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Table Styling Tips: How to Elevate Your Next Dining Experience

Transform an ordinary meal into a memorable feast with these game-changing table styling tips.

Here's a little-known fact about entertaining — while it's easy to get caught up in the menu, which is equally important, how you style your dining table truly sets the tone for your gathering, whether for a special occasion or a more casual affair.

But not all of us have been gifted with the styling gene. In fact, setting a table is somewhat of an art form. From landing on the right colour scheme to laying the glassware and plates and landing on the right florals to finishing it all off. How you lay out your table not only facilitates serving but also enhances the visual appeal of the dining setting, creating a symphony of shapes and textures.

So, if you're keen to level up your dining table-setting skills, we've got you covered. From selecting the perfect foundation to adding those impactful final touches, each step is crucial in creating an atmosphere that welcomes and impresses your guests.

Table Styling Tips for Your Next Event

Your choice in tablecloth will inform the rest of the colour palette.

Lay the Perfect Foundation

When it comes to styling your dining table, the most crucial decision you make is what tablecloth to use. Whether you opt for a simple design or bold patterns, the right base will complement your tableware, influence the colour palette and enhance the overall dining experience.

It's worth investing in a good quality linen tablecloth to always have on hand for entertaining. You can't go past something from I Love Linen's gorgeous range — the French Flax Linen Table Cloth in Marine Blue Stripe ($135) and the French Flax Linen Table Cloth in Ivy Stripe ($135) are classically elegant choices that would work in both a casual setting or a more fancy soiree. 

Add complimentary napkins in a similar hue, like these French Flax Linen Napkins in Sage ($49.95 for a set of four), for a timeless tonal element. 

Play around with shapes and textures by teaming a wavy placemat with a round plate and textured champagne coupe.

Tableware Touches

Tableware isn't just about functionality; it's about setting the stage for a memorable meal with your loved ones. The artistry of tableware goes beyond mere plates and glasses — it's about infusing character and charm into every meal.

Mixing and matching colours and patterns makes tableware a canvas for personal expression, elevating the dining table into a reflection of individual style and creativity.

In The Roundhouse's Green Bon Appétit Plate (pictured above, $29 per plate, pre-order) is unassuming yet bold.  Made from bone china and coated with a clear glaze on the top, it's guaranteed to transform a simple meal into a memorable occasion.

Another fun option from their range is the Palm Beach Plate (pictured above, $29 per plate, pre-order). Inspired by the lush palm trees that are so iconic in Sydney's Palm Beach, this is a versatile number that will make a statement no matter the occasion. 

Add a pop of sophisticated colour and dimension with these Straw Wave Placemats from In The Roundhouse ($50 for four), which come in light blue, green, pink, and yellow. Complete the table setting with this White & Beige Cutlery Set ($129 for 16 pieces), with white handles and a soft beige dip on end; they are beyond versatile and will go with any colour scheme. 

With your plating sorted, now it's time for the drinks! We love these Pomponette champagne coupes from Maison Balzac ($139 for two glasses), with cute milky white bubbles and made with crystal clear glass; not only do they make the most satisfying 'clink' noise, but they also add a playful texture to any dining table set-up.

A bowl of fruit and fresh flowers makes for an eye-catching centrepiece.

Front and Centre

At the heart of any dining table is the centrepiece arrangement. While functional and aid with serving, these elements also become the focal point, drawing eyes and conversations towards the middle of the table.

Candlesticks, with their flickering flames, add warmth and ambiance and also help you play around with height and dimension, which is another impactful way to make a beautiful table set-up. To really level up your candle game, these Percy Candle Holders from McMullin & co. (pictured in main image at the top, $159 for a pair) have a unique wavy shape that makes them the perfect accessory to style your tabletop. 

Add a classic white bowl, like this Nigel Fruit Bowl from McMullin & co. ($139), in the middle of the table, and style it with fresh fruit, like deep purple grapes or gorgeous green limes, for a super easy yet impactful touch. 

A grazing platter not only feeds guests but adds a bright touch to the set-up.

Grand Finale

No table setting is complete without the final flourishes. Whether it's a beautifully styled platter (when it comes to immaculate and romantic grazing tables, no one does it quite like Stories To Gather) or a bunch of fresh flowers (a dazzling vase, like this quirky Pomponette vase from Maison Balzac (pictured above, $159) will make any posy look a million dollars), these elements are key to enhancing your dining experience.

Once you've styled the entire table, assess it from the point of view of where you'll be sitting and from further back to see how all the elements (the bowls, candlesticks, flowers, shapes and arrangements etc) come together and make any tweaks if needed.

Now you've nailed these table styling tips, why not keep upskilling your hosting prowess and check out our edit of the best Australian cookbooks? Then, find out about the cocktail of the summer everyone is talking about.

Our Sitchu editors work hard to deliver you the best products, events and venues that we hope you will love, each one is selected independently. Sitchu may receive an affiliate commission when you follow some links.

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