How to decorate a dinner table – with linens, ceramics, flowers and more
USE A GOOD CENTERPIECE FOR YOUR TABLE
centerpiece ideas beyond flowers
fresh cut or potted herbs
a bowl of fruit and/or vegetables
a greenery garland
The biggest trick of the trade is creating a centerpiece for your dining room table. This is place that you can think outside of the box or vase, as we like to say. Yes, it can be an impressive floral display. However, it can also be candles, bud vases, a candelabra or fruits, vegetable for other objects are interesting, too.
The great thing about the centerpiece is it can simply be changed to complement the occasion.
Try styling for the season by placing a small platter of just-bloomed flowers or recently flowered bulbs instead. If you love a simple look, or are restricted with florals in winter months, look to thin boughs of eucalyptus and other foliage draped simply across the length of the table.
MAKE A FLOWER ARRANGEMENT FOR YOUR TABLE
The possibilities are endless when it comes to ways you can dress your dining table using flowers. To start simply choose a palette complementary to the vibe. I recommend matching the mood and tone and also the personality of the guests. For instance, I wouldn't break out my Japanese Ranunculus for my practically minded mom. But, now if my fancy friends are going to be there, well, then yes I sure would!
At workshops I always tell people that (to me) informally arranged flowers and containers always look better than formal, more contrived designs. Arrangements that are seasonal and have a lot of movement fit on the table and look good.
EMBRACING NATURE'S IMPERFECTIONS FOR YOUR TABLE
For me, the goal is to always be authentic and honest and real. You want to aim to create a table display that is elegant and natural. Whether it's lunch for 120 people or table of four embrace the mess. Avoid too contrived and fussy. You can do this by considering unusual objects for containers like serving bowls, bud vases, silver cups, and stone urns and just fill them with ranunculus and roses in simple palettes then loosely thread them down the table. Keep in mind that dinnerware and pitchers and jugs need to be considered so often single item bud vases are just the trick since they can easily move around.
Celebrate the season in your table design by allowing wilting plants or overblown flowers to show off. Don't throw away those broken stems or past their prime blooms. As flowers die they blow open and they aren't perfect - but that is exactly what I love about them. Tablescapes that embrace nature in all stages of life are my favorite. They give it more character and really dress it up. Plus this type of table aesthetic embraces organically and locally grown flowers, which I really love.
DRESSING YOUR TABLE FOR AN OUTDOOR GARDEN PARTY
Dining outside is the best in Paris, France and right here in Atlanta, Georgia. Alfresco dining is the way to go everywhere, in my opinion. In fact, it's the prefect place to add a touch of whimsy and have fun when dressing a dining table.
Yes, you can absolutely, easily go for the picnic look but there is no rule that says that you have to - so feel free to add color and personalty to your outside soiree. I find garden party table design liberating. This is a great place to embrace the season, like use mini succulents in votives or add touches of pastels in bud vases with matching linens.
ADD A GARLAND FOR YOUR TABLE
A table garland is a quck an easy way to dress up a dining room. The garland can be thin or thick but it runs down the center of the table similar to a table runner, really. Platters and pitchers are sometimes placed along the garland so keep that in mind when you are choosing between big or minimal. .
A table garland provides plenty of inspiration for styling your dining table, acting as a centre point for decor, centrepieces and candles.
DRESSING YOUR TABLE FOR A DINNER PARTY
It's natural to have flatware, cutlery and glasses. It's the details and special touches that make the dinner table feel special and warm. I think it's easiest to start with a color palette that you want to use across the whole theme including the flowers, napkins, candles and glasses.
Menus and place cards are a detail that adds a sense of time and place and seasonality. It elevates the tone and takes the space to a whole new level.