How To Set a Stunning Table
Splurge On Linens
The Champagne-colored cotton velvet tablecloth adds a luxurious feel. If you have even a little budget, spend it on the linens.
Mix Traditional & Modern
Monogrammed linens, crystal stemware, and silver flatware establish a classic tone while bold red chargers and graphic gold-trimmed china update this display.
Pair Cool Colors with Silver
A French blue tablecloth highlights the cool undertones of classic silver while basic glasses glow in the candlelight of this setting.
Mix China Patterns
A pressed linen cloth provides a clean, crisp base for this mixed-pattern place setting. The purple geometric pattern charger coordinates well with the more flamboyant botanical print of the plates.
Choose a Limited Palette
Various shades of green, from pale celadon to deep jade, shine out among the metallic neutrals of this setting. Napkin rings covered in hydrangea blossoms bring a touch of the lush centerpiece to each setting.
Layer China and Glass
Simple white china and clear glass look elegant but feel casual when paired together. It’s all in the details, so choose pierced and etched designs to add interest without distracting from the rest of the table.
Mix Simple and Ornate
Select the basics and add embellishments for a look that is uniquely you. Use simple stemware to counter balance more decorative china.
Balance an Elaborate Centerpiece with Basic China
Simple white plates paired with timeless flatware and thin stemware keep this more rustic centerpiece looking elegant. Bold orange napkins give the setting a pop of seasonal color.
Use a Playful Pattern in a Sophisticated Way
These black-and-white confetti napkins have a sophisticated yet playful vibe. At 22-by 22-inch, they’re large enough to wrap up small party favors at each place setting.
Create a Glowing Place Setting
Add a glow to each setting with votive candles. A tiny candle floating alongside mums and sliced citrus highlights the sheen of the cloth napkin in this setting.
Keep it Classic
A classic buffalo-check cloth sets off green glassware and terra-cotta accents in this tablescape. The tiny planter and seed pairings do double duty as both place card and favor.
Mix Small and Large
Playing with scale can create an interesting and unexpected tablescape. Large leaves make a big statement when juxtaposed with tiny shot-glass vases in this setting.
Get Creative with Materials
Who says you can only print on paper? This menu card is actually fabric. The designer cut pieces of thin linen and ran them through an ink-jet printer for menu cards. Do this a day or more ahead of time to allow the ink to dry properly.
Pair Glamour with Nature
Rich red, deep brown, and crisp aqua set off glowing gold accents in this setting. A gilded pinecone and an antler motif add organic elegance.
Mix Formal and Casual Pieces
If you have got more guests than fine china, combine your wedding china with casual dinnerware, like this pewter stoneware charger and cool blue salad plate. Silver and crystal stemware add a touch of tradition.
Add Black for Big Impact
A black and white color scheme with rich purple accents is sleek and dramatic. Use a black place mat, napkin, and charger, but lighten the look with a white dinner plate.
Get Creative with Natural Materials
Found or purchased natural materials give texture to your table. Make your own custom napkin rings by spray-painting cedar roses (the opened cones of the deodar cedar tree) silver and gluing them atop 2-inch-wide red ribbon. Tuck in a sprig of boxwood for an extra flourish.
Use Family Pieces
You can’t go wrong with a white and silver combination. This setting pairs modern pieces with family heirlooms for a casual yet classic look.
Varying colors and patterns aren't the only ways to make your setting pop. A mix of interesting textures makes for a subtle and elegant look. Rope place mats layered with textured porcelain dinnerware and twine-tied utensils create a laid-back mood in this setting.
Keep Your Setting Neutral
For a table that makes a statement, set it with a single color. The food will take centerstage on this all-white table. White linens and candles pair prettily with a calla lily centerpiece.
Be Inspired by Your China Pattern
Use your china as the inspiration for your florals. This plate’s color palette is repeated in the lush centerpiece.
Small touches make a big impact. Tiny fruits and a mini-flower arrangement inspired by the ribbon’s color palette add just the right touch to this simple setting.
Go Bold with Complementary Colors
Use a palette of complementary colors for a bold look on your table. Orange linens give blue patterned dishware added impact.
Say it with Flowers
A single yellow rose, symbolizing friendship, welcomes each guest to this table.
Look Outside for Table Decor
Lovely maple leaves in fall colors dress up this setting. Turn organic items into place cards by using a paint pen to write guests' names on them.
Spice Up Your Table
Add a light fragrance to your tablescape by integrating herbs into your decor. Rosemary napkin rings give a natural feel to this setting.
Skip the Tablecloth
Some dining tables are too nice not to cover, but this one is to pretty to cover up. This aged and distressed table is a beautiful, rustic backdrop for a simple setting.
Use Vintage Touches
Antique-style white wooden chargers and beaded-edge dinner plates play up the table's vintage look. They're topped with vibrant bird salad plates and blue paper boxes, which serve as both place cards and party favors.
Use Chic Accessories
Craft chic place mats with inexpensive wallpaper, pairing them with gold-edged china and simple flatware.
Just as gold accessories add an on-trend vibe to an outﬁt, the warm tones of brushed gold ﬂatware and embellished glasses add ﬁnesse and sparkle to a casual table.
Use Color for Impact
A neutral backdrop of white linens and dishes puts the focus on punches of orange and green.
Give It Some Edge
Balance a whitewashed table with graphic hits of black and navy, such as black candles and leather chairs, slate-gray woven place mats, and navy-rimmed dinner plates.
Combine Time Periods
Here, handmade stoneware chargers lend modern shape and pattern plus a not-so-serious feel to antique flow blue transferware plates and ironstone bowls.
Pile Gold on Gold
For a less formal place setting, use wood Florentine trays as chargers underneath gold Wedgwood dinner plates and vintage glass dessert plates.
This place card only looks high-end. Back a simple white card with patterned paper and then thread with sumptuous red velvet ribbon. When wrapped around white dinnerware, these crafts store finds are instantly elevated.
Add instant whimsy with a dash of confetti at each place setting, sprinkled atop a mix of gold-trimmed china. Create a slit in the top of a Champagne cork for an instant, clever place-card holder.
Create the perfect mix of elegant and organic by using pieces that take inspiration from nature, such as wood-handled flatware and faux-bois and mushroom plates. Runners placed crosswise down a farmhouse table give the texture of table linens without covering up the rugged beauty of the furniture—plus they double as place mats.
Layer with Ribbons
Top a white tablecloth with red ribbons cleverly laid in a spokelike pattern to mimic peppermint candy. It will accent your holiday china without distracting.