Table Setting Themes: Dress Your Table to Impress

teas and cs

Whether you’re hosting an elegant high tea event or just having a few friends come over for dinner, it’s always a good idea to have a theme in mind for your table setting. A well set table will enhance the entire dining experience.

You can mix and match your tableware for a fun and colourful affair – perfect for tapas and dining with children! You can use your tableware to complement your interior aesthetic – maybe classic blue and white for a Hamptons theme, or matte black dinner sets for a minimalist setting. Or you can use your table setting to create a mood for your dining event.

We’re going to be focusing on that last one here, so let’s get to it – here are three ways to dress your tablescape to impress!


Smart Casual

charlton dinner set

Classic white dinnerware with a striking black rim. Shop the Charlton 16-Piece Dinner Set from Maxwell & Williams online now at Zanui.

Everyone’s favourite going-out attire! In terms of dining, this sort of style can be used in both a relaxed and a more formal setting. No matter the kind of dining event you’re hosting, you can’t go wrong with classic white dinner sets. But, as beautiful as they are, sometimes plain white dinner sets can feel a little bit … boring!

For a modern take on a classic table setting, choose white dinnerware with clean colour accents. A contrasting black or coloured rim exudes contemporary style while subtle blue patterning is perfect for achieving a Hamptons or Scandi-inspired vibe!

table setting gordon ramsay

A contemporary take on classic white dinnerware. Shop the Bread Street 16-Piece Dinner Set from Gordon Ramsay by Royal Doulton online now at Zanui.

Square-shaped dinner plates also make a nice alternative to traditional round dinner plates. They still have the timeless sophistication of your classic white dinner sets, but offer something a little more striking to create a point of difference at your table setting.

square dinner plates zanui

Square dinner plates offer a sleek, modern alternative to classic round dinner plates. Shop the White Basics Linear 12-Piece Dinner Set from Maxwell & Williams online now at Zanui.

For your cutlery, silver-toned stainless steel works in any setting. But again, if you want to create a point of difference, why not try cutlery with a different finish, like pewter or matte black or even copper? Like their silver counterparts, these finishes can easily bridge casual and refined dining occasions.

cutlery pewter table setting

Everyone knows pewter is the new silver. Shop the Elemental 16-Piece Cutlery Set, Pewter from Maxwell & Williams online at Zanui.

Lastly, the glassware. Keep your wine glasses and tumblers simple but elegant, with clean, smooth surfaces rather than embellished crystalware and cut-glass detailing. Classic glassware like this will see you through any dining occasion, from cheeky after work drinks to romantic soirees!

glassware table setting style

The simpler, the better. Shop the clean and classic Mansion glassware collection from Maxwell & Williams online now at Zanui.

Fancy Dress

fine china dinnerware table setting theme

Nothing says elegance like fine china dinner sets. Shop the Friendship Individual 5-Piece Place Set from Miranda Kerr for Royal Albert, available online at Zanui.

Here’s where you pull out your finest china and shiny silverware. Maybe you’re hosting an engagement party, or an elegant high tea event. Whatever the special occasion , you can help make it feel even more special with the right tableware.

Bone china dinner sets are, of course, perfect for this sort of style. There’s just something about the delicate look and feel of bone china that radiates elegance, more than porcelain or other materials. You can opt for crisp white china plates or perhaps something with a little patterned detailing for something a bit more exciting.

bone china dinner set zanui

With a platinum rim and lace pattern border on fine bone china, the Hampshire Platinum 20-Piece Dinner Set from Noritake is all elegance. Shop now at Zanui.

No fancy dining event would be complete without a fine wine, so you’ll want to make sure you’re drinking these fine wines in equally fine crystalware! Go all out with sparkling glassware with intricate cut details in the surface. Did you know the shape of your glass can impact the flavour of your wine (or other alcoholic beverage)? For the optimal experience, it’s important to shop around a bit to find the right shaped glass for the right type of drink!

crystal glasses zanui table setting

Made from the finest lead crystal, the Calla glassware collection from Royal Doulton are exactly the right fit for a fancy dinner party. Shop now at Zanui.

A few gold accents here and there won’t go astray, either! Gold rims on dinner plates, gold handles on serving trays, or even gold finishes on your cutlery can add instant opulence to your table setting.

luxe gold cutlery table setting

A little bit of gold for a little bit of luxury. Shop the Luxe 16-Piece Cutlery Set, Matte Gold from Milano Decor online at Zanui.

Laidback Luxe

stoneware dinner set earthen luxury

Shop the Speckle 12-Piece Dinner Set from Ecology online at Zanui.

Natural materials are essential to mastering this look. Serving boards, platters, and even salad servers made of natural timbers like mango wood in rich, deep tones are a perfect place to start.

mango wood servingware ecology

Shop the Mason servingware range from Ecology online now at Zanui.

Opt for placemats and table runners made of natural fibres, like jute and water hyacinth, for the ultimate relaxed, coastal look.

natural fibre placemat

Made of natural Mendong Grass fibres, the Itzel Placemat (Set of 12) from Amalfi is perfect for your laidback, coastal dining setting.

Linen tablecloths and napkins with frayed edges are also perfect for achieving that homely, earthy feel.

linen tablecloth table setting

Introduce a relaxed luxe style to your table setting with the soft French linen and frayed edges of the Linen Tablecloth, Stripe from The Beach People. Available online at Zanui.

And finally, look for stoneware dinner sets with dimpled or textured surfaces, speckled or crackled glazes, and uneven edges. Perfectly imperfect pieces with an artisanal or handmade look and feel work best here.

gordon ramsay maze grill dinner set

Shop the perfectly imperfect Maze Grill range from Gordon Ramsay by Royal Doulton online at Zanui.

Elizabeth is a digital content writer and copy editor from Sydney, Australia, with a degree in Media & Communications from the University of New South Wales. When she isn't writing for Zanui, she's usually attempting further study, burying her head in a novel (or writing her own), pestering her cat, or desperately trying to keep her small potted succulent alive.