The majority of inspiration you’ll find when searching for dining table décor ideas revolves around holidays or gatherings. And while we love a styled spread poised for guests, we’re left to wonder what becomes of that gorgeous table when it’s not in use. To help us gather ideas for a more static setup, we polled a stable of top designers.
Ahead, discover expert styling tips from Nicolle Sullivan, founder and CEO of Sydney-based homewares brand, CULTIVER; Katherine Carter, an LA-based interior designer known for her work with Lauren Conrad and Marianna Hewitt; Grace Brackman, associate designer at Maggie Griffin Design; Jenn Feldman of LA-based Jenn Feldman Designs; Erin Hiemstra, founder and creative director of Apartment 34; and Andi Morse of Atlanta, Georgia-based Morse Design.
Don’t let one of the hardest working pieces in your home lay bare. Ahead, our experts share 15 dining table décor ideas to help it reach its most stylish potential.
Feature image by Teal Thomsen.
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Evergreen X Factors
Flower arrangements are a staple when it comes to styling tablescapes, but you don’t need fresh blooms to make a statement, especially when you’re looking for something that will last well beyond a dinner party.
Rethink the Produce Section
“Instead of flowers, you can style with produce—fresh herbs and fruit, such as rosemary, marjoram, basil, and lemons.” — Nicolle Sullivan
Master the Mix
“If your table is long and rectangular, I love a series of objects running down the table’s center, like a mix of vases, ceramics, or candle holders.” — Erin Hiemstra
follow The Rule of Odds
“Creating a tablescape out of odd number objects allows the eye to read it as one unit and fill the space. This makes the table look finished and adds a layer of interest to the home. Then, when you’re ready to use the table, it’s an easy transition to set and serve.” — Jenn Feldman
invite your Green Thumb to the table
“You can use a houseplant in the center if you don’t like replacing flowers once a week.” — Katherine Carter
Florals for dining tables? It doesn’t seem groundbreaking. But with a top designer’s touch, a little bouquet can seem practically avant-garde.
Give Your Flowers Fresh Appeal
“I always suggest to my clients the most classic and easy approach, which is fresh flowers! For a Beverly Hills client, we went with flowers in a tray.” — Katherine Carter
Follow the Lines
“Hunt down a beautiful container. Follow the shape of your table… for instance, with a rectangular table, a rectangular container works best! Then, fill it with your favorite floral. I love an orchid or a maidenhair fern!” — Grace Brackman
Rethink Flowers’ Role
“For Lauren Conrad, we left the place settings out and added flowers as the place settings for added texture and depth.” — Katherine Carter
sprinkle in Unique Additions
“To keep things elegant yet relaxed, I prefer handmade ceramics that show they have been lovingly made.” — Nicolle Sullivan
opt for Eye-Catching Art
“Another option is to center an amazing art piece. This will not only be eye-catching when your table is not in use but also an opportunity to open up the conversation. For a Mount Olympus client, we used a porcelain bust art piece for the centerpiece.” — Katherine Carter
cap things off with Cool Cutlery
“Cutlery that is more organically shaped and nice to hold is a thoughtful touch.” — Nicolle Sullivan
When there’s no theme decreeing your table’s vibe, you have the opportunity to embrace an earthier, more natural look that truly suits your style. For Sullivan, linen—a CULTIVER specialty— is the go-to textile of choice.
Ready to Run
“A linen table runner can serve as an excellent lighter alternative to a tablecloth.” — Nicolle Sullivan
Muted But Meaningful
“I like to decorate my table with calming, natural tones—pastel soft blues, pinks and greens to echo the muted colours of Cultivar’s linen: Dusk, Sage, Natural and Smoke Grey.” — Nicolle Sullivan
ditch the Matchy Matchy
“Personally, I like to mismatch the colors of our soft linen table napkins with our linen tablecloths and linen table runners. For example, the warm tones of the Fawn and cool Smoke Grey complement each other perfectly.” — Nicolle Sullivan
Dining Table Décor Ideas For Round Tables
Circular tables present their own unique design challenges, but the zero-corner canvases still have plenty of potential.
“I love using a large bowl on a round table filled with moss, fresh vegetables and fruit, or an orchid arrangement.” — Andi Morse
“For rectangular or oval tables, a bowl or tray flanked by large candlesticks or hurricanes offers a great look and elevates the style of the room.” — Andi Morse