Posted by Sonni Wilson in Home Design

If you plan on hosting family or friends at your home for an upcoming momentous occasion, you need an appropriate theme, great food, and decorations that showcase your design flair.

You’ll be sure to impress with these tablescape decorating ideas for every season.

Fancy Table Setting

Simple Tablescape Ideas

If you’re relatively new to formal dining room décor, it’s best to start simple. Here’s our go-to combo for classic dining room accoutrements:

  • Solid, understated linens and table runner
  • Basic greenery
  • Simple white plates
  • Wine glasses and simple water glasses
  • Gold cutlery (silver works great too if that’s what you already have on-hand)
  • An effective centerpiece

Invest in these pieces bit by bit from your favorite home décor store and you’ll be ready for your first fancy dinner party!

Basic Tablescape

Seasonal Tablescape Ideas

For the different seasons and holidays, you can stick to the typical color schemes and themes, but we’d recommend branching out and finding your own unique style to make your décor personalized and your holidays memorable!

Winter Tablescapes

A mix of black-and-white, patterned linens and a few decorative pops of color can really liven up your winter-themed dining table. For formal dining throughout the season, bring out your fancier plates/China and serving dishes.

Here’s our recipe for show-stopping winter dining table décor:

  • Patterned, black or white tablecloth or runner
  • Metallic, white, black, or holiday-colored plates with matching glasses and cups
  • Occasion cloth napkins with aromatic or decorative napkin holders
  • Wood cutlery
  • Winter-themed centerpiece:
    • Lanterns and pinecones
    • Winter greenery such as boughs, eucalyptus, and red berries
    • Candelabra surrounded with garland
Winter Table Setting

Spring Tablescapes

Come spring, lighten up your décor with browns mixed with pastels such as robin’s egg blue or dusty pink, and opt for blossoming branches or springy bouquets as your centerpiece.

Here’s what else you’ll need:

  • Subtly patterned tablecloth or runner in blue, white, or light brown
  • White or light-colored plates and dishes
  • Textured drinking glasses
  • Solid-colored, pastel napkins
  • Burlap or jute placemats
  • Simple, basic cutlery
  • Centerpiece of spring flowers and bunny or bird décor pieces
Spring Table Setting

If you want to find a more sophisticated spring centerpiece, try a bohemian table runner with a large flower arrangement or bare branches for an understated, yet elevated look.

Summer Tablescapes

Summer is a great time to play with bold colors or patterns and introduce an almost resort-like feel to your dining area.

Here’s what your table can use for a fun take on summery colors:

  • Neutral-toned table runner
  • Layered plates with a marbled or vibrant color combination
  • Colored glasses (clear works if that’s what you have)
  • Silver cutlery
  • Orange and yellow floral arrangement and wooden décor pieces for the centerpiece
Blue Table Setting

Fall Tablescapes

Bring out all the natural beauty of autumn with plenty of flowers and understated dinnerware. Nail this autumn look with the following components:

  • Bare table—no cloth or runner
  • Rust or neutral-colored napkins
  • Textured, rustic-looking plates
  • Mason jars for glasses, stemless wine glasses
  • Wood-accent cutlery
  • Scattered leaves, acorns, and branches or stems in place of a runner
  • Tiered centerpiece with candles, sunflowers with baby’s breath or other filler, and pumpkins
Autumnal Table Setting

Rustic Tablescape Ideas

The rustic table look works perfectly if you have a natural wood table and other similar décor throughout your home. The key is not to go overboard, but rather enhance the existing pieces and colors with a few additions.

We recommend burlap, twine, or other similar textures for the table runner and linens. Don’t add a tablecloth since you want to really showcase your table’s grain.

Keep the rest of the pieces fairly simple, but not a stark contrast from the other colors. To blend in with the brown and tan tones throughout, find an off-white or cream set of plates and dishes rather than true white.

If you’re up for a little creative challenge, try your hand at a DIY table setting or centerpiece to add a bit of personalization to the rustic theme.

Rustic, Brown Table Setting

Outdoor Tablescape Ideas

A successful al fresco dining experience includes linens, dishes, and decorative pieces that fit the lovely outdoor setting.

While you probably won’t want to bring your nicest dishes outside, you can find plenty of pretty outdoor dining pieces that will still make for a beautiful, holistic design.

If you choose solid dishes, find a patterned linen and napkin set to adorn your table. (If you find patterned dishes, stick to solid linens.)

We’re big fans of carrying through themes of nature to your outdoor dining table—think freshly cut flowers from your own garden or outdoor candles that double as bug protection and cozy lighting!

Natural Table Setting With Wood Plate and Striped Linens

From birthday parties to engagement parties and everything in between, your guests will feel loved and appreciated in your beautifully decorated home. Get more of our pro tips for hosting guests!


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Sonni Wilson


As part of the M/I Homes Design team in Raleigh, Sonni has been using her design and customer service background to help clients through the selections process since 2016. It’s her belief that the design experience should be fun and enjoyable, and connecting with those she’s helping is the best part of the job. When not working Sonni enjoys time in the great outdoors, thrifting for vintage finds, creating art, and traveling.

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