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Tips for Styling a Table

by | Apr 8, 2015 | Decorating Inspiration, Michaela

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Tips for Styling a Table

Hello & happy April! (How in the world is it April already?!) Michaela here– I’m happy to be back today sharing a few simple tablescape and styling tips with you all! A few weeks ago, Melissa’s book, Love the Home You Have, arrived at my door step and I have been enjoying reading it ever since. There are so many practical tips in her book about how to truly fall in love with your abode, no matter how small or big, new or old it may be. The book inspired this post, as it encourages to love the home we have by merely setting a simple table. It’s amazing what small gestures and some quick styling can do for your home’s love tank :) Are you ready for some table styling tips?! Here we go!

This is a tablescape and dessert bar I styled for The Bloom Workshop, a creative workshop I co-founded last year. The deep purple hues and warm palette makes me swoon all over again! I am so excited we will have Melissa and the rest of The Inspired Room team at our Seattle workshop, called Bloom Bash, in October (tickets open in May!) They will be sharing all their styling tips at the 2-day workshop. Come on, October! :)

Tablescape Styling Tips:

1. Create a vision.

Come up with a solid palette or theme first. Look for unique decor, vases, and dishes to bring this vision to life.

2. Make it unique.

If the idea you have for your tablescape has been done before, find a few elements you can incorporate to breathe new life into the look.

Tips for Styling a Table

3. Choose a statement piece.

Whether it be the blooms (always a great statement!) or a different type of centerpiece, make something your special focus.

4. Personalize those place settings!

There’s nothing sweeter than for guests to arrive for a meal and find their own name tag and thoughtful place setting. This shows extra thought went into your design. As they say, design is all in the details!

Tips for Styling a Table

5. Incorporate texture.

This can be done with flowers, branches, the vase or vessel you use for the centerpiece, the charger under the plates, the etching on the glassware, or the napkins. To maintain visual interest, texture is key.

Tips for Styling a Table

6. Use varying heights.

This is a great general styling tip! Whether you’re decorating a vignette in a corner of your home, you’re styling a tablescape or a dessert bar like the one below, using different heights in your design makes it more visually appealing and creates a focus. As you can see below, we made the three main cakes the focus by putting them in the middle, arranged in a “V” shape. Next, we added other elements to fill in the dessert bar. A tiered cake stand stacked on books anchors the left side of the bar, while the brass candlesticks also offer even more varied heights to the set up. Filled in with lots of flowers, this dessert bar was absolutely stunning.

7. Group smaller items on trays.

The mini creme brulee dishes grouped on a low profile tray fills that gap in the front, while maintaining the antique vibe of the dessert bar. Grouping these items on one tray, as opposed to just leaving them all to sit directly on the bar, creates unity and visual harmony.

Tips for Styling a Table

ARTISTS | Photography: Ashley Slater Photography / Vintage Rentals (china, chandelier, upholstered chairs, etc.): Southern Vintage / Flowers: Lindsay Coletta / Venue: Vinewood Plantation / Cake & Desserts: Blooming Flour Bakery / Cake Table Styling: LeeAnn Hurd of Southern Flair Events / Design & Styling: Michaela Noelle Designs 


Now, don’t get me wrong here– my every day dining table looks nothing like this pretty set up! However, I do use these same styling tips to style my little dining table on a smaller scale. Hopefully you found something new to try in your home. You’ll be surprised how setting a table really does make you love your home more, being content with the space you have.

What are your go-to tablescape styling ideas?

Have a wonderful day!

Tips for Styling a Table



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  1. Seana Turner

    I’m typically more focused on function that form, but these are great tips. I also believe in using height to mix things up a bit, always thinking about what might need to be removed when we actually sit down to eat so we can see the others around the table. I like spreading a bunch of flowers out in tiny vases down the center of the table.

    • Michaela

      That’s a great way to do it, Seana! And yes– important to take into account the height of objects on the table, being careful not to block a view when guests are seated :)

  2. Ms. Maggie

    I worked to make my everyday tablescape nice too- lots of good salts and peppers on the lazy susan and nice place mats. Little flower vases too.

  3. Alexa~FurnishMyWay

    Love these tips! I’ve never been one to style a table for guests, but I’ve always been the guest who comes to a gorgeously styled table. Now, because of this post, I know how to fabulously style my own table for when I’m the hostess and I invite guest over! Great post!

  4. Seng

    This is gorgeous!!!!

  5. Neeta

    Simply stunning…lovely pictures and great ideas. Thank you!
    I love styling tables for social events at home, and one of my favorite idea is to create a focal point on the table. I do this usually with hand beaded table linens, something similar to the one here:

    It ends up being very non-intrusive, yet garners plenty of positive attention from all!

  6. Sarah

    I love a well dressed table, it makes a big occasion even more special and an ordinary meal a special occasion.

  7. Amy

    do you think it would be strange to always have a table cloth on the dining room table? I have a beautiful table, but it’s a little too “fancy” for my current tastes, and I was thinking I might like to keep it covered with a burlap table cloth.

  8. Clever Girl Reviews

    I agree! I prefer a low floral arrangement on the main table and varying heights on the buffet or kitchen island for drama.

  9. Nancy

    I love the ideas! Thanks.

  10. Martina

    Hi Michaela, totally agree it’s lovely when your guests spot their names on a place setting. It doesn’t have to be expensive or lavish either. I love to shop my house for things that will create interest yet be functional at the same time. Love your post, thanks for sharing the tips.

  11. SimpLeigh Organized

    Great tips! I love the idea of having textures and varying the heights on the table.

  12. Abbie

    My table is often only functional as the mama to four little ones – three to ten years old – but whenever I take the time to throw on a tablecloth, or placemats or candles it transforms our meal into a special everyday occasion. Conversation, manners and actual consuming of food are all better!

  13. teresa

    Nothing like a cute creative table …..wonderful ideas!
    Happy Day

  14. Gilly @ Colour Saturated Life

    I love pinning images of beautiful tablescapes! Wish my table could look like one of these all the time! Thanks for the tips Melissa!

  15. Tammi

    Where to start? For me, flowers are a go-to decorating feature. They easily transform the table into something casual, formal, or special occasion. I really love the different glass ware and dishes on your table. I will certainly work the “bar” into my backyard update — I love the wine barrel look!

  16. DIYHomeInterior

    Fabulous ideas. I actually found this post looking for tablescapes for my 2 year olds fairy tea party birthday she has this year. I love some of the samples you have like the chandelier outdoors…omg how cute is that. I love the cake table too. So many great ideas!

  17. Veronica Marks

    I love the tip to incorporate texture! That’s actually something I really struggle with in styling anything because I worry that the textures will not work together. However, I’ve found that when I just start including it, somehow it does usually make it all look much better! Thanks for the tips!


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