What does your dining room table look like when you're not eating? If it's also your makeshift home office or a casual hangout spot, or if it feels a bit empty even with chairs and basic decorations, it might be a good idea to update its look.

Whether you use your dining area only for special occasions or for regular dinner parties, we've got some ideas and tips to help you create a dining space that you'll enjoy being in.

Ready to give it a makeover?

5 Tips to Help You Find the Perfect Dining Room Table Decor Pieces

The key to making your dining room table look great is choosing the right stuff. Here are some top tips, straight from the experts, on how to find the perfect decorations for your dining table and how to make it look stylish:

1. Look For Flexibility

"When it comes to decorating, we can sometimes feel confused by all the choices. For instance, we might think having just one vase is too plain and end up putting too many things, making it look messy.

I suggest keeping things that you can easily take away if you need more space," advised Karen Rohr in an interview with Living Cozy.

"A centerpiece that is both easy to move and useful is perfect," Karen added. "For example, a vase with fresh flowers or a bowl of fruit can make the table look nice, and you can quickly clear them away when it's time to eat.

Alternatively, a set of candleholders or a small arrangement of greenery can add a classy touch without getting in the way of the food."

2. Embrace Your Individuality

"You can express your unique style by decorating your dining table, whether you prefer a colorful and varied setup or a classy, traditional appearance," suggested Catherine Davin.

"Combine a tablecloth or runner with lovely placemats and napkins, and then choose your favorite glasses, china, and silverware to match."

"I prefer using a few yards of lovely cut fabric as my tablecloth and adding a centerpiece, such as fresh flowers or a mix of candlesticks. Keep it simple and avoid overcrowding.

Just pick a couple of special decor items to showcase on the table," Catherine concluded.

3. Choose A Theme

"When I begin to design a room, especially a dining room or table setup, I always think about the theme and the overall look I want to create.

Once I have a clear idea of the complete design, I start choosing pieces that go well together and work together to bring the vision to life, always keeping the end goal in mind," shared Wilfredo Emanuel.

To get inspired, explore the many design ideas available online and find a theme that you really like.

For instance, if you're into the modern farmhouse style, you now have a theme for your dining room design!

From there, pick one or two (or more) decorating ideas for the dining room and incorporate your favorite elements.

For instance, you could try making some DIY mason jar candleholders from one idea and pair them with a flower arrangement and a chandelier from another.

4. Consider The Space

"Your dining room is meant for having a good time and enjoying meals with your loved ones.

When picking out your dining table and chairs, make sure there are enough seats for everyone in your home and maybe a few extras if you have the space," recommended Alexandra Davin.

"Try to leave about 3 feet of space around the table on all sides, so you can easily move around and pull out chairs. If you're short on space, think about getting an extendable table to make the most of your dining area when you have guests."

"Allison Kersun adds that it's important to think about the size of the room before you start. Don't squeeze in a table and chairs that are too big for a small space; it'll just feel crowded," she said.

Instead, test out the measurements of the dining set you're thinking about by outlining the table and chairs with masking tape on the floor to make sure everything fits.

5. Think About Lighting

"Lighting is really important in a dining area, especially since you'll be using it mostly at night. I always go for bigger lights, and I suggest having them on a dimmer so you can adjust the mood," shared Julia Dempster.

"In this beach house [shown above], I went for large warm rattan fixtures from Gervasoni, and I matched them with wooden candle holders on the table. When the table isn't being used, I like to fill it with accessories of different heights.

For this table, I added two candles and a bunch of flowers to give it some height."

7 Dining Table Decor Ideas (And 30 Top Picks) from Professional Designers

1. Table Runners

"A table runner is a fantastic way to make your dining table look stylish and show off your personality," suggested Karen Rohr.

"They come in lots of colors, patterns, and fabrics, so you can easily find one that matches how your décor looks now. Table runners also keep your table safe from spills and scratches, and if you want to change things up, it's simple to switch them out for a new look."

1. Port Bleu Table Runner: This French country-style cotton table runner from Williams Sonoma is machine washable, has a soft texture, and comes in rustic colors. You can coordinate it effortlessly with other items from the Port Bleu linen collection. (Chosen by Karen Rohr)

2. Nectar Striped Table Runner: This woven cotton table runner from Anthropologie has a warm neutral palette, charming geometric patterns, and an inviting texture. (Chosen by Karen Rohr)

3. Dark Denim Runner: Made from premium reclaimed denim, this centerpiece runner from Atelier Saucier has a rich texture, making it a perfect fit for modern farmhouse-style dining table decor.

4. BADG Confetti Textured Table Runner: This lively table runner from Pottery Barn is part of the exclusive Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG) capsule collection. It's machine-washable and features space-dyed yarns with a neutral, bright palette. (Chosen by Karen Rohr)

2. Candles and Candle Holders

"There are so many choices for picking a candle holder to decorate your dining table.

You can go for a timeless, traditional holder or something more modern. You can also pick the size and shape of the holder depending on how many candles you want," explained Karen Rohr to Living Cozy.

"Candles are one of my top picks," said Wilfredo Emanuel. "They're not only a classic choice for tabletop designs, but you can use their light to make a romantic atmosphere or enhance the overall feel of the space."


1. Virginia Sin Collection Weylyn Candelabra Stoneware Ceramic White: This playful candle holder from West Elm has a natural texture and a creative twisted shape, providing space for four taper candles to add vibrancy to your tabletop. (Selected by Karen Rohr)

2. Claire Taper Holder: Exclusively from Z Gallerie, this candle holder features a sleek, modern shape and a striking dark green marble base.

It's ideal for adding height to your dining table decor, especially if you combine both the small and large sizes. (Selected by Karen Rohr)

3. Hammond Candlelight, Taper Holder: This West Elm single taper candle holder is available in small, medium, and large sizes. You have the option to purchase them individually or as a set of all three. (Selected by Karen Rohr)

4. Terra Pillar Candle Holder: This Anthropologie pillar candle tray, crafted from ceramic with a terracotta finish, offers "tall" and "squat" sizes. It's guaranteed to bring a cozy feel to any dining table decor arrangement.

"I really like these candle options from West Elm because they demonstrate how you can easily add your own style to your table design.

The Weylyn Candelabra is quirky and playful, while the Paradiso Taper Candle Holders are more timeless and sophisticated," remarked Alexandra Davin.

3. Sculptures

"Sculptures are a cool way to give your tabletop some character and make it stand out," said Wilfredo Emanuel.

Trendy sculptures always catch the eye, whether you're adding a central piece to your simple dining table setup or putting the final touch on your farmhouse table.

Plus, you can find sculptures for any occasion, be it an outdoor dining setting or a formal dinner party. So, pick a sculpture that reflects your style or personality to make your dining area as special as you are.

1. Daniels Tangled Table Object: This lively tabletop accent from Joss & Main is made of resin and features an eclectic style. Its captivating twisted design, formed from an unbroken band, almost invites you to reach out and trace the lines.

2. Kimball Sculpture: This Lulu and Georgia sculpture stands out with its ivory and ebony contrast, showcasing linked ricestone segments for a modern design that gives a nod to 60s style.

3. Aluminum Knot Sculpture: From Sagebrook Home on Overstock, this aluminum sculpture features a single looped strip of metal, creating a modern centerpiece that's sure to grab attention in various settings.

4. Acacia Wood Links Centerpiece: This centerpiece from Frontgate is hand-carved from acacia wood, boasting a natural finish and a generous size.

It showcases individual blocks of wood linked together in organic shapes, creating a simple yet whimsical appeal.

4. Trays

"A tray can be a fantastic way to keep everything neat on the dining table, giving a spot for placemats, coasters, and napkins. But it can also work as a great centerpiece," said Karen Rohr.

"By adding a few simple things, like candles or flowers, you can turn a tray into a piece of art. Plus, a tray helps protect the table from scratches and spills."

1. Delicious Medium Marble Tray: This Blu Dot tray is made from natural Carrara marble, and each piece has unique natural marks, giving a special touch to the practical surface. It's available in small, medium, and large sizes.

2. Footed Decorative Tray: Crafted from tropical hardwood with a black finish, this Anthropologie decorative tray has a deep bowl that's perfect for showcasing seasonal fruits and other dining table decor.

3. Spinnaker Tray: This Serena and Lily tray features woven rattan handles and a smooth ceramic base in white or navy finish. It's functional for serving food but stylish enough to stand out as a simple centerpiece.

4. Bend Tray: Made from steel by artisans in Minnesota, this versatile Room & Board tray has a sleek design that can match various styles and comes in your choice of charcoal or white finish.

5. Bowls

"You can also go for things that look good and are useful, like a bowl with fruits. A bowl filled with fresh fruits is a simple and affordable way to make your dining table look nice.

The fruit can add color and texture to your meals, or you can enjoy it as a healthy snack while it also acts as a centerpiece. You can choose a classic ceramic bowl, or maybe something more special like a hand-blown glass bowl," suggested Karen Rohr.

"A bowl filled with fresh fruits is a simple and affordable way to make your dining table look nice."

1. Craft Shop Clay Footed Bowl by Leanne Ford: This Crate and Barrel clay bowl is made from terracotta with a modern, matte taupe finish that can fit in with various decor styles, adding an artisanal look to your dining table. (Chosen by Karen Rohr)

2. Guzzini Recycled Tierra Oval Fruit Bowl: This eco-friendly bowl from Food52 is both practical and attractive, with neutral color options. Made in Italy from recycled water bottles, it's perfect for eco-friendly spaces. (Chosen by Karen Rohr)

3. Ayla Decorative Bowl: This onyx-stained bowl from Anthropologie is crafted from tropical hardwood, offering a subtle charm that can suit any space and various styles, adding an elegant touch.

4. Rubberwood Pedestal Serving Bowl: This rubberwood bowl by Threshold features an elegant pedestal-style base with a captivating silhouette and a natural wood finish, ideal for bringing texture, warmth, and visual interest to your table. (Chosen by Karen Rohr)

"Use a low vase or bowl as your centerpiece for cut flowers, so your guests can see each other across the table. I love the Whitewashed Compote Bowl because its earthy, whitewashed look would complement any color scheme," recommended Alexandra Davin to Living Cozy.

6. Vases

"Vases can add height to the table, even if they're empty. When you combine multiple vases, they can create interesting and beautiful arrangements.

Plus, when you fill them with flowers or other items, they add even more beauty to the room. If needed, you can move them to a sideboard to create a perfect background for a meal," explained Cameron Johnson.

"Placing a vase of flowers between two candles is a super-easy way to create a dining table centerpiece.

But, of course, a vase and two candles can also work as a focal point on the coffee table and kitchen table, creating a cohesive look in multiple rooms while using different flowers in each arrangement (e.g., hydrangeas, orchids, and tulips in separate rooms).

And if vases of flowers aren't your thing, try small succulent planters instead!"

1. Cezanne Glass Vase 3-Piece Set: This lovely set from Sage and Sill has three glass vases in attractive colors (small, medium, and large), perfect for adding height and beauty to your dining table decor.

2. 2-Piece White Ceramic Table Vase Set: This appealing duo from Joss & Main is inspired by Japanese wabi-sabi design, featuring a distressed neutral white finish and trumpet-shaped silhouettes with broad mouths.

3. Leonor Vase: Can't decide between a sculpture and a vase? This arched vase from Lulu and Georgia, handcrafted by Portuguese artisans in small and large sizes, has a creative design that allows the two sizes to nest together.

7. Decorative Place Settings

When getting ready for the holiday season or a dinner party, creating decorative place settings can make your table look really nice, whether you use them on their own or with other table decorations.

Pick placemats, napkins, napkin rings, and dinnerware that fit the theme you've chosen, coming up with creative combinations for a coordinated appearance.

Alternatively, you can look for sets from a brand you like that already have matching place settings.


1. Natural Bamboo 5pc Place Setting: Catherine Davin shares, "I recently got this bamboo flatware set from Juliska after admiring it for a long time. It adds a lot of character to a tablescape and can work in various decorative styles."

2. Coral Placemat: Joanna Buchanan says, "I love a standout napkin ring paired with an embroidered linen napkin to double the effect."

3. Zebra Placemat: Joanna Buchanan adds, "A hand-beaded placemat is the ultimate in luxury and will elevate any meal you plan to serve. I'm thinking squid ink pasta with scallops would be a perfect match for this placemat."

4. Eclipse Napkin Holder: This napkin holder has a mid-century modern design and is made from natural birch wood. It can provide a great visual contrast to any tabletop, and its sculptural composition is sure to bring the look to life.