Contemporary Table Setting 

Need to revamp your Christmas dinner table setup? We've narrowed down a few simple tips to get a modern feel to really impress your guests. Use these tips all year round for dinner parties and other occasions! 

China + Glasses 

There's no need to match plates and glasses, mix up your colours and textures to create interest and spark conversation. You don't have to spend a fortune on fine china to create an amazing dinner table... the key? Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! Here's a few tips to setting your china and glasses:

  • Stack your plates! Stack a dinner plate followed by the salad plate and finally the soup bowl. 
  • Frame your setup. Using placemats or chargers are a great way to frame your plates. This also an opportunity to get creative! Try using decorative paper or even leaves under your plates. 
  • Group your drink-ware. An array of glasses may be used for a formal setting: one for water, one for white wine, and one for red wine. Don't have matching glasses? Playing mismatch is a perfect way to add flare to your table. 
  • Get creative with silverware. Whether it be as simple as tying your cutlery together with twine or using a fancy napkin folding technique, silverware is the opportunity to add the finishing touches that ties each place setting together. 

Tips to playing mismatch: Make sure something ties the elements together such as complimentary proportions or similar lines. Remember while colour scheme can be important, a strictly followed colour scheme can easily become overbearing.

Table Linens 

Coloured and textured linens are a great way to wow your guests. Essentials include: 

  • Table runners. Add a contemporary feel to your table with a simple table runner, especially if you don't want to cover a beautiful wood table or glass top. 
  • Table cloths. While not necessary, table cloths can add a base to your colour scheme. This is especially useful for holidays. 
  • Napkins. Don't underestimate the impact cloth napkins can add to the table. Unique folding patterns can add a formal ambience, see the linked video for different folding techniques. 
  • Placemats. Try using materials that can be easily wiped with a damp cloth such as woven treated cotton. Play around with using shapes other than rectangular placemats, such as breaking up an angular table setting with circular placemats. 


The focal point of your table! Centrepieces add a visual mood to your event and tie your theme together. Here's a few tips to consider when deciding on a centrepiece: 

  • Keep your pieces low and narrow. High pieces can block your guests from engaging. Allow 14 inches on each side of centrepieces for place settings. Subtract 28 inches from the width of your table, what is left is your available space for centrepieces. 
  • Less is more. Sometimes a simple fresh sprig from the garden will do, remember that you don't want to overwhelm your guests. 

Decorative Items 

Add a personal touch to your table with decorative items. This can include candles, colourful vases, and holiday related items. 


Have your own tips? Leave a comment below!