It’s remarkable how many surfaces you end up eating from at home throughout the year, there’s obviously the trusty dining table as the focal point, but also perhaps you have a breakfast bar for you know – breakfasts. Then there’s garden dining sets when only alfresco will do or the casual coffee table-dining hybrids for relaxed evenings in front of the TV. It’s also important to consider the multi-use nature of a dining surface, from quick bites to sit down soirees to impromptu work-stations and children’s art time. So, with a dining table, or any table for that matter, comes the task of decorating or dressing the table in a usable everyday manner. Because surely one thing we can all agree on is a bare table just looks odd! So, today we’re taking a look into the fundamentals of how to decorate a dining table for everyday life. We are focussing our efforts mainly on dining tables, but these ideas can easily be transferred to any dining surface with ease.


Balancing aesthetic with function – What to consider.

Firstly, how you approach the task will hugely depend on your situation. For example, couples in modern apartments with busy social calendars will likely prefer dining tables dressed with a trim & tidy style and with a certain social readiness for life on the go. Whereas families with smaller children will likely need their table to be a multi-use area with nothing too overly prim, ready for what the day throws at it. Think about what is best going to suit your lifestyle and the dining room table centrepieces that will best slot into your needs.


Ash Grain Dining Bench


Indoor traditional dining – less is sometimes more.

This idea is perfect for those that need to simplify their routines and is somewhat of a one size fits all approach. With traditional dining tables and extending dining tables there tends to be plenty of space to fill, which is why it remains important to have a centrepiece/decoration. We think that with both of these larger table types to keep it simple use a linen/tablecloth that firstly complements the décor but also radiates a key colour. In our investigations on how to decorate a table for everyday use  we found that a little bit of a colour-pop doesn’t always hurt, think pastels and washed-out primaries. One word to the wise – we tend to think avoiding red is a good idea. Then to finish the table place a simple focal item in the centre, fruit bowls and porcelain pieces work splendidly as do floral arrangements and vases. This simple approach does what it says on the tin – keeping it stripped back will enable a multi-use but also a basis to dress the table up when needed. See our article on how best to make the most of indoor dining furniture for more inspiration.


How to decorate a dining table for everyday life – summer addition.

bramblecrest monterey outdoor sofa with square table and 2 x cushioned benches on patio outside house covered in ivyAlfresco dining has surged in popularity in recent years with the availability and quality of garden dining furniture available, plus with obvious recent challenges felt by all it’s no wonder more of us are eating outdoors. However, just because the table is in the garden it’s no reason to ignore the need to dress it. After all, a bare table can look a little sparse and even uninviting. Hartman rattan garden dining tables as well as Bramblecrest and Kettler offer a mix of hardy yet good looking surfaces ranging from tempered glass, ceramics, faux slat wood and composites. We think simplicity is key for the all summer look – a floral arrangement that matches the surrounding beds will do wonders, whilst if your vibe is BBQing all season have some water jugs and appealing glassware out and at the ready. If you’ve got a parasol – even better unfurl that for vital shade when the UV rating rises. Outdoor benches often pair well with garden dining tables, regardless of brand or shade – just match as needed and boost seating. Although outdoor dining tables will last the summer easily it is always advisable to cover them in the more turbulent weather months, protective covers are a good way to go for this need.


No tablecloth, no problem! Don’t overthink it.

When considering how to decorate a dining table for everyday life but without a tablecloth, it’s key to be conscious of the materialValencia Dark Smokey Dining Table -Aerial Close Up of the table you’re dressing. With wooden dining tables pay attention to the timber makeup, certain woods will complement decorative styles. If you’re working with mahogany, for example, it’s a great idea to add some decorative mahogany or sandalwood ornaments or bowls. With dining room table centrepieces feel free to get creative but don’t stray too far from the overriding aesthetic, i.e. – if your table is a muted oak it might not be a great idea to place a garish coloured item(s) as it’ll take away from the lovely finish of your table. Candles are a great way to liven up a table and are excellent for the long term if larger ones are paired together, simply relight each social occasion that allows for it. Extending dining tables offer more flexibility with space to play with, in fact, we recently wrote a blog about maximising space in the home with wooden extendable dining tables which covers some other ideas around this.

That sees our look at how to decorate a dining table for everyday life to a pleasing conclusion. We hope that there was a nugget or two to savour amongst our suggestions. Feel free to please share with us your Instagram pictures of your made-up dining tables, if purchased through us and tagging our account @iolving you stand a chance to win a £100 gift voucher in our monthly competition!



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