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10 Unique Holiday Ideas for Dining Room Table Centerpieces

By The Inside

As a gathering place for friends and family, the dining room table is a place where memories are made. We understand the important of creating a beautiful backdrop to enjoy delicious meals and intimate conversation – from the dining chairs to the table centerpiece. Elegance awaits.

How can I make my dining room look elegant?

We all dream of a dining room that looks effortlessly chic, with an understated elegance that still functions as a gathering place for your loved ones to enjoy a memorable meal and conversation. But the flawlessly styled (and expertly sourced) table decor in magazines and on Pinterest can be a little intimidating to recreate at home. Fortunately, there a few easy ways to channel your inner interior designer to achieve a dream dining room design.

Shop the look: Classic Dining Chair in Polo Green Cheetah

  • Start with the furniture: Your dining chairs and table are going to be the most impactful pieces in your dining space, so if you’re starting from scratch, start here.
  • Set the mood: Lighting is everything in your dining area – but often overlooked. Whether it’s a vintage chandelier or dining room wall sconces, ensure that the light source will achieve your desired mood (while avoiding anything too harsh).
  • Declutter: While it may seem obvious, the easiest way to infuse instant freshness into any space is to remove unneeded clutter. Formal dining tables – often reserved for the most special of occasions – can become an unfortunate collection point for all the things that don’t yet have a home elsewhere (looking at you, piles of mail). By freeing your dining space of clutter, it will feel instantly airier.
  • Be intentional about your centerpiece: The dining room table centerpieces should be anything but an afterthought! Consider the style/vibe you’re trying to achieve (either for the dinner party or for the space as a whole), and go from there…

How to do I choose a table centerpiece?

When it comes to picking a centerpiece for your dining table, there is no one right or wrong answer. There are multiple factors to consider, such as usage (is this an everyday kitchen table, or a formal dining table?), the occasion (are you planning for a specific event?) and style (are you working with a contemporary dining room, or more traditional?). Once you have the answers to a couple of these questions, let the decorating ideas and inspiration start flowing!

What is a good centerpiece for a dining room table?

Whether you’re styling a tablescape for an upcoming dinner party, or just looking for table decorations that elevate your existing home décor, this guide will help you pick the perfect table centerpiece for any situation – for either long or round tables.

Shop the look: Classic Dining Armchair in Navy Velvet and Lumbar Pillow in Limoges Bois de Chene

If it’s everyday…

  1. A low, oversized fruit bowl: If you’re working with a modern dining room vibe, position a low, oversized bowl that can house one type of fruit (for instance, all green apples or all lemons) in the center of your table. This will create an aesthetic that feels clean and refined.
  2. A sculptural statement vase: Similar to a single fruit bowl, choose one vase to serve as the standout centerpiece on your table. The key? Make sure it looks just as beautiful without flowers as it does with them.
  3. A woven basket or bowl: For a more rustic or farmhouse decor look and feel, opt for a low, woven basket or bowl that adds the perfect layer of texture and feels particularly handmade. A handmade ceramic bowl will create this same effect.
  4. A pair of candlesticks: If you’re drawn to a more traditional aesthetic (as many formal dining rooms are), consider a pair of beautiful candle holders with a vase in the middle of them. This gives the sense that you’re ready to entertain at any point, with the quick addition of candles and fresh flower arrangements.
  5. Repurposed books or sculptures: Choosing a centerpiece doesn’t mean you need to buy something new. You can just as easily curate a few items you already have in your home! We love an artful stack of books or a couple of medium- to large-scale sculptures if you’re looking for DIY table centerpiece ideas in a pinch.

If you’re entertaining…

  1. A monochromatic floral arrangement: For a modern vibe, stick with one consistent color for your floral centerpiece, like white tulips in glass vases. It’s even better if you your “everyday” vase centerpiece can stick around, and all you have to do is add the floral arrangements.
  2. Non-floral arrangements: When it comes to living centerpieces, most people think of flowers. But there are plenty of stunning ways to create an organic, natural vibe without using flowers. Small potted houseplants (such as succulents), baby ferns, cotton branches and dried wheat all make showstopper centerpieces.
  3. Hurricane lanterns: Feeling rustic? Pillar candles in various-sized hurricane lanterns really set a mood. Bonus if the lanterns are vintage.
  4. Lots of votives: If a candle centerpiece makes you feel extra cozy, you can’t go wrong with a bunch of votives. They’re affordable and can speak to any aesthetic if you want the rest of your tablescape to really pop.
  5. A holiday story: Think of your table almost like a stage and create a story that speaks to the holiday you’re sharing with family or friends. Don’t be afraid to be a little playful by pulling into nods to the time of year – such as sprigs of rosemary, holly berries or leftover Christmas tree branches for the winter season.

A few final tips:

Here’s to a little interior design 101 parting wisdom before setting you on your way to enjoying your inspired centerpieces just as much as the delicious meal…

  • If you’re leaning towards flowers, don’t try to incorporate fragrances. For instance, strong-smelling flowers like lilies can be off-putting when eating by messing with our sense of taste. Stick to flowers that look good but don’t have a super strong aroma.
  • Get inspired by going back in time. Researching different centerpieces through the decades of history is a fun way to create something that feels grounded yet reimagined.
  • If you don’t have a dining table, these design ideas can still work for you. Maybe you’re in a studio apartment, and you often eat at the coffee table in your living room. No problem – the same dining room ideas still apply!
  • Envision the entire tablescape: Your centerpiece should work with the rest of your tabletop décor – from the table runner or tablecloth, to the placemats and dining set. Think of your table as a holistic scheme.
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