5 Steps to Elegant Table Decor

5 Steps to Elegant Table Decor

Creating a tablescape for any event can be a daunting task. But, there are some secrets designers use to pull off those gorgeous tables we see all over Pinterest.

Breaking the process down into steps can take you from staring at the empty table with a blank look on your face to a confident hostess who can relax and focus on her guests.

Speaking of hosting, I will be hosting Easter at my house this year for the extended family. For so many years, my mother would host most of the holidays. But, I see her tire more easily and I feel the torch being passed to me as the new matron of the family.

A serious job, indeed.

One that I love.

Actually, even when she would host, I always got assigned the table decor. So, I have been doing all the holiday table decorating since high school.

Here is the process I use each time and it seems to be a dependable formula, so I am passing it on to you.

Be sure to scroll to the end of this post for more Easter table decoration from some of my favorite farmhouse bloggers, as well.

I am so proud to be part of their tour today!

5 Steps to Elegant Table Decor

1) About three weeks before the event, decide on one or two dominant colors.

  • Commit to using only those colors.
  • Place any needed online orders.

Last Easter I used two tones of yellow and this year is going to be turquoise and green.

I had visions of photographing everything under this wall of wisteria on our property. But, this was as far as I got (my camera bag didn’t even get pulled from the picture) before a torrential downpour occured.

Maybe for the real Easter- and with wisteria blooms!!

Dinner Party Decor Plan, Table Settings and Centerpieces

2) Decide on your linens, these will be your foundation.

  • If a table is nice enough, I will just use some kind of runner.
  • Try to do something a little 3-D for the center, even if it’s just crumpling up a piece of fabric.
  • Cloth napkins are really worth the extra effort on a special day.

I decided to use moss down the center of the table. So simple.

Dinner Party Decor Plan, Table Settings and Centerpieces

3) Bring in some centerpieces.

  • A collection is extra nice.
  • Be very careful about the height, if it obstructs the view of anyone during conversation it will be removed in 2.2 seconds flat and placed on the floor by the guys (the voice of experience speaking here).
  • Aim for lots of contrasting textures here.

Dinner Party Decor Plan, Table Settings and Centerpieces

I pulled faux plants from around the house and planted some grass in pots a couple of weeks before these photos.

Dinner Party Decor Plan, Table Settings and Centerpieces

4) Assemble all your dishes, chargers, goblets, napkins and silverware and start layering.

  • Again, the more contrast in colors and textures the better.

Dinner Party Decor Plan, Table Settings and Centerpieces

Everything I am using here is from garage sales, except the silverware, which was on clearance at Target several years ago.

Keep your eyes open for dishes when you are out thrifting!

Dinner Party Decor Plan, Table Settings and Centerpieces

5)  The final step is to bring in the details, this is the cherry on top, so to speak.

  • Try to repeat some aspects of the centerpieces on a smaller scale.
  • Ideas include chair decor, printed menus, place cards, candles, even a tiny gift.

Dinner Party Decor Plan, Table Settings and Centerpieces

Dinner Party Decor Plan, Table Settings and Centerpieces

To repeat the centerpieces, I planted little peat pots with grass seed.

Grass is always so perfect for Easter and it stirs my heart to remember the Sunday morning resurrection.

Dinner Party Decor Plan, Table Settings and Centerpieces

This post contains some affiliate links. Click here to read a full disclosure.

Dinner Party Decor Plan, Table Settings and Centerpieces

And last, but not least, a tiny place card can make a guest feel so loved.

Dinner Party Decor Plan, Table Settings and Centerpieces


I printed these from my friend Lauren’s blog, uploaded the banners to Canva.com and added the names using the “Pinyon Script” font.


Dinner Party Decor Plan, Table Settings and Centerpieces

So if you find yourself in the place of being the hostess anytime soon, take a deep breath and work your way through each of these simple steps.

I am always fascinated as the end result unfolds in front of me.

Get This Look

More Table Decor Inspiration!



Sharing at these parties!







    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      March 29, 2017 / 6:17 PM

      Thank you, Ashley, that means a lot coming from you!

  1. March 29, 2017 / 5:16 AM

    This is just beautiful! I loved all of your tips Sarah. I love simple settings don’t cost an arm and a leg that are elegant and timeless. Your table is perfect. You’ll have to snap some photos if you have the table outside during Easter. It will be absolutely stunning!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      March 29, 2017 / 6:17 PM

      You are so sweet, Amanda! Thank you for your kind words. Here’s to hoping for no rain on Easter!!

  2. March 29, 2017 / 6:10 AM

    Sarah this is gorgeous! Those dishes and the stem ware are amazing.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      March 29, 2017 / 6:18 PM

      Garage sales and thrift stores can be good to a girl, haha! I know you understand. xoxo

  3. Brenda
    March 29, 2017 / 3:53 PM

    I especially love your collection of white dinnerware and have noticed it in different posts, over time.

    One thing we have done for years along the line of name cards is to make folded cards with a scripture on them, as well as the person’s name in larger print. Sometimes they are decorated with a scrap of lace, or a small millinery flower and lace. I have had my children do them, using card stock, and they are a sweet addition that goes home with the guests.

    And you are so right – cloth napkins elevate the whole of the meal. They are great in packed lunches and picnics, as well as any home meal and easily collected at thrift stores and garage sales.

    Love your decor insights.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      March 29, 2017 / 6:20 PM

      Brenda, your place cards sound like little keepsakes, such a lovely idea. And, yes, to your cloth napkins thoughts. We use a simpler set every day around our place. Just a little softer and more vintage than their counter parts.;)

      • Brenda
        March 29, 2017 / 6:29 PM

        For a time we used some all cotton dishcloths that I picked up inexpensively in Canada. They washed well, of course, and required only folding. I bought lots and we used them for years, for every day. Now we are using some “free” ones that we got at a garage sale. I have paper ones on hand, but for super messy eats I have a portable paper towel holder that goes to the table. I saw this done at a burger joint in town and thought it was fun for those meals when one napkin or two is just not going to do the job.

  4. Tanya Hulbert
    March 29, 2017 / 6:08 PM

    This is so inspiring as I may be hosting Easter as well, this year! I just love the grasses you planted. What a nice, natural touch!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      March 29, 2017 / 6:23 PM

      OOOh, I can’t wait to see what you come up with for your table!!

  5. April 4, 2017 / 4:13 PM

    Your table is very pretty and I love those napkins! A thrift store is a tablescaper’s best friend isn’t it?

  6. April 6, 2017 / 6:11 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing with us at the Creative Circle! You’re my feature this week 😉

  7. April 8, 2017 / 1:44 PM

    Great ideas and I love the step~by~step explanation. I hope you get to have Easter dinner under the wisteria.

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