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How to Decorate a Dining Table

Feb 18, 2022

Whether you're celebrating a holiday or hosting a dinner party, or you simply want to add some flair to your everyday meals, there are many ways to dress up your dining table. Read on, and get ready to spruce up your dining area with these stylish ideas!

Factors to Consider When Decorating a Dining Table

The first step when deciding how to decorate a dining table is to consider all the factors that may affect your decision. In general, the most important variable when it comes to setting up a dining area is the occasion itself.

What’s the Occasion?

How formal your table needs to be will depend on what kind of celebration you’re hosting — and how many guests will be joining you. For a special celebration, such as Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve, or a birthday dinner, it might be a good idea to invest in quality china plates and serving dishes. You may also want to consider shopping for a centerpiece, which can brighten up your table and serve as the focal point. For a less formal event, such as when hosting friends for Sunday brunch or dinner, you can use seasonal flowers or greenery to dress up your table without investing too much money.

Consider Your Surroundings

When decorating a dining table, it's important to keep in mind the surrounding area as well. How you decorate your dining room will set an example for guests on how they should behave: if the space is formal and sophisticated, this will encourage more formal and sophisticated behavior from your guests. If you want your dinner party to be more casual, choose a dining set with a relaxed vibe.

The Shape (and Size) of Things to Come

When deciding how to decorate a dining table, you’ll need to take into account the shape of the table as well as its size. How many people will fit comfortably? How much space is there between each chair? How big are the serving dishes and plates you want to use? Generally speaking, round tables are better suited for casual dinner parties with fewer guests, while long, rectangular tables work better for formal dinners.

The Silver Lining

When deciding how to decorate your dining table, you’ll also need to consider what silverware you’ll have available. If you don't own enough serving dishes for everyone, then place the food directly on the table and allow your guests to serve themselves. How you choose to do this depends on how formal your event is; if it's an extravagant celebration, then you’ll want to set up stations with platters of food for people to serve themselves. If it's a simpler event, consider setting things up “family style” by placing bowls and dishes around the table so guests can serve themselves before eating.

Decorating Tips

Use Color

Using color can really brighten up your dining table and make it stand out. If you're hosting a dinner party, consider using blinds or drapes that coordinate with the food you’re serving. How you choose to use color should depend on what kind of event you’re hosting; for example, primary colors are probably the best choice if you're hosting a birthday party for a child, whereas if you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner then autumnal colors would be more appropriate. Indeed, colors associated with particular holidays work well when decorating a dining table. For example, Easter or Valentine's Day call for softer pastels, while fall and winter holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas require deeper, richer colors.

Deck the Walls

We recommended utilizing the walls in your dining area to complement your table’s decorating scheme. How you choose to do this depends on what kind of celebration it is and how formal your table needs to be. For a more relaxed event, a clock or a simple art piece would make for good decor; for a more special occasion, consider a chandelier or some other larger decoration that will create a formal feel.

Finish Strong

How you decorate your table doesn't need to be expensive or time-consuming, just put in a little effort and don’t miss this chance to exercise your imagination. The smallest of finishing touches can make a huge difference in your dining table’s look and feel. How about adding some decorative napkin rings, or placing a festive doily under the bread plates? Get creative!

Go Green

Another idea that you may want to consider for your dining table is the addition of greenery. How you use this technique should depend on what kind of event you’re holding, as well as how formal your table needs to be. For more relaxed events, place some ivy or other low-maintenance plants directly around your centerpiece. More elegant parties may require more elaborate floral arrangements.

Have Fun with It!

The most important thing to remember when decorating a dining table is that it should make you happy! How much time you spend, how much money you spend and what kind of aesthetic you’re trying to achieve are all secondary concerns when compared with your personal happiness. After all, when it comes down to it, the reason we decorate is because we enjoy doing it. So, go crazy! Have fun with it and don't forget to smile; if your table makes you smile, then you'll be sure to make everyone else smile too.

Store and Care for Accessories

Always keep your accessories stored safely until it’s time to use them. We recommend acquiring dedicated storage containers for storing dining room accessories, this will make it easy for you to find everything when you need it. How you choose to store your items should depend on how large your collection is and whether you have a dedicated storage area. For example, if you live in an apartment and don’t have a place for storage, we recommend placing all of your accessories into one container and keeping it out of sight.

How Can Acima Help?

If you’re in the market for a new dining room table to give your dining room a sense of style, look no further than Acima for a quick and easy way to find the right table at the right price. At Acima, our lease-to-own solutions and no credit option* make it possible for you to get what you need, quickly. Choose from stores that you know and trust, without the need to pay cash or use credit.

Common Questions About Dining Tables:

What should I put on my dining table?

Your dining room table can be decorated in a variety of different ways. How you choose to decorate your table should depend on what kind of atmosphere you’re trying to achieve. How do I accent a dining table?

When it comes to your dining room table, an accent will be a pop of color or style that’s different from the surrounding table environment. In most homes, your dining room table is probably surrounded by neutral tones like tan or a cream coloring. The addition of a bright, attention-pulling accent will help to create visual interest and bring out the color in your furnishing.

How should I decorate my dining table when not in use?

When your dining table is not in use, you might want to consider what kind of impression it will leave on guests that see it. You can either choose an elegant design or a simple look that does not distract from the room decor.

Are placemats out of style?

When it comes to style choices, we recommend trusting your instincts. If the placemats you want on your table look good to you then you should use them! If you're not a fan of placemats, then feel free to skip them.

What’s the point of a table runner?

A table runner helps provide more color and gives a more festive feel to your dining table. They also can help to highlight the centerpieces on your table and bring out their colors.

What can I use instead of a placemat?

If you're looking for an alternative to placemats that will still help protect your table, we recommend getting a wide runner. Most runners are long enough to cover the entire length of your dining room table for ultimate protection.