How to Decorate a Dining Room Table


A blank dining room table, no matter how beautiful the rest of your room is, makes the room look bare and unfinished. The table is the focal point of the room, the place for family gatherings and breaking bread with friends. For a complete look, it should be adorned to make it look welcoming and inviting.

Things You'll Need

  • Table cloth
  • Table runner or mat
  • Place mats
  • Centerpiece
  • Accents
  • Glass cover (optional)
  • Take a look at your table surface and assess the kind of condition it is in. If it's already attractive, you may wish to cover as little of it as possible and just dress it up. If it is shoddy, scratched or discolored, you can save it by painting it or putting a beautiful table cloth on it.

  • If using a table cloth, choose one in a solid color to act as a clean canvass for the rest of the table decor. If you are using slip covers or cushions on your dining room chairs, consider getting fabrics or colors that match the table cloth.

  • Match the types of fabrics you choose to the style of the room. For instance, if your room is contemporary and formal, consider luxurious fabrics like damask or toile. If you have a country rustic, casual dining room, cotton or linen would suffice.

  • Add a table runner or mat in the center to the table cloth. If you are not using a table cloth because your table is too beautiful to cover, just use the table runner or a mat for the center, just to dress it up a bit.

  • Put place mats in front of each chair. Get place mats in colors that coordinate with your chair cushions or room color scheme. This is a good place to add interest with a pattern or texture.

  • Place a centerpiece in the center of your table. If you plan to remove the centerpiece at meal time, try to use one with some height and it will make your table look grander and balance out the scale in the room. If you are planning on leaving the centerpiece there during meal times, go for a shorter one so that your seated guests can see each other over it.

  • If your table is very long, and your centerpiece is narrow, use smaller accents on either side of the centerpiece. You may use candles, or small statuary, bowls or vases--the choice is yours. This will help the length from appearing severe and allow the eye to flow more easily over it.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you would like to use your table often, but protect your table decor, consider getting a piece of glass cut to the size of your table top. You can lay it right over the cloths, runners and mats, so that they will be visible but will not get stained or need changing as often. Decorate your table seasonally, keeping sets of decor and centerpieces to match the upcoming holidays or seasons. This will keep your room always looking fresh.

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