Homing In: Best Dining Table Ideas

A dining table goes down as one of the hardest working pieces of furniture in your home. As well as a place to serve meals, it often doubles (trebles, quadruples…) as something else.

It’ll transform into a makeshift storage unit, a temporary boardroom table to thrash out your finances, an aid for folding freshly cleaned socks. But its main purpose is to be a surface you can sit at and eat.

Whether you just get the best crockery out for when friends and family come to dinner, or you like to keep it looking tip top even when it’s not being used, a well laid table is a thing of beauty.

Not only will it impress your guests, it’ll also look more pleasing than a pile of mail, old newspapers and whatever else usually finds its way onto the table top.

So, just how do you lay a dining table?

In this guide, we’ll walk you through some of our top tips, including ideas for place settings, centrepieces and more.

Stunning centrepieces for your table

A centrepiece for your dining room table will really set things off. By drawing eyes to the middle of the table, you’ll create a focal point for your dining room.

Vases

One of our favourite centrepiece ideas is the classic vase; choose one that matches your room’s décor (or even contrasts, if you like to make a statement), and fill it with seasonal flowers. A fresh bouquet can be a majestic addition to your table, and you can swap your florals as and when you feel like it.

A cluster of vases can also look great as a centrepiece, or how about a collection of glass bottles filled with cuttings from your garden?

Candles

Ah, you old romantic. A cliché? Possibly. A worthy centrepiece? Definitely.

Candles are still a popular choice for a dining table, and with good reason; they’re perfect mood setters. Particularly for romantic meals, the warm glow of a candle can bring an extra layer of intimacy to the occasion.Dining table and chairs with green dinnerware

Choose a simple candle with a holder or rest it on a candle plate for a contemporary take. Or for something more traditional and grandiose, opt for a candelabra that adds its own interest to support that flicker of the tealights.

Eye-catching in their own right, candles and holders can also be used as part of a more elaborate centrepiece that also includes vases and florals.

Fairy lights

For a more modern twist on a table top glow, fairy lights are a stylish option. A deep glass bowl or vase can be filled with a string of lights, which provide soft mood lighting. LED fairy lights are versatile in that you can use them in many ways; you’re not restricted by any one design, so feel free to let your creativity reign and illuminate your table as you wish.

Stylish dining table setting ideas

Knife, fork, placemat… what more do you need? Well, clever use of crockery and cutlery is key to a resplendent dining display.

The first way you can add extra drama and interest to your table is by layering your crockery. Use oversized decorative plates which act as borders to your dinner plates or bowls. Incorporating different colours is a great way to achieve an eclectic look, or keep it contemporary with a monochrome pallete.

white and grey dinnerware with gold cutlery

Serving plates can be garnished with neatly folded napkins which offer all important functionality at meal times, whilst also looking appealing beforehand. In a neutral scheme, bright or patterned napkins might be a clever way to add a pop of colour.

Black and white dinnerware and mugs You can also use different materials and textures to bring an additional sense of sophistication to the table. Gleaming ceramic serveware will dazzle over a patterned tablecloth. Switching shapes is also a good way of keeping it interesting; think square placemats under circular plates, for instance. A table runner is a useful tool in your decorating armoury; perfect for accentuating the length of a rectangular table, and the perfect platform for your centrepiece.

And don’t forget the cutlery. Sparkling mirrored finish is the go to option for fine dining – like an afternoon tea or dinner party setting for example – but an alternative may be just the finishing touch your dining table décor needs. A satin finished cutlery set like Sunbury, or perhaps the gold or black dramatics of Turini are ideal for a modern table setting.

Add some atmosphere with lighting

You already know the addition of fairy lights, candles and tealights can help to set the mood. Yet there’s a lot to be said for some clever dining room lighting to take things to the next level.

For example, a floor lamp in the corner of the room can be a shrewd investment; casting a hint of warm ambience over the meal times.

But for a real show stopper, look to a statement pendant light to tie the whole table together. One – or for a real statement, several – low slung pendants hovering overhead bring style whilst adding that additional lighting over the proceedings to illuminate your dining table.

Habitat Dining Room Table and Chairs

If you like the authentic look of a flickering flame, consider larger candles and perhaps a lantern to showcase them in and elaborate that glow.

How will you transform your table?

For many people, a dining table is something that serves its genuine purpose probably less than half the time. But we’re leading the charge for changing that. We’re all about good looking interior design, and a smartly appointed table, complete with centrepieces, settings and lighting is a sight to behold.

The Christmas dining table is probably the one that gets the most attention, but why not enjoy the splendour of a well laid eating area all year round? Follow some of our tips and transform your dining room for the better!

 

All images from Habitat’s photography archive. Some products may not be available. Please visit habitat.co.uk to view our current, uniquely designed, range.

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