Gifting & Holiday

Tips for Setting a Beautiful Table

December 16, 2022

Whether it’s your turn to cook or set the table, we have a few tips for creating a gorgeous space where everyone can enjoy your holiday meal.

Table Linens

Of course we’re starting with table linens, as they set the base for your tablescape. If you’re putting heirloom linens on the table, we have a special post on Caring for Vintage Table Linens just for you! For non-vintage linens you can spot treat, wash in a basin, or launder in the washing machine - all with Eucalan. Napkins or tablecloths with embroidery will require a little TLC, especially if you’re planning to iron them – check out our post on Caring for Embroidered Pieces for more details. Even if you decide against a table cloth in favour of more informal dining, adding cloth napkins to the table will give your scene a warm, homey touch.

Row of mismatched table settings across a dining table.

Dishes and Utensils

If you’re worrying because you don’t have matching tablewares for the guests you’re expecting, stop! Some of the most beautiful tables can be set with mismatched dishes. Select a colour or shape and loosely build on that theme. Stack dishes in layers (think chargers, dinner plates, salad plates) to create visual interest. If you don’t have enough flatware, consider mixing and matching there as well. Do make sure you include enough dishes and flatware to cover the courses you will be serving (don’t forget the dessert forks and spoons for coffee) or plan to clear the table and switch for new dishes between each one. We love the tips found in this Hostess with the Mostest post.

Place Settings

Once you’ve laid your linens, dishes, and flatware, it’s time to dress up each place setting. You might choose to do this with fancy napkin adornments, or by adding fun place cards at each setting. For little ones, try adding activities at each place setting to keep children entertained throughout the meal. Try the dollar store for mini blank note books and coloured pencils, or get crafty making Christmas crackers. Again, go back to the colour or theme you have chosen and select adornments that complement the table. We just love this unique place card holder from House of Hargrove.

Top of a dresser aesthetically stacked with books, trinkets, and candles.


The world is your oyster as you create a focal point for your table! You could lay a table runner, and create a centrepiece that runs the length of the table. Or, add fresh seasonal flowers to instantly brighten up the scene. If you’re looking for a bit more ambiance, add candles to the table to create an intimate dining atmosphere – we love the luminaries featured at Today’s Creative Life.

Add pizzaz by stacking trinkets from around your home, like the figurines, and ribbon spools above. Sneak them into the tabletop arrangement to spark magic and maybe even giggles. 

Our final note isn’t a tip about creating a beautiful table, but on how to clean up after you host that amazing dinner. In How to Remove Common Party Stains, we delve into what to do just in case dinner gets sloshed or spilled on your table linens or carpets!

We hope these tips help you create the holiday table of your dreams this year. Need more inspiration? We have a Pinterest board full of great ideas for festive Table Settings and Tablescapes.

Like this post? Pin it!

Related Articles