5 Everyday Table Setting Ideas That Will Wow The Whole Family

Saffron Marigold - Updated: May 11, 2022

Setting your table for the day should take no more than five minutes—ideally, that is. Special occasions might call for your porcelain set and heirloom flatware, but on most days, you want an everyday table setting idea that’s both stylish and time-saving. For folks who love to style the dining table, but are usually pinched for time, try these everyday table setting ideas. The best part is you can dress these table spreads up or down with other accents.

What makes a table setting casual yet elegant?

A table setting is casual, but elevated when you take a few elements of a formal dinner setting and inject a bit of personality into the arrangement. This might look like leaving out the soup spoon, dessert spoon, and salad fork, and instead using just a fork, spoon, and knife.

A casual everyday table setting idea is further made elegant when you use table napkins with coordinating table runners, table cloths, or even kitchen curtains. Additionally, introducing a table centerpiece is such a simple, but impactful move when you want to keep it family-friendly but fashionable.

Another small touch you might incorporate is a napkin ring set. It takes just a minute or two to place them around your cloth napkins, and when you’re feeling fancy, you can go all out with different napkin folds such as a fleur de lis, bow, or leaf.

Five everyday table setting ideas to impress the family

Setting the dinner table every night means you might settle for ordinary tablecloths, dinnerware, and placemats in the name of functionality. After all, you don’t want to use your finest china for dinner seven nights a week. But make no mistake—there are plenty of extraordinary everyday table setting ideas that prioritize both form and function.

1. Provence French

Make your dining room feel like a Southern French town with traditional tablecloth designs and authentic touches.

A round tablecloth in a French Provence design with turquoise, purple, and blue on a deep cream ground with a tea set on top
Morning Dew ~ French Country Provence Yellow Round Tablecloth

Our Morning Dew collection captures the carefree, effortlessly graceful style in this French region. Plenty of florals, pastel tones, plus elegant accents like our Kapula dinner candles transform your table setting from humble cottage to exquisite resort.

A long, brown, French wicker basket for bread lined with a cotton fabric covered in fruits, flowers, and leaves
Au Bon Gout Boutique

Lu Cluny, Monaco Cream French Provence Bread Basket

For meals with all-you-can-eat, freshly made bread, this cotton-lined wicker basket is a fitting serving container. The quaint, cotton fabric features flowers, fruits, and leaves in purple, blue, and green with ivory pillars.

A centerpiece with ranunculus, peonies, roses, and decorative branches in a white vase on a white, distressed wood surface
The Mint Julep

Medium Centerpiece

Overflowing with vibrant ranunculus, peonies, roses, and decorative branches, this centerpiece brings life to the muted pastels in Morning Dew. The arrangement adds a freshness to your table setting, no matter the time of day.

2. Unexpected prints

Seize the opportunity to play with patterns and unexpected color schemes to impress the family at meal time.

Paisley Au Lait round tablecloth featuring black paisley motifs on a white cotton background covering a dark brown table
Paisley Au Lait ~ Black and White Round Paisley Tablecloth

Paisley Au Lait is truly one of a kind with its generously spaced black paisley motifs bordered by an elegant border, all on a milky white backdrop. Pair it with the Spice Route dinner napkins and Vanilla Glace placemats for an inventive pattern mix.

Black and white porcelain set with fine white lines, including serving bowls, platters, bowls, plates, and cups

Black With White Lines Set

Made of porcelain and glazed in black and white, these plates and bowls are a perfect match for the black-and-white Paisley table cloth. The matching colors as your table cover keep the striped pattern in harmony with your paisleys and florals.

A closeup of six black, beaded napkin rings arranged in a pyramid structure against a white background

Rangeene Handmade Finely Beaded Black Dinner Napkin Rings

These beaded napkin rings in black are available in sets of 4, 6, 8, or 12. Simple, but impeccably made, it’s thoughtful details like these that will show off your styling skills to the whole family.

3. Fit for a king

Royal-inspired dining sets don’t have to be limited to plain porcelain, shiny crystals, and gilded silverware. Oftentimes, regal is an attitude, which you can convey with more practical and family-friendly materials.

A picture of Memories of Shalimar rectangle table cloth in a warm green with chocolate, gold, and navy blue accents
Memories of Shalimar ~ Asian Indian Green Gold Table Cloths

Just take a look at the Memories of Shalimar tablecloth, inspired by the palatial gardens in Lahore. It exudes a stately air, yet it does not fight for your attention. Paired with warm, homey accents, it’s the perfect base for a family dining setting.

A stainless steel and copper-covered Indian dinnerware set with a serving tray, four bowls, a cup, and flatware

Stainless Steel Copper Dinnerware Traditional Dinner Set for Indian Food

This traditional Indian dinner set is a hit for any household, especially for those who love sides and soups. The copper and stainless steel materials are suitable for everyday use, and are less likely to get damaged than, say, ceramic or glass—a bonus for homes with kids!

A floral arrangement  in a clear vase of white and pink lilies with leaves, buds, and blooms on a brown table

Calla Lily & Rubrum Lily Silk Flower Arrangement

This 22-inch vase with clear, acrylic water holds white and pink lilies you might find on an afternoon stroll around Shalimar Gardens. Set atop your green tablecloth, this centerpiece brings cheerfulness to every meal.

4. Jewel-toned table setting

For dining rooms with darker wood furnishings, this jewel-toned table setting meshes well with your current setup.

A festive table runner, Ruby Kilim, with black and cream accents on a medium-brown table with a metal centerpiece vase
Ruby Kilim ~ Festive Elegant Red Table Runner

Ruby Kilim may be festive, but it works as an everyday table runner, bringing excitement to your bare dining table. Pair it with turquoise accents for a complementary color scheme.

A ruby red dinnerware set with turquoise centers set against a red backdrop next to a candle holder and white candle

Ruby Red Starry 12 Piece Dinnerware Set

This stoneware set features a ruby red that fades into a turquoise for a beautiful dinner set that perfectly matches the ruby red in Ruby Kilim. Each kiln-fired collection differs in color and graduation, thanks to a handmade approach.

A set of four beaded napkin rings made of turquoise, brass, and brown beads positioned against a white background
Hudson & Vine

Fianna Turquoise Mix Napkin Rings Set/4

These handmade glass beads from India can be used with any size table napkin. Again, you can incorporate turquoise into the mix, plus warm accents like brass and brown to acknowledge Ruby Kilim’s rustic charm.

5. Hobbit banquet

Host a Hobbit-inspired meal from breakfast to supper with nature motifs and organic materials.

A blue and green table runner inspired by woodland ferns with matching turquoise, lavender, and pink pastel cups and vase
Woodland Ferns ~ Table Runner

Woodland Ferns brings you to a verdant landscape with forest creatures chattering in the background. Like The Shire from Tolkien’s famed Middle-earth, a Hobbit-inspired table setting is full of life’s simple pleasures.

Three glazed and shiny blue and purple gradient goblets, two upright and one on its side against a deep cream background
Uncommon Goods

Ceramic Wine Goblet

Compared to glass or silver metal, these stoneware goblets bring warmrth to your table setting. Use it for serving chilled wine at dinner, or to keep red wine from turning lukewarm. Make sure to take one in every color to bring out the blues and greens in Woodland Ferns.

A raw, brown, wooden trivet with six, dark brown leaf sketches on its right plus a hanging hole and loop on the trivet’s top
The National Wildlife Federation

Nordic Wood Trivet – Leaves

Take inspiration from the wood-heavy furnishings of a Hobbit Hole with this wooden trivet adorned with leaf sketches. Keep a few on the dinner table when serving hot dishes to protect your surfaces from heat damage.

Flatware and dinnerware everyday table setting ideas

A formal dinnerware setting is rarely necessary, unless you’re hosting an evening soiree or a formal reception. For everyday use, a basic or casual table setting will more than suffice.

The bare minimum

For busy bees or those who want to streamline the table setting experience, a basic table setting may be the way to go.

  • Placemat and napkin
  • Dinner plate
  • Fork, knife, spoon
  • Drinking glass

A happy medium

For more casual table settings or for dinner courses that include appetizers and drinks other than water, this upgraded table setting is a great alternative.

  • Placemat and napkin
  • Fork, knife, spoon, and soup spoon
  • Soup bowl, salad plate, and dinner plate
  • Water glass and wine glass

Additional ideas for an elegant, everyday table setting

There are many ways to keep your table setting relaxed, yet undoubtedly tasteful.

1. Keep the table cloth or runner on

Others might suggest skipping the tablecloth or table runner, but even with casual settings, these covers take your arrangement above and beyond. Plus, washable fabrics like cotton can also be spot-cleaned if you have a weekly washing schedule.

2. Install dimmable lights

A pendant light or low-hanging chandelier with a dimmable feature can help set the ambiance at your dining table. Exposed bulbs, caged pendants, and modern candelabra chandeliers are especially stunning.

3. Use seasonal decor

Switch it up monthly by incorporating seasonal elements into your table setting. Think, pumpkins and gourds during fall, freshly cut flowers during spring and summer, and foraged pinecones and evergreen branches during winter.

4. Personalize place cards

This accent is usually reserved for wedding receptions and banquets, but at home, it’s a thoughtful touch that enhances your casual table setting. Some ideas include laser-cut wood name cards, painted porcelain cards, or custom acrylic place cards.

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