How to Make Easy and Elegant Table Decorations

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to set a beautiful tablescape. Here, 10 easy ways to dress up your table for any occasion.

Looking to add a little excitement to your table? No, it doesn’t have to mean breaking out the fine china—or breaking the bank. The options for creating a beautiful tablescape are limitless. In fact, we think the most beautiful accent pieces for dining room are the ones that are unusual, inventive, and creative.

With many of us stuck at home, there’s never been a better time to experiment with creating easy table decorations with items already in our homes. Here, we suggest 10 tips for creating a lush, inviting table. Trust us, it’s easier than you think.

Stripes and solids lacquer placemat white turquoise
Navy and white lacquer stripe placemat

1. Start with a simple base

A beautiful table setting doesn’t mean you need an expensive tablecloth. In fact, if you’re looking to build a layered setting, simple is best. Try laying down brown kraft paper (our favorite for its low price and casual, textural vibe—plus easy cleanup!) or a length of simple canvas or drop-cloth.

Pair with: Floral Napkin Rings will add color to the neutral backdrop. Plus, these against brown paper evoke the look of a freshly-wrapped bouquet!

2. Add texture

While color and pattern may be the first things that come to mind when setting a table, texture is one of the easiest ways to add visual interest. Have a wooden table? Lean into that by leaving it bare and contrasting with sleek table accessories. Alternately, set a cloth in a nubby linen. If you prefer a smoother look for your backdrop, bring in texture with other natural elements—shells, stones, feathers, and dried flowers all make great table accessories.

Pair with: Lacquer Shell Placemats add depth and shine against a matte or organic backdrop.

Floral napkin ring
Navy rope napkin ring

3. Dress up grocery store flowers

You don’t need to go to the florist to get a beautiful table arrangement. Scoop up whatever flowers are on offer at your local grocery store and rearrange them into vessels of your choosing. Our favorite options: Mix several different types of flowers for a large centerpiece, or separate a few stems into several smaller containers and group together. Don’t have vases? No problem! Stick flowers in water glasses, pitchers, or even trim them at the tip of the stem and float in bowls.

Pair with: Beaded Napkin Rings will pull out the colors in simpler floral arrangements.

4. Use houseplants

If you really can’t get your hands on flowers, why not make use of what you already have? That’s right—that succulent you’ve been nurturing can be a centerpiece too. So can any houseplant. Bonus: It won’t die after the party!

Pair with: An elegant serving tray! This Lacquer Tray can hold a plant on the table without any water, dirt, or leaves getting on the table.

Red ombre round placemat

5. Incorporate personal objects

For a truly unique table setting, look to personal items. Small frames, boxes, and other tokens or mementos can all play a part in table design: Stick placecards in miniature frames, use a decorative box or caddy to hold salt and pepper—the possibilities are endless.

Pair with: Pearl Coasters will make a pretty pair with antique items in metal, wood, or glass.

6. Mix and match

The full dinner set is overrated: Have fun at your table by mixing plates, glassware, linens, and cutlery. And yes, you can blend casual and formal! Better yet? Throw in some vintage.

Pair with: Zinc & Leather Napkin Rings will unify a variety of different napkin patterns.

Maasai multi beaded placemat

7. Incorporate metallics

Adding a dose of metallic is sure to up the glam factor, even if you’re setting the table with kraft paper and everyday plates. If you don’t have a fancy silver set, try using a decorative metal tray as a centerpiece, or incorporate brass accents.

Pair with: Metallic Placemats bring that glow—plus, they’re reversible, so you can opt for silver, gold, or a combination!

8. Think outside the centerpiece

A massive vase smack in the middle of the table isn’t the only option: Deconstruct the traditional centerpiece by placing single bud vases down a long table, or lay dried flowers, pinecones, or other natural elements right on the table for a flat interpretation. Bonus: You won’t have to peer around flowers to see the person across from you.

Pair with: Accent pieces like Decorative Starfish strewn across the table will add an unexpected element.

Orange and white fringe placemat
Green and white fringe placemat

9. Play with placecards

These don’t just have to be for black-tie dinners! Add a special, personal touch with placecards, which give all the more options for fun design statements. Write names on pieces of cardstock and place them in teacups, sharpie names on stones or shells—the possibilities are endless.

Pair with: A fun coaster set! Fringe Coasters at each place setting will invite guests to set down their drink as soon as they find their name.

10. Don’t forget the candles!

The cheapest, easiest way to create an inviting ambience? Candlelight. Pick up tapers from your local store or stick votives in bowls, cups, or on saucers. Can’t find any in time? Light any scented candles you have around the house—just don’t place them on the table, or their smell will mess with your meal. Instead, light them on sideboards, coffee tables, or shelves around the dining room.

Pair with: Graphic Sparkle Placemats echo the yellow glow of candlelight.

Woven fringe coasters
Navy and white lacquer tray