Since it's the first place the eye is drawn when people enter the room, you'll want to decorate your kitchen table to show off your style to guests. Striking the perfect balance between chic and homey means choosing the right accents, which is easier said than done. For help, read on to get a breakdown of the decor options and how to select the best one for you.
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Decorating a kitchen table involves the following:
- Deciding if you want to add place mats or a tablecloth and picking the right one for your table
- Choosing a centerpiece if you want one
- Finally, making sure everything's arranged just right
The catch is you need to consider shape and style when trying to pick out decorations for your kitchen table, which makes things a little more complicated than simply buying whatever you like. Worry not, though! This guide walks you through popular decor items and how those complement the style of the room, as well as the shape of the table.
Place Mats, Tablecloths, and More
Deciding whether you want to add a cover to your table can depend on many factors. Perhaps you have a rustic-style kitchen, for example, and a wooden table with a beautiful, natural finish. In that case, leaving the table bare is often the best choice.
Using a cover can be a seasonal thing, as well. There's no harm in leaving the kitchen table be for most of the year only to break out mats for special occasions. If that appeals to you, gourd-themed place mats are perfect autumn. For the month of December, you'll want something more like these festive plaid DII holiday place mats from Amazon.
Some people—and this works best for families with children—can even choose to get a transparent cover under which they place a map or other fun, educational tool. To do what's best for your table, follow some of these helpful guidelines.
How to decorate a round table
The incredible thing about round tables is the way they foster intimacy. You can bring everyone together at a circular or ovular table. Of course, because everybody's so cozy, place mats tend to look out of place. Oftentimes, their edges overlap, tipping the scale from intimate into the cramped territory.
Therefore, if you decide you want a cover, go with a tablecloth. For a classic look, you can't go wrong with this lovely,durable ivory Gee Di Moda tablecloth, found on Amazon.
To get a modern style kitchen table, choose a bold color, preferably one that highlights an accent from around the room.
How to decorate a rectangular table
Square and rectangular tables are a bit more versatile in this regard. Placemats work perfectly for either shape, as do tablecloths. All you have to do to strike the right style notes is to consider the material. For example, woven placemats, like these braided kilofly pieces from Amazon here, look great in a country cottage kitchen, while cotton brings in the elegance of traditional style.
Runners are another option, though they tend to look more natural on rectangular tables than perfectly square pieces. You can use one on its own that complements the wood grain of your table or play with contrast and add a tablecloth underneath.
Centerpieces are the perfect way to add a bit of pizzazz without overwhelming the eye. Some items commonly used for decorating a kitchen table include:
- Flowers or greenery
Versatile accents, candles can complement any shape of the table and any style of kitchen. This is because the way they're placed and the type of candle holder you use have an effect on their aesthetic.
For example, a symmetrical and minimalist setup, where you have one candlestick both right and left of center, creates an instantly classic look. One that looks best on a rectangular table, it should be noted. To get a contemporary aesthetic on any shape of table, you can group three candles of varying heights together in the center.
Elegance can be achieved with crystal stands, while a more playful look is easy to achieve with tea light holders, like this adorable Kate Aspen set you can get here from Amazon.
Like candles, bowls can be used to complement different aesthetics as needed. However, due to their size and shape, they're not quite as versatile. They tend to look peculiar when paired with small round or square tables. For best results, use this particular centerpiece on an oval or rectangle kitchen table.
So what exactly should one put in a centerpiece bowl? Well, it mostly depends on—you guessed it—the style of your kitchen.
Bold and colorful fruits, for example, complement traditional kitchens. Colorful glass pebbles, on the other hand, tend to strike a modern aesthetic. Potpourri and seashells can be classic, while decorative woven balls favor the contemporary end of the decor spectrum.
Flowers or Greenery
The great thing about bringing elements of nature into your home is that they fit easily into classic or contemporary designs. In other words, they look good no matter what.
For a refreshing, classic accent, get a full-bodied vase and place a bouquet inside. If you want something more modern, get a garland of greenery and place a single, thick candle in the middle of it. You could even use the petals of flowers by themselves or an unassuming touch of color or scatter them around a candle arrangement for an elegant aesthetic.
This type of centerpiece could easily be appropriate for any shape of the table, though it depends largely on the size of the vase or wreath. Simply be mindful of how much space the floral arrangement takes up and let that be your guide for what's appropriate.
The most important thing about covers and centerpieces is making sure they don't interfere with your guests' or family's comfort. This means picking tablecloths that are the perfect length—you don't want them getting caught under chair legs—and keeping centerpieces out of people's eye lines.
If you want your centerpiece right in the middle of the table, make sure it's low and unobtrusive or tall and thin. On the other hand, if you want to have two vases of flowers or several candlesticks, make sure they're positioned in between place settings.
Personal Preference is the Most Important Consideration
Like with all things decor-related, personal preference is important when decorating a kitchen table. While design principles offer tried and true guidelines, you shouldn’t be afraid to push the envelope if you like the way something looks. At the very least, a creative centerpiece can serve as an interesting conversation starter next time you host a dinner party.
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