Set the table: Create entertaining dining spaces

Our designers' top tips

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Your dining table is often a focal point for big parties and small gatherings alike. The perfect place to socialise and share food and laughs. From Christmas dinner to Sunday lunch, create the perfect backdrop for guests to marvel at your beautiful table and their stylish settings.

General Tips

When planning your dinner event, consider what kind of event you’re holding. What time of year? What time of day? What will you be serving? How many guests? Where will you be serving your meal? These factors will affect how you lay out your table and how much space you need.

In general, we would recommend you prepare for more than you need. Having the extra space and supplies to consider a last-minute guest saves a lot of unnecessary stress. From extra food to additional seating, being prepared is the mark of a thoughtful host.

From a designer’s perspective, this is where flexible dining solutions come into play. An extending dining table not only allows more space for fewer guests but also allows you to fit more people around the table with minimal strain. For our advice on creating the ultimate dining space, read our tips here.

Formal Dining

The essence of formal dining isn’t as stuffy and old-fashioned as one would usually think. The idea of a formal dining place setting is to make sure that all eating utensils and vessels are in the most user-friendly places on the table, for the running order of course that the food is served in. Usually, ease of use and user-friendliness leads to a very structured a rigid table, hence the connotations of stuffiness and outdatedness that springs to the mind of formal dining. Styling and material choice will bring the table right back up to date, with the ease of use and striking tidiness of a formal dining setting remaining.  See below for our recommendations for formal table settings.

Informal Dining

Relaxed and carefree, the informal dining arrangement is best for more casual gatherings, perhaps with less courses. This dining arrangement also works well for sharing courses, as well as for barbeques and brunches. We’ve posted our inspiration pictures below for informal table settings.


Styling makes or breaks a well-crafted table. Each table and room would suit different styling, as will the occasion that you’re hosting. For more formal settings, our designers recommend straying away from the traditional route with different surfaces, textures and materials. Consider linen napkins, curated glassware and interestingly glazed plates. These more modern accessories will loft your table, creating a more inviting hygge feeling to your party.

We would also recommend adding foliage to your table. From small additions of eucalyptus to each plate to a large exciting centrepiece, adding a touch of nature to a table can elevate a setting from every day to showstopping.




The best advice we can give you is on a one-to-one basis. Our designers can help your specific dining dilemmas with tailored advice that addresses your personal needs, wants and tastes. Available in-store, online or in your own home; explore our free interior design service today.

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