This post is sponsored by Christmas Tree Shops and AndThat!. I’ll always share my honest opinions with you, and only partner with brands I truly love.
When springtime rolls around, I always get the urge to redecorate.
There’s just something about the changing seasons that seems to scream, “Out with the old, in with the new!”
One of my favorite rooms to refresh every season is our dining room. Why?
Because it’s so easy to play with new colors and patterns when it comes to table linens and dishware. It’s also a fun (and generally inexpensive!) way to bring new life to your dining space, and it’s a little project I can knock out in an afternoon.
For our most recent dining room refresh, I decided to stock up on fun, colorful dishware from my local AndThat! Store.
And wow, did it bring all kinds of sunshine-y vibes to our space!
How to decorate a dining table
Before I dive into what I snagged on my AndThat! shopping spree, I wanted to share my approach on how to decorate a dining table.
It’s pretty simple, actually.
But it’s worth sharing because I’ve heard so many friends say they don’t know where to start — or what items to include (and which ones to leave out) — when they decorate their dining table.
Here are my must-haves for decorating our dining room table:
- Table runner (some prefer a tablecloth, but I’m a table runner gal because I think our wood dining table adds character and warmth to the setting)
- Layered plates (by “layered” I mean at least a dinner plate and a salad plate stacked on top of one another)
- Bowls (to set atop of the layered plates)
- Small serving trays and/or bowls
- A simple centerpiece
I know that sounds like a lot of things to set on a table, but it’s the perfect mix of pieces to make your dining space feel inviting and interesting while still leaving plenty of space for, ya know, the food and drinks.
And if you can buy most of those items at really great prices like I did at AndThat!?
4 simple tips for creating an amazing table setting
Now for the million-dollar question: “How do I mix and match colors and patterns in a table setting?”
Let me start by saying that there’s no wrong way to do it.
You should mix and match your dishes and serveware and table linens until your heart’s content, and do it in a way that feels beautiful to you.
But if you want a quick little cheat sheet, here are the simple rules I follow when I’m creating a table setting in my own home:
Start with an “inspiration piece.” You’re probably thinking: What the heck is that? It’s something in your dining room — usually with some color, pattern and personality to it — that can serve as a starting point for your table “design.”
You’ll steal color cues from that piece, and it’ll guide what you wind up putting on your table.
In my dining room, my colorful dining chairs are always our inspiration piece!
Buy great basics. This is the stuff that’ll never go out of style, and can always be used in any table setting you create. I bought several lovely basics from AndThat!, including our gold chargers, simple white dinner plates and a woven jute table runner — all for an amazing price.
Those pieces worked perfectly here for our spring table, but I could easily use them at any time of year, and they go with pretty much any decor style. I especially love the woven table runner I got, because I’ve seen similar styles at other retailers that were far more expensive than what I paid at AndThat!.
Oh, and I snagged some classic white and blue striped dish towels as well during my shopping trip … and then used them in place of cloth napkins.
They were less expensive than a set of napkins, came in a classic blue and white combo, look great on my table and will inevitably come in handy when one of my kids spills something.
Have fun with your dishware! This is where that inspiration piece comes into play. Look at the colors and patterns in it, and translate that into your salad plates and bowls and serving dishes and more.
Most importantly, have some fun with this part.
Because my dining chairs are so bold and cheerful, I leaned into those happy vibes when I bought my dishware — I picked up pretty yellow salad plates (they were two for $6 — what a steal) and cobalt blue bowls from AndThat! which paired so beautifully with that fun chair fabric.
Decorate down the “runway.” The “runway” is my term for the middle of your table. Fill in that space as much as you can while still leaving room for your serving dishes.
Here I used a trio of pretty lavender and cream vases filled with tulips, as well as small yellow and white spice bowls, all purchased at AndThat!.
I’m obsessed with those vases … would you believe they were just $10 each?!
How to save money on dining table decorations
While I love setting a beautiful table for my family and friends, I’m generally not one to splurge on dishware and linens.
In fact, my approach is usually the opposite — because let’s be real, investing in expensive china with toddlers around feels like a decision I’d regret later.
To save money on dining table decorations — and minimize any tears I would’ve shed over a shattered set of high-end salad plates — I usually:
- Purchase a few staples in neutral colors. Think white dinner plates and gold chargers, like I mentioned above.
- Stick to one or two color palettes when shopping for dishware and linens. Sure, there are so many colors and patterns you could choose, but deciding on one or two color palettes for your table gives you some parameters to stick to when shopping.
- Go for a simple centerpiece. Think a trio of vases or a bowl filled with fresh oranges. And leave a bit of open space so that guests can see around said centerpiece.
- Embrace melamine. I’m sure there are plenty of designers out there who’d scoff at this suggestion, but I personally love melamine dishware for so many reasons. Not only is it generally less expensive than china, but it’s also kid-resistant. And that’s a big plus in my book! AndThat! has some great melamine dishware options.
Refreshing your dining table is a fun and easy way to decorate for a new season … and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or expensive!
What’s your favorite tip for sprucing up your dining space? Tell me below!