40+ Table-Setting Ideas For Literally Every Occasion

New day, new table setting.

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Mark D. Sikes

Whether it's an average weeknight dinner or a festive holiday feast, you're going to need to set your table, so make sure it's as chic as it could possibly be. You could go out and buy new themed linens and dinnerware, or just use some of these creative tips to make your old stuff look fresh. No matter what the occasion is, you'll find a tablescape on this list.

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Emily Suvanvej
Casual

Pretty up a spontaneous get-together with color, pattern, and crazy cool texture. Family dinners never looked so cool.

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CQ
Jewel-Toned

Pick rich gemstone hues to balance out geometric elements. Graphic black-and-white stripes are grounding against the bright colors.

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Francesco Lagnese
Mix It Up

Try patterned tablecloths, palm leaves as placemats, and rattan chargers for layers of texture and color.

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carolyn roehm fall tablescape
Robert Millman
Fall Feels

Transform a summery scheme after the weather turns by adding fiery blooms. Autumnal colors pop against a blue and white tablecloth.

More: 15 Genius Ways to Decorate Your Fall Table

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house of brinson tablescape
William Brinson
Back To Nature

Bring in the outdoors by pairing potted plants with fresh bouquets. It looks even more earthy against a wood table.

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Amy Neunsinger
Pattern Play

This room's Moroccan-style wallpaper inspired the patterned plates and textiles.

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Alison Gootee
Tropical Punch

Add gilded pineapples and palm baubles on your table and you can practically feel the island breeze.

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Alanna Hale
Industrial, But Still Formal

Swap kitchen chairs for colorful stools to give a dining space a cool, industrial vibe.

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One Kings Lane
Low-Key

This spring party is simultaneously casual and elegant. Showcase vintage bottles as bud vases and up the relaxed vibe by skipping napkin rings and stemmed wine glasses.

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alessandra branca tablescape
Kana Okada
'merica

A red, white, and blue color scheme doesn't feel too kitschy set against a bold wallpaper in an opposing color.

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Emily Suvanvej
Formal

If you're dressing up for the occasion, don't forget to deck out the table the same way. Pull out all the stops: stemmed glassware, elaborate centerpieces, and obvi, your fancy china.

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Jeremy Harwell
Secret Garden

Branch candlesticks, plants, and nature-inspired china, napkins and placemats bring a table to life.

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Look online (and in thrift shops) for beautiful sets of antique china and silver flatware sold for less than a contemporary place setting. They often feel more special to guests than a brand-new one.
Francesco Lagnese
Vintage Vibes

Before splurging on contemporary place settings, look online (and in thrift shops) for unique sets of antique china and silver flatware.

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white flower arrangement on dining room table
Eric Piasecki
Flower Power

Novice florists can nail a bouquet by choosing monochromatic blooms and a matching vase.

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CQ
The Writings On The Wall

Writing your own place cards is a super quick and easy way to make your formal table feel inviting.

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malachite tablescape
Kana Okada
Such Great Heights

Go ahead and play up height, but keep anything tall thin so nobody's view is blocked.

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Emily Suvanvej
Colorful

Pack a visual punch without looking like a box of crayons threw up on your table. We've got all the inspo you need right here.

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tropical brunch tablescape
Alberto Bartolomei
The Bold, The Blue, The Beautiful

This whimsical tablescape is colorful enough to wake everyone up for Sunday brunch.

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STEPHEN KARLISCH
Loving Him Was Red

Rattan chargers and clear blue goblets add some contrast to this bold red table setting.

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TREVOR TONDRO
Pretty in Pink

Here's how to set a table Elle Woods would die over.

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flower arranging
Aimee Herring
Orange Crush

This orange table is made for fall. To change it up, skip a multicolor bouquet and use single blossoms in several vases of different heights.

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LUCY SCHAEFFER
Purple People Eater
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Ingalls Photography
Pink & Patterned

All pink everything can feel a little too Pepto Bismal-esque, so choose patterned napkins and a tablecloth to add some dimension.

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Emily Suvanvej
Buffet

Hostessing is hard enough — cut out complicated serving rituals and have guests help themselves to whatever's on the menu.

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nicholas manville tablescape
Kana Okada
Marble Marvel

Just when you thought a buffet could never be chic.

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susanna salk entertaining
Beatriz da Costa
Grab and Go

Nothing beats the simplicity of a help-yourself set-up.Stack cloth napkins and fill a caddy with silverware. Use white serving platters for an easy yet cohesive look.

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Emily Suvanvej
Outdoor

When the weather's right, alfresco dining beats the stuffy indoors any day. Get inspired by these sunlit spaces.

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outdoor summer tablescape
Tec Petaja
What Dreams Are Made Of

Woven placemats, blue-and-white dinnerware, and softly-lit bulbs overhead add to the dreaminess of this outdoor table setting.

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Abigail Bobo
Picnic Goals

Logs from fallen trees form the chair backs for an outdoor brunch. It's maybe the most Insta-perfect picnic we've ever seen.

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outdoor terrace tablescape
Bjorn Wallander
Coastal Cool

The terrace at this Bahamian home is a favorite spot for dining with family and friends. The table is geared toward island life, with tropical plants, shells, and lots of blue and white.

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