How to Set a Table With Centerpieces


A centerpiece is a beneficial way to enhance your table settings and gatherings. It can accent a themed dinner party, provide a festive focal point for holidays and even represent your personal tastes and interests with fresh-cut flowers from the garden or hand-made decorations. When you set a table with a centerpiece, it is important to keep some key things in mind about placement, colors and size.

Step 1

Consider appropriate color schemes when it comes to setting a table with a centerpiece. For elegant dinner parties or celebrations, specific colors are common or need to be accented. For example, for a baby shower, a centerpiece should represent that theme with pastel colors and spring flowers. For a candlelit dinner party, choose rich accents like dark-colored candles in glass vases or candle holders and foliage that wraps around them.

Step 2

Decorate your centerpiece in correlation with a certain holiday. For Christmas, choose candles, poinsettias or ivy or a large glass bowl in the center of the table filled with candies, pine cones or jingle bells. For a wedding, choose light-colored flowers, garlands, picture frames or candles that reflect light to create an intimate welcoming environment.

Step 3

Keep the size comparable to the size of your table settings or the amount of items on the table. For table settings with several pieces of silverware and glasses, use a smaller or more narrow centerpiece. You don't want the table to appear to crowded and busy, as this makes people feel like they can't move around a lot or touch many things on the table.

Step 4

Decorate your table with a themed centerpiece, depending not just on holidays, but on themes, seasons and favorite items. An old faithful is a trio of pillar candles, arranged together. Then scatter items around such as seashells, glitter, colored glass, fresh or silk flowers, beach sand or bits of stone, bronze and silver. Keep candles in groups of odd numbers, like three and five, to achieve a designer look.

Step 5

Fill a large decorative bowl with fruit, seashells, potpourri, vegetables, jewels and any other item that attracts you to place in the center of the table. Not only does this provide a focal point, but it does not take up a lot of room, is simple yet elegant and beautiful.

Things You'll Need

  • Decorative bowls
  • Filler items such as seashells, sand, stones
  • Fresh flowers
  • Dried flowers
  • Garlands
  • Candles


  • Favor Ideas: Centerpiece Ideas
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Keywords: holiday centerpiece, themed centerpiece, setting a table

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.