Dining table decorating ideas – creative ways to style dinner party table decor

Dining table decoration ideas to set the scene for your dinner party

Looking for dining table decorating ideas that will make your guests say 'wow'? Look no further, because we have a creative way to style your dinner party table decor – no matter the occasion.

As we embrace entertaining more from home we're on the look out for imaginative ways to make our everyday dining tables more party-ready. Whether you're hosting a big family soiree or seeking table settings to suit a homemade afternoon tea, a little imagination can make any occasion feel more special.

Make your dining experience a stylish affair with these fantastic table setting ideas. Make a striking statement with inexpensive decorations, ornaments and a few crafty ideas.

Dining table decorating ideas

Our dining table decorating ideas offer gorgeous options for every occasion, from dinner parties to weddings.

Start with simple low-cost furniture and build a fashionable scheme around it. Explore our selection of design ideas for your decorative dining idea.

1. Layer the table with foliage

dining area with dining table and dinner platters and napkins

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Brent Darby)

Ideal for all seasons, not just for Christmas, dressing the dining table with real foliage welcomes a hint of nature and a fragrant scent. Create a focal centre point with a large bouquet display of seasonal blooms, suiting which every season you're in. Lay lengths of trailing foliage down the centre of the table to interconnect the two elements of decoration.

To add a perfect finishing touch place a sprig of fragrant rosemary, or any other fragrant herb, on top of the napkin – under the ring to hold it in place.

2. Take inspiration from on-trend grazing tables

dining table with fruits and candles

(Image credit: Style Your Spaces)

Grazing tables are the hottest trend for hosting parties in style right now. A grazing table is simple where a table is entirely dressed thoughtfully in food. The curated table is a masterpiece of creative food styling.

This imaginative dining table decorating idea comes from Style Your Spaces, an Edinburgh-based creative studio specialising in imaginative interiors, sustainable floristry practices and carefully curated homeware collections.

3. Make it personal with photos

wooden dining table with photo and dinner platters

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes)

Personalisation is always a brilliant way to make any gathering feel more memorable and intimate. While your budget might not stretch to a photobooth, you can pick up a Polaroid-style camera for £69 online.

On arrival, get guests to pose for a funny snap and print them off for photo placemats on your table. Save one print for a tipsy-induced group selfie, naturally.

4. Make it modern rustic

dining area with morden rustic and white wall

(Image credit: Future Publishing/Carolyn Arber)

If you like to keep things simple but don’t want a stark, empty scheme, try dressing your table with farmhouse-inspired linens, rustic wood and over-sized glassware. Finish with seasonal stems for a look that’s pared-back but still super cosy. Don't forget a few sprigs of green to bring the outside in.

This relaxed dining room scheme is ideal for informal dining. The soft green and neutral dining room is effortlessly dressed to perfection with washed linen textiles, that lend a raw quality to the set up. Further natural textures add to the rustic charm, from the rattan chairs to the rattan lamp shade.

5. Create a chalkboard placemat

wooden dining table with platters and chalkboard

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes)

There was a time when chalkboards belonged on children's easels or the walls of a classroom, and nowhere else. Today, though, we are hanging them around our homes or creating them bespoke. Here, a simple slate tile works sensationally as a placemat.

Chalkboards look great and allows us to scrawl straight onto a surface, making them perfect for table settings. Simply write your guests' name straight on to this easy to wipe surface, which you can use over and over again. Get creative by attaching a few pine cones or ribbons with glue.

6. Spell out place names

dining table with Scrabble letter tiles

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

Use Scrabble letter tiles and trays to spell out your guests' names for a really personal place setting. Alternatively, spell out out a favourite saying for an added personal touch. Your guests will have endless fun seeing what words they can make from the letters they have been given.

7. Pick your favourite trend

dining table with botanicals and cactus under a cloche

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore)

A dining room centrepiece is the perfect place to showcase your favourite trend, and there is no escaping the beautiful botanicals that we are currently seeing.

The potted house plant is making a comeback, nodding to this season's botanical trend and adding colour, style and an artistic flourish to interiors. House a cactus under a cloche for instant effect, or create your own terrarium for added drama and intrigue.

8. Colour yourself happy

yellow dining table with fake pineapple flower vase

(Image credit: Talking Tables)

Take your dinner party outdoors in warmer climes. Colour is another thing to consider when creating a successful dinner party scheme. Choose the right colour palette and you could be on to a winner.

Dinner parties are all about having fun, so don’t be afraid to go for bold when it comes to accessories. Easy to change and can be done on a budget, accessories are the best way to chop and change you dining room scheme in an instant.

9. Factor in florals

round dining table with chairs and jugs and napkins

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

Several bunches of the same flowers make a beautiful centre piece for your table. Choose matching jugs or vases (of the same or varying height) and line them up along the middle of your table. Remember to look at the height when you're selecting your blooms and vases so you don't cut the table in half.

Bring the outdoors in with the prettiest of country dining room table settings. A ditsy tablecloth in vibrant pink is joined by napkins in contrasting polka dots and traditional china for a dining scene sprinkled with spring charm.

10. Set the scene for a hearty feast

dining table with tablecloth and napkins and dinner platters

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Jon Day)

Crofter style is the inspiration for this dining room, which takes its lead from the tones and textures of the Highlands. Serve hearty dishes on a table laid with a tablecloth in earthy shades and set with artisan pottery. To play on the inside/outside theme, cosy up a bench with a sheepskin throw and blanket-stitch edged cushion, then hang a painting of atmospheric, bare tree trunks.

Will you be using these dining table decoration ideas to give your table a new lease of life?

Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.