Thanksgiving dress a table ideas

Ten Tips to Dress a Dinner table that will impress!

You can learn to dress a dinner table like a pro and impress your guests. Having a table all decked out can add festive ambiance and get your guests in a partying mood. Here are some tips for creating a stunning dinner table, just in time for the holiday season, but they can be applied all year long for all celebrations and dinner parties.

1: Decide on a theme

To pick a theme, ask yourself, what are we celebrating? Is it a holiday, birthday celebration, or perhaps a no particular reason get-together? Next, decide what feeling and mood you want to create. Do you want the mood to be festive, romantic, or happy? Do you want it to be a causal table or fancy? Once you answer these questions, you will have your theme.  

A festive, elegant, Christmas theme

Dinner table theme examples:

Festive, elegant Christmas 

Rustic, minimalistic Thanksgiving  

Romantic, fancy Anniversary 

2: Establish your colors

Establish what colors you want for your table. Limiting your selection to two or three colors will have enormous aesthetic appeal and help to create a cohesive look. You may choose to restrict your colors even more so, creating a monochromatic look. White can be exquisite, and adding sparkling crystal and silver accents will make the white pop.

Bravo to one of my favorite clients for creating this masterpiece of a table!

3: Select your linens

The linens are the foundation for the whole table’s dressing. Stay true to your theme. Cotton duck is a great fabric to complement a casual theme. Shiny fabrics, brocades, and jacquards are perfect for an elegant theme. Choose a color that will be the ideal backdrop for your plates and other decors. Be creative with your linens. Use table runners with or without tablecloths. Layering linens can add a powerful impact to the overall design.

This is a great example of layered linens. The two table-runners bring texture and color to the table.
Love the way the table-runners are the opposite direction of what is expected.

4: Select the perfect plates

I love plates and own several different sets. If I had room to store them, I would own more. The next two pictures below show my latest crush. They are handmade ceramic tableware by Mr. Bowl.  I love how simple the design is, but don’t be fooled; these plates add a lot to the table. It is the perfect choice for a rustic minimalistic Thanksgiving theme. Make sure the dishes you choose translate your theme and evoke the mood you are trying to set.

Style and photo Simona Benetyte IG @simonabenetyte @cozy_linen
Style and photo Julie Lancia IG @julie.thedesigntwins

Beautiful handmade ceramic tableware by Mr. Bowl

5: Add greenery and natural elements

Adding greens, and other natural elements like pine cones is a simple way to create a beautiful table. The good news is you can use almost anything that you can find in your own backyard.

6: Illuminate

Light up your table and let it sparkle! Nothing adds ambiance like candles. Cluster a bunch of candlesticks or votives. More is more in this case!

7: Vary heights of objects

Adding objects of different heights adds interest to your table dressing. You can use serving pedestals or other objects to add height,

8- Fold your napkins

Folding your napkins in a fancy way can add pizazz to your table. It isn’t difficult to do, and you can quickly learn how with these napkin folding tutorials.

9- Add unique details

It is all in the details. This is especially true when dressing a table. Add special details to elevate your table design over the top. Consider using place cards, so your guests know where to sit. Place cards help guests feel welcomed and special, and it also allows you to control who people sit next too. Consider mixing it up, so guests are encouraged to mingle. 


Also, don’t forget about the chair. Chairs can be jazzed up with bows, greenery, and just about anything you can dream up. No one does it better than my friends at Little Royals. If you need an elegant children-sized table, Little Royals can take your theme to the next level! I love looking at her beautiful table settings.

Photo courtesy of Little Royals

10- Add a table favor

The best way to top off dressing you dinner table is with a table favor. Because, who doesn’t love a present and it will keep your guests remembering your special celebration well after it is over.

present in box with postcard
Photo by Monstera on

Did you get the opportunity to read some of my other posts, home office: Tips to Creating a Stunning Workspace, Five Tips to start a decorating project and Ten surprising facts about sheets and bedding?

If you are in need of Interior Design Services check out Barbara Rose Designs LLC.

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