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Top off the table: Inviting dining table decor

You live a busy life, and sometimes, dinner is the only time you get to spend with the people you love. To make the precious time you have together even more special, create an appealing table setting that’s bound to spark up a great conversation. We’ll show you some simple tricks for stylish tabletop decor that works with any budget.

Decorated table

Lay the foundation

Just as every wardrobe needs a little black dress and a set of pearls, every kitchen should have three basic pieces for entertaining; a classic white dinnerware set, a simple and stylish flatware set and a stemmed glass set. These are the primary pieces you will need, but you may also want to include a white tablecloth and a set of white napkins. When purchasing these items, buy two additional place settings than your table will seat. Having these extra settings will come in handy if a dish is broken, or if you find yourself with extra mouths to feed.

1. Fargrik 18-Piece dinnerware set, white, Ikea, $25 
2. Promenade Flatware 20-piece set, West Elm, $47 

3. Libbey Claret footed iced tea glasses, set of four, Walmart, prices vary

1. Grier placemat and classic white napkin, Crate and Barrel, $5 to 6
2. Faux hydrangea and peony flower arrangement, Target, $20 

3. Owl butter dish, West Elm, $16

1. Large punched ceramic lanterns, Pottery Barn, $79 
2. Twisted twine placemats, set of four, Z-Gallerie, $24

3. Nearly Natural artichoke and hydrangea silk flower arrangement,, $50 

1. Citrus napkins, Pier 1 Importers, $4 each
2. Geo Runner, green, Z-Gallerie, $35 

3. Jamaica appetizer plates, set of Six,, $16 

Bring in your style

A table is a blank canvas when it comes to home decor, so let your imagination run wild! Because place settings can be removed and stored easily, you don’t need to be conservative with the patterns, prints, textures or colours.

Tips to get you started

Coordinate your colours

To create a table setting that leaves a lasting impression, a simple trick is to coordinate your colours. Find an inspiration piece, such as a patterned napkin or table runner, and pull your colours from that piece. Then, bring in items that complement or match.

Include a centerpiece

Great centerpieces don’t need to be fancy or expensive. Use items you have around the house to create a visual focal point on the table. Centerpieces should be tall enough to make a statement, but short enough not to interfere with conversations across the table. Flowers are an easy go-to item when it comes to centerpieces, but you can also use fresh fruits, candles and even home accessories.

More centerpiece ideas

Let it sparkle

Candlelit dinners should not be reserved for special occasions. Use candles to make every family dinner a special occasion! To make your candles really pop, incorporate reflective surfaces into your table-top decor. Mirrors, silver dishes and glass canisters will bounce the light of the candles throughout the room.

Create a theme

For a truly entertaining evening, create a theme for your decor. Use bright and airy colours for a spring-themed setting, or crisp blues and whites to create a winter wonderland. Use pumpkins as a centerpiece for a fall-themed setting, or include small wrapped presents on each plate for a birthday theme. Just have fun with it!

More decorating ideas

Rustic centerpieces for your dining table
Easter centerpieces: How to dress up your table for Easter

Get ready for spring: Spring table ideas

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