How to Set the Perfect Holiday Table

Setting a table may seem intimidating, but every tablesetting is truly broken down into 5 steps. Even the most extravagant tablescapes follow these steps. Once you understand the form of a good table, you can start getting more creative with color, florals, or patterns.


Table linens are your base. You don’t necessarily need a tablecloth, but it tends to create a warmer and more layered look. When hosting a dinner, cloth napkins are a must. They are an inexpensive investment that any host or hostess has on hand. Lay them between the salad and dinner plate, tie them in a simple knot and place on the plate, or use a napkin ring.


You do not need flashy or expensive plates to have a beautiful table setting. My tried and true look is an Ikea dinner plate, with a patterned vintage salad plate. I have found so many gorgeous plates at thrift stores, I am not sure how Anthro is still in business! But I know many of us are shopping from home, so here are some great online options.


Depending on the occasion, you can simply do a water glass or a combination of water glass and spirit glassware. A pretty classic tablesetting is a water glass and a wine glass. These don’t have to break the bank. I have also seen many tables with mismatched glasses, and it looked great. Don’t overthink it.


You saw this coming, right? But hopefully, you are realizing how simple this is! Depending on how formal or how many courses, you may put out the full set. Don’t feel pressured to put out a fork and a knife though, if you are serving a simple soup and bread. You can google flatware placement, so I won’t bore you with that. This to me is also a must. Once you move out of your parent’s, buy some flatware. There is a time and a place for plasticware, and it’s not when you’re hosting a dinner.

Centerpieces (The Fun Stuff)

You made it! This is the best part, where you can let your personality shine. I will reiterate, a centerpiece is only as good as the tablesetting around it. This brings in the wow factor. I like a combination of candles and florals. I have a neutral pair of candlestick holders that I use for any dinner. But if you want something colorful or holiday specific, this is the space to go for it!

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