Table decoration ideas for all occasions

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Table setting might not be the first thing you see at a dinner party, but it is definitely the most important. It creates a certain atmosphere and becomes the focal point of any decor. Setting a table is not difficult. All you need is a theme or color palette and a few centerpieces to make it more festive or interesting.

You don’t have to be formal at a family gathering, but if you want to, you can always play around with different table settings to give your occasion a bit of that special feel.

Formal table decorating ideas

Formal table setting via Gabriela Canorubio

The formal table is set around a serving plate topped with a dinner and possibly a salad plate. Salad and dinner forks go to the left of the plate while spoons and a knife go to the right. Dessert cutlery is placed between the two, behind the plates.

Water and wine glasses are placed on the right side and a bread plate and napkin go to the left. Variations are possible for dinners and parties, weddings and end of year celebrations.

Dinner table decoration 900x600 Table decoration ideas for any occasion
Dinner Table Decor via The Celebration Society

For example, if you are serving a simple dinner without the three courses, prepare a large serving plate that will suit everything from salad to meat. If you are offering more than one type of wine, place appropriate glasses to the right of the plate. And if there is a possibility that a guest may not drink, a glass of juice may be in order. It is important to always consider the correct utensils for what you are serving.

Centerpieces and candles are the best decorations for any occasion. So if your table is quite modest, try adding green pots or candle holders to the arrangement to liven it up.

Blue wedding table setting
Blue Wedding Table Decor via Coco Chic Deco

Formal table settings are often available in a white color scheme, but a monochromatic blue is the best thing because it looks stylish and fresh.

The light tablecloth and napkins are beautifully highlighted by dark blue glasses and silver cutlery in this arrangement. And the white floral centerpiece adds charm to the formal blue color scheme.

Table settings color schemes

Party table
Party Table via Crate and Barrel

You don’t have to follow any rules to the letter. Your surroundings and decor don’t have to be impeccable. Creative chaos can seem more inviting and warm.

Here, the imperfect coral-pink floral arrangements are accented by a bright blue table runner and trendy trivets. The look is finished with striped napkins and blue and pink wine glasses.

Blue and pink table decor
Blue and Pink Table Decor via Life Chic

This year’s main color duo, blue and pink, always go well together, especially in shades as sophisticated as these. The rose gold cutlery looks rather chic; casual white accents don’t distract from the muted color scheme.

With such metallic elements, additional decorations can be minimal, although a few sprigs of lavender or another matching flower add their charm to the decor.

Colorful table setting
Colorful table decoration via Gewoon by Suus

The key to a beautiful table decoration is to strike a balance between functionality and appearance. Too many floral centerpieces can not only attract unwanted visitors to your table, but also obstruct the view of your guests.

It’s not just about color combination; it also means giving your guests a little freedom at the table. Too many decorations is not a good thing.

Pastel table color palettes

Pastel wedding table
Pastel wedding table decoration via Vale and Divine

The statement table arrangements can easily be used without any additional accessories. Because they bring a lot of detail and color to the table, you can get away with simpler tableware and cutlery.

Here, a pastel serving plate is accented with golden cutlery, but the main element of the decor is a large floral arrangement in the center of the table.

Pastel table decor
Pastel table setting via The Finer Gazette

Pastels can be beautifully accented with dark details like in this table setting. This creates a nice dynamic in the look without making it too airy or dramatic.

Here, the accents of the decor are subtle. Beautiful light pink flowers echo the pale pink tablecloth, and the white dinnerware with gold edges doesn’t look too modest but not too ornate either.

Dramatic table decorating ideas

Blue and purple table decor
Blue and Purple Table Decor via Fab Mood

Dramatic color schemes always look great in table setting. Whether you’re hosting a wedding or a friendly dinner party, dark tablecloths and tableware have a certain appeal.

Here, the dark blue tablecloth and purple napkins create a backdrop for the rose gold cutlery and white and purple flower arrangements.

Gold and emerald green
Gold and Emerald Green via Sugar Branch Events

Gold and emerald green have to be the best holiday color scheme for a table. It is sumptuous and festive. It is most definitely versatile as you can use it for wedding, New Years Eve and even birthday party.

This wedding table setting is accented with sparkling champagne glasses, a glittering herringbone table runner and amazing clear serving plates. In addition, the flower arrangements brighten up the decor with soft pink and white roses.

Blue table setting
Blue table decor via Little White Book

Blue of any shade will easily bring a nautical / coastal vibe to the area. Add pops of yellow and wood and the beach atmosphere won’t leave you all evening.

Unusual serving plates are a great way to accentuate each guest’s place and create an absolutely unique table setting.

Holiday table decorating ideas

Thanksgiving table setting
Thanksgiving Table Setting via So Haute Style

Here is the simplest holiday table setting that is both stylish and inviting. There is a centerpiece in the middle of the table and matching glasses that offer both functionality and decor.

The green and blue patches echo the overall color scheme. And the small seating sign holders are too small to overwhelm or clutter up the table setting.

Easter table
Easter Table Setting via Wit and Delight

Here, the table decor is used as accents on a white background. The tablecloth and the white chairs offer a large clean table on which all combinations are possible.

Since so many different flowers are available in the spring, this monochrome table setting can be set in yellow, blue, green, or red.

Christmas table setting
Christmas Table Setting via Good Housekeeping

Christmas table decor is really all about gold accents and fir trees. The latter can make a nice centerpiece; you don’t even need to decorate it a lot.

Gold instantly brings the party into the yard, home, and table. But if you’re worried that it’s too boring, go for a trivet or a plate pattern that will spruce up your decor a bit.

Backyard NYE Party Table Setting
Backyard NYE party table decor by Nouba

Unusual tableware is a nice way to mix things up. These brass plaques are amazing, especially in contrast to the black bottle candle holders and matching metallic candles.

These colors and textures immediately dress the old wooden table and create a very festive atmosphere in the courtyard.

Table decoration for Valentine’s Day by Studio Lab Decor

No need to wonder how to repurpose those sticky Valentine-themed tableware or decorations. Do with what you have using your imagination.

Here, Studio Lab Decor created an impressive floral arrangement that became the centerpiece of the table and accented it with golden cutlery and a heart-folded napkin.

Unusual centerpiece ideas

Table setting with succulent centerpieces
Table decor with succulent centerpieces by Studio Lab Decor

When flowers are not available, succulents can save the evening. Paired with lotus pods, orchids, and other flowers, colorful succulents make an amazing centerpiece material.

If you have succulents in pots, they will too, as will many other decorative plants for the home.

Wedding table setting
Wedding Table with Greenery and White Flowers via Vineyard Bride

Lush greenery is a current trend in wedding decor and it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular. The flowers are much more expensive and they wither quickly. Leafy green plants, on the other hand, are very diverse and can also be quite beautiful.

A single floral centerpiece won’t look too modest if you flank it with a few green plants and a matching decorative fabric.

Thanksgiving table setting.  Kathryn McCrary Photography
Thanksgiving table by Jenn Gietzen. Kathryn McCrary Photography

Instead of working on the centerpieces, place the filler plants and flowers in a neat line in the middle of the table. This will prevent any obstruction by keeping the greenery at the same level as the plates.

You can also use fruits and vegetables for table arrangements, which works well in Thanksgiving and Christmas decor.

Foam covered table
Moss covered table via Viitoare Mireasa

When all options are exhausted and your soul demands a setting like no other, it’s time to take some drastic action. This moss covered table is breathtaking and out of this world. It is surely not the most practical or practical table setting, but it is impressive without reservation.

Despite the rules and tradition, table decoration leaves a lot of room for creativity. A large selection of tableware designs, tablecloth prints and floral arrangements allow countless possible combinations. Keeping it balanced and functional is the key.


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