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16 Creative Ideas for Decorating Your Table

From big family parties to small get-togethers with a few friends, a little extra attention to your table elevates the occasion as much as the menu you serve. You might see elaborate tablescapes all over the internet for birthday parties, showers, and graduations. These creations can take a lot of extra time and money, but you can set out something impressive without much hassle using what you already have on hand. Here are five basic design tips to consider when putting together a stunning—yet effortless—table.

Pick a Color Palette

A color palette gives you a place to start your table design. Keep your color palette limited to two or three colors. Not everything has to be matchy-matchy, but make your color theme stand out in few key places like the tablecloth or runner, napkins, dishes, or centerpiece. Here are few trending color palettes for parties.

Purple, Gray & White
It’s elegant and sophisticated. Use more purple to dress it up, or let purple be the accent color among whites and lighter grays for a casual spin.

Purple, Gray & White

White & Green

This fresh, clean combo looks awesome on bare wood tables. Choose light, bright green tones for an airy spring look, or use darker evergreens in the fall and winter. Simply add a sprig of rosemary or thyme to white napkins on a dinner plate, and you’re off to a perfect start.

Cookie Artwork

Yellow & Gray

This playful, cheeky palette is ideal for spring and summer parties, especially outdoor events. The soft, neutral grays keep pops of sunny yellow from becoming too overwhelming. An affordable way to add yellow to your table décor is with lemons in the centerpieces or nested on plates as place cards.

Cookie Artwork

Think Outside the Vase

It’s popular to see lots of flowers spilling out of different sized vases to create levels of color and texture. The good news—you don’t need to invest in fancy vases to get this look. Here are three ways to use items you probably already have in your kitchen.

Glass Mixing Bowls

Fill them with bright apples, citrus, or fill them with water and float a few flowers on the surface. Smaller Prep Bowls can hold a single candle or a few flower buds for variation on the table.

Think Outside the Vase

Mason Jars

They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. A collection of mason jars on a table provides a homespun, relaxed atmosphere. You can dress them down by wrapping them with twine and filling them with lavender. Dress up mason jars by wrapping them in paper doilies and ribbon.

Mason Jars

Wine or beer bottles

Set aside a few bottles from your previous party and peel off the labels. Then fill them with thin branches, eucalyptus, baby’s breath, or other affordable greenery. These types of arrangements work really well at picnics and outdoor cookouts.

Wine or beer bottles

Consider Your Serving Dishes

Rather than make more dishes for yourself, save time and clean up by using beautiful cookware on your table instead of transferring food from its baking dish to a serving dish.

Enameled Cast Iron Bakers

Enameled Cast Iron delivers beautiful results and looks beautiful on your table. The chic gray glaze provides a neutral backdrop that will make the colorful foods look even more dramatic.

Ratatouille

Large Round Stone

This has a vibrant white glaze that can mix and match with any table decoration. The unglazed interior gives you the light, crispy results that our stoneware is known for while the beautiful satin white glazed exterior and easy-to-hold hand design make it the perfect oven-to-table piece.

Baked Brie Sunflower in Large Round Stone

Stoneware Entertaining Set

Versatile serving pieces that let you bring hot dips, warm Brie, or cheese sauces to the table with an elegant presentation. And, bring warm bread and appetizers directly from your oven to the table.

Stoneware Entertaining Set

Flower Alternatives

Flower arrangements are beautiful and easy ways to make a statement on a dinner table, but they can be expensive. Try out one of these options for a more affordable centerpiece, made with things you might already have around the house.

Candles

Nothing makes a table look more elegant than soft, glowing candles. Place a large candle in a glass container surrounded by rocks, shells, sand, or even wine corks. Lots of little candles scattered around the table are equally eye-catching.

Flower Alternatives

Citrus

Lemons, limes, and oranges add bright pops of color to a table without breaking the budget. Stack them in tall, narrow vases or fill round, wide bowls with them.

Citrus

Vegetables

Imagine piles of purple and green artichokes, baskets of flowering purple kale with cabbages, or even mason jars full of radishes or Swiss chard. Vegetables add a bountiful, lush quality to a table. Think of it like a fresh twist on the Thanksgiving cornucopia.

Vegetables

Let the Food Stand Out

No matter what you put on the table, let the meal be the ultimate centerpiece. Consider how colorful your menu will be and let that dictate your table decoration. If your food choices tend to have a more neutral palette—like chicken, potatoes, or pasta, then go with colorful dishes, napkins, and centerpieces. But if your table will be full of vibrant fruits and vegetables, keep your decor white or neutral with smaller pops of color and texture.

22 Responses to 16 Creative Ideas for Decorating Your Table

  1. Sandra Beckham. Spencer April 19, 2016 at 3:02 am #

    Love these ideas. Going to try a couple. Of them

  2. Deborah Beasley April 27, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

    This is very informative and helps get my creative thoughts going.

  3. Liz McCalla April 27, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

    Great ideas and beautiful colors too!

  4. becky wangen April 30, 2016 at 7:16 pm #

    Great ideas for all celebrations! Going to do the sea shells with candle for my bathroom. Want to try them all too. Thank You

  5. Anna Aiello March 3, 2018 at 10:32 am #

    I’m sad that we no longer carry the trifle bowl. I sold a lot of them!!

  6. Karen September 21, 2020 at 8:28 pm #

    Nice ideas

  7. Dawn pierce October 5, 2020 at 7:45 pm #

    I loved some of these ideas. I already do
    Several I love cloth napkins and new ways to display them . Thanks

  8. Carolina October 8, 2020 at 5:36 pm #

    Will have to give a few of these ideas a try this weekend!

    • Becky Crawford April 1, 2021 at 7:05 am #

      So wish I cooked and entertained all the time. Nice ideas.

  9. Cora Johnson November 9, 2020 at 2:37 pm #

    I like flowers to brighten the table. Candles are too dangerous with little ones in the house. Mason jars of Southern sweet tea are always great

  10. TammySomers November 11, 2020 at 10:20 am #

    Fresh fruit and vegetables always have such bright vibrant colors great accents for your home in the kitchen and the dining area you know even on an outdoor picnic table and fresh flowers add the same accents throughout the rest of the house

  11. Rebecca vitello November 23, 2020 at 3:13 pm #

    Good ideas

  12. Jennifer Wigle Holland January 5, 2021 at 3:33 pm #

    Those are cute ideas. The fresh fruit and flowers have me wishing it were Summer. 😊

  13. Faye Harrold May 1, 2021 at 2:49 pm #

    Love these ideas. Like blue and yellow together. Lots of ideas to choose from.

  14. Cheryl Steiner July 21, 2021 at 7:34 am #

    Great ideas that would typically pass me by. Wish I entertained more!

  15. L Robinson July 25, 2021 at 3:29 pm #

    I love the purple/gray and white

  16. Beverly Shelton November 9, 2022 at 6:30 pm #

    Love these items!!

  17. Terry March 21, 2023 at 6:48 pm #

    These are great I see a few I might be trying for our Church Easter Brunch .. easter Morning!

  18. Diane March 29, 2023 at 9:53 pm #

    Fantastic ideas. I love the fresh fruit in the glass dish. All ideas are nice.

  19. Barbara Russell March 31, 2023 at 11:17 pm #

    Jami, I love your email and all of the beautiful ideas. I don’t do much cooking at home only because it is just me, but I will definitely use and share with my Garden Club family. You are so awesome!

  20. Tami May 18, 2023 at 11:53 am #

    Love all the ideas, purple is my favorite color

  21. Laura Robertson December 20, 2023 at 12:57 pm #

    Thank you! I am looking for the ice mold recipe that was made in the batter bowl with rosemary or fresh fir twigs and cranberries. You could keep a bottle of wine or seltzer cold for hours and it was beautiful and festive. Is there a way I can still get this? I lost mine. Thank you!

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