need to buy expensive tableware and accessories to create a gorgeous tablescape. You can create something informal and beautiful using tableware, glasses and florals you already have. I’ve also put together a shopping guide to share some of my favourite pieces for creating the a setting for everyday, at home, dining.
Before, we used the dining table as a dumping ground and a place where things just got ‘left’. I guess that sounds familiar to you too. I decided to style the dining table to make the most of this valuable space with something that was pared back for everyday living. It’s simple but elegant and gives the room style and identity – without being too OTT. It makes everyday mealtimes feel special because it’s always set, ready to be enjoyed. We have actually started using the dining room more ourselves because it looks so inviting and cosy to be in. Not only that, when I walk in the room during the day and see the table set, it just makes me happy. If you’re obsessed with interiors you’ll get me!
Where to start
First of all, remember, it doesn’t have to be over the top. It’s for everyday dining so it needs to be practical. You don’t want a huge candelabra and floral display blocking the rest of the family out at meal times. Or something which takes a long time to reset if you need have a multi purpose dining space.
Blend with the room so choose colours which compliment the other décor in the room. Think about the colour your walls are painted and the palette of other soft furnishings in the room – such as curtains and blinds. If you have lots of grey you could stick with that or add a colour to compliment. Likewise, if you have a deep and moody feature wall colour or wallpaper, then pick out something to continue the theme to your dining table. If your dining table is part of your lounge or kitchen then you can still make this idea work by blending the colour scheme with your sofa cushions and other soft furnishings.
The table basics
It is essential to protect the table from hot plates and dishes but it can be hard to find nice placemats. I’ve found a great hack to protect the table meaning you can skip using placemats for a more modern, minimal look. Use a table protector underneath a tablecloth to add a discreet heat proof layer. If you aren’t using a tablecloth maybe consider charger plates for a more modern minimal look.
A tablecloth can instantly transform the table and creates a blank canvas to work from. For practicality go for a polyester blended fabric which washes well and requires little to no ironing (hurray!). If you are going for a slightly more rustic look you could even skip the tablecloth and use a cloth table runner instead.
Use this helpful guide from Simply Tablecloths for How to Measure Your Dining Table for a Tablecloth
White napkins will give a classic look and very versatile. But you could also choose a napkin which compliments your room palette or adds a seasonal nod at Easter and Christmas time.
Add some florals
The idea is to create a focal point for the table and add some texture. A central vase filled with fresh or faux flowers works really well. You could even bring in some fresh greenery from the outside or dry flowers from your garden each season. For a more subtle look (my personal favourite) you could set 3 or 4 bud vases in a line down the centre of the table and add a single stem to each. If you have a round table try a central cluster of mini vases of varying heights. Don’t feel like you have to just go with florals either. You could even use a pretty lantern and candles as your centrepiece. Remember at home dining decor doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. Get creative and have a search on Pinterest for styling a dining table and how to make the most of your dining space.
For a simple tablescape go for matching dinnerware in the same colour. However I like to add a contrasting side plate for a little subtle detailing and a pop of colour. If you have a vintage styled home you could try mismatched patterned dinnerware.
A good set of quality glassware will serve you well. Opt for a large stemmed wine glass which can double up as water glass too for midweek meal times.
Silver cutlery has a timeless appeal and I found some pretty delicate engraved options from Zara. It’s simple but stunning and always gets lots of compliments from our guests.
Finishing touches for your dining table
Bring another layer of texture to your home dining decor by adding a few candles. This also gives the room a nice ambience in the evening. Use tall dinner candles in holders or scatter a few tealights down the centre of the table for a subtle glow in the evening. I’ve found some wonderful faux dinner candles and tealights which have a very realistic flame effect. Great if you don’t want to use real candles. These are perfect for us as we have a very inquisitive cat with a big fluffy tail! And I wont mention Christmas 2017 when the table was set alight by the in-laws. It’s faux candles all the way nowadays.
So let’s give the dining table some love and make the most of our dining space. Spending a couple of hours gathering the basics and transforming your dining table.
Head over to my feature ‘how to set an informal dining table’ for a quick how to guide.
Plain Polyester Tablecloth from Amazon
Linen Look Tablecloth from La Redoute (I have this and it hangs beautifully)
White Seville Tablecloth from The White Company
Linen Napkins set of 2 from Marks and Spencer
Linen Look White Napkins set of 6 from La Redoute (I have these and they wash great)
Floral Napkins set of 4 from The White Company
White Table Protector at John Lewis
Florals and vases
Artificial White Hydrangea Stem from Dunelm (3 of these in a medium vase work well)
Design Project by John Lewis Glass Lantern from John Lewis
Short Bud Vase from The White Company
Large Glass Vase from H&M
Dinner sets for all budgets
TruGlow Votive Tealights Set of 4 from Lights4fun
TruGlow Taper Candles Set of 4 from Lights4fun
Gold Candlesticks from Burrow and NestHeart Place Card Holders Set of 6 from Etsy
Simple Gold Place Card Holders Set of 10 from Etsy
Handmade Paper for Place Cards Pack of 20 from Wedding of My Dreams
Where you can find me!
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