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How To Style An Oval Dining Table How To Style An Oval Dining Table

Table Decor

How To Style An Oval Dining Table

Written by: Noah Bennett

Learn how to style your oval dining table with table decor. Achieve a stylish and elegant look for your dining room with our helpful tips and ideas.

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When it comes to creating a beautiful and inviting dining space, the right table decor can make all the difference. And if you have an oval dining table, you’re in luck! Oval tables are known for their versatile shape, which allows for a more intimate dining experience and easier conversation among guests. But how do you style an oval dining table to maximize its aesthetic appeal and functionality? That’s what we’re here to explore!

Whether you’re hosting a formal dinner party or simply looking to elevate your everyday dining experience, the following tips and ideas will help you create a stunning table setup that will impress your guests and make every meal feel special. From choosing the right chairs to selecting a centerpiece and adding the finishing touches, let’s dive into the world of table decor for oval dining tables.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choosing the right chairs, selecting a complementary centerpiece, and deciding on tablecloth usage are essential for creating a harmonious and visually appealing dining space around an oval table.
  • Incorporating proper lighting, setting the table thoughtfully, and adding finishing touches like natural elements and personalized details can elevate the overall ambiance and create a memorable dining experience.

Choosing the Right Chairs

When it comes to choosing chairs for your oval dining table, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, you’ll want to ensure that the chairs are proportionate to the size of the table. Oversized or undersized chairs can throw off the balance and visual appeal of the overall dining space. Measure the height of your table and choose chairs that are neither too tall nor too short.

Next, think about the style of the chairs and how they will complement the oval shape of the table. If you prefer a more traditional look, consider opting for chairs with curved backs or upholstered seats. These will soften the lines of the table and create a harmonious aesthetic. On the other hand, if you’re going for a modern or contemporary vibe, sleek and angular chairs can create a striking contrast against the rounded edges of the table.

Another consideration is the material of the chairs. Wood, metal, and upholstered chairs each have their own unique appeal and can contribute to the overall ambiance of the dining space. Wood chairs can add warmth and a rustic touch, while metal chairs can lend a contemporary and industrial feel. Upholstered chairs, on the other hand, can provide comfort and an extra layer of luxury.

Lastly, don’t forget about the practical aspects of the chairs. Ensure that they are comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time, especially if you anticipate long meals or gatherings. Consider the ease of maintenance as well, as dining chairs are prone to spills and stains. Choose chairs that are easy to clean and maintain, so you can enjoy your dining experience without worrying about damage or wear and tear.

Remember, the chairs you choose should not only be functional and comfortable but should also enhance the overall aesthetic of your dining space. Take your time to explore different styles, materials, and designs to find the perfect chairs that will make your oval dining table shine.

Selecting a Centerpiece

A well-chosen centerpiece can effortlessly elevate the look of your oval dining table and become the focal point of the entire dining space. When selecting a centerpiece, consider the overall theme or style of your dining room. Are you aiming for a formal and elegant ambiance, or do you prefer a more casual and relaxed atmosphere? This will help guide your choice of centerpiece.

One classic option for an oval dining table is a floral arrangement. Fresh flowers or a tastefully arranged bouquet can instantly add color, fragrance, and a touch of nature to your table. Opt for flowers that complement the color scheme of your dining room or choose a mix of vibrant blooms for a more eclectic look. Remember to keep the height of the centerpiece in mind, as it should not obstruct the view of your guests across the table.

If you prefer a non-floral centerpiece, there are plenty of other options to consider. A decorative bowl filled with polished stones, seashells, or decorative orbs can add a contemporary and minimalist touch. Candles in varying heights, placed in sleek candle holders, can create a cozy and romantic atmosphere for intimate dinners. Alternatively, you can showcase a statement piece, such as a sculpture or a piece of artwork, as the centerpiece to add an artistic flair to your dining table.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box when selecting a centerpiece. For example, a collection of colorful vintage bottles or lanterns can create a charming and whimsical centerpiece. Or, consider incorporating natural elements like a potted plant or a terrarium for a fresh and organic look.

Remember, the centerpiece should not only be visually appealing but also practical. Make sure it doesn’t take up too much space on the table, leaving enough room for serving dishes and place settings. It should also be easy to move or remove when needed, such as when serving family-style meals or during special occasions.

Ultimately, the centerpiece you choose should reflect your personal style and enhance the overall ambiance of your dining space. Experiment with different options and take the time to find the perfect centerpiece that will become the centerpiece of conversation at your oval dining table.

Tablecloth or No Tablecloth?

One question that often arises when styling an oval dining table is whether to use a tablecloth or leave the table bare. The decision ultimately depends on the look and feel you want to achieve in your dining space. Let’s explore the pros and cons of using a tablecloth and going without one.

Using a tablecloth can instantly transform the appearance of your oval dining table. It adds a layer of elegance and sophistication to the overall setting. Tablecloths come in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures, allowing you to choose one that complements your dining room decor. Additionally, tablecloths can help protect the surface of your table from scratches, spills, and stains.

When selecting a tablecloth, consider the size and shape of your oval table. Opt for a tablecloth that is slightly larger than the dimensions of your table to ensure a proper drape. A tablecloth that extends to the floor will create a more formal and luxurious look, while a shorter tablecloth can give a casual and relaxed vibe.

On the other hand, leaving your oval dining table bare can create a more contemporary and minimalist aesthetic. It allows the natural beauty and shape of the table to take center stage. This option works particularly well if you have a well-crafted or visually interesting table that you want to showcase. It also makes cleaning up after meals more convenient, as you can simply wipe down the table surface without having to remove and launder a tablecloth.

If you’re undecided, there’s also the option of using a table runner instead of a full tablecloth. A table runner adds a decorative touch while still allowing the beauty of the table to show through. It can be placed lengthwise down the center of the table, creating a stylish focal point.

Ultimately, the choice between using a tablecloth, going without one, or using a table runner comes down to personal preference and the overall style you want to achieve. Consider your dining room decor, the formality of your gatherings, and the level of maintenance you’re willing to undertake. Experiment with different options to see what suits your oval dining table best and enhances the overall aesthetic of your dining space.

When styling an oval dining table, consider using a combination of round and rectangular placemats to complement the shape of the table. This will create visual interest and balance on the table.

Lighting Considerations

Lighting plays a crucial role in setting the mood and ambiance of any dining space. When it comes to an oval dining table, there are a few lighting considerations to keep in mind to ensure that the table is properly illuminated and that the lighting complements the overall decor.

The first consideration is the size and height of the light fixture above the table. For an oval table, a chandelier or pendant light is often the go-to choice. Make sure the size of the fixture is proportionate to the table – it should neither overwhelm nor get dwarfed by the size of the table. The height should also be adjusted accordingly so that the light is spread evenly over the table surface without obstructing anyone’s view.

Next, consider the style of the light fixture. It should complement the overall aesthetic of your dining room. If your dining room has a more traditional or formal decor, a crystal chandelier can add an elegant and timeless touch. For a modern and contemporary look, consider pendant lights with sleek design and clean lines. Experiment with different styles to find the perfect lighting fixture that enhances the visual appeal of your oval dining table.

In addition to the main light fixture above the table, consider incorporating other sources of lighting to create a layered and dynamic atmosphere. Wall sconces, buffet lamps, or even candles can add a soft and warm glow to the dining space. These additional light sources can be particularly useful during intimate dinners or when you want to create a more intimate and cozy ambiance.

Lastly, don’t forget about the importance of dimmers. Installing dimmer switches for your dining room lights allows you to adjust the brightness according to the occasion and desired mood. Dimming the lights creates a more intimate and relaxed ambiance for formal dinners or special occasions. On the other hand, brightening the lights is ideal for casual meals or when you need well-lit space for activities such as board games or homework.

Remember, proper lighting enhances not only the aesthetic appeal of your oval dining table but also the functionality of the dining space. Take the time to find the right light fixtures, incorporate additional lighting sources, and install dimmers to create a truly inviting and versatile dining experience.

Setting the Table

Setting the table for a meal is an art form that can elevate the dining experience. When it comes to an oval dining table, there are a few key elements to consider when setting the table to create a visually appealing and functional arrangement.

Start with the foundation: the placemats or table runners. Placemats can add a pop of color or texture to the table while protecting the surface. A table runner can create a sense of elegance and serve as a focal point. Choose placemats or a runner that complements the overall color scheme and style of your dining room.

Next, place the dinner plates at the center of each setting. Consider the size and shape of the plates to ensure they fit comfortably within the space. For an oval table, round or oval plates tend to work best, as they follow the natural curves of the table. Stack additional plates, such as salad or bread plates, on top of the dinner plates if needed.

Place the utensils on either side of the plates. Start with the forks on the left, with the salad fork on the outermost side. Place the knives and spoons on the right, with the blade of the knife facing towards the plate. The dessert spoon can be placed horizontally above the plate or brought out during the dessert course.

Don’t forget about the glassware. Water glasses should be placed directly above the knife, while wine glasses can be placed to the right of the water glass. If serving multiple types of wine, arrange the glasses in the order they will be used, with the largest glass placed first.

Add a touch of elegance with napkins. Folded and placed to the left of the forks or creatively folded and displayed on the plates, napkins can add a visual flair to the table setup. Consider using napkin rings or tying them with ribbons or foliage for an extra decorative touch.

Lastly, consider adding a personal touch with place cards or name tags. This can be particularly useful for formal gatherings or when you want to assign specific seating arrangements. Place the cards above or on the left side of each plate, ensuring they are easily visible to guests.

Remember, setting the table is an opportunity to showcase your personal style and create an inviting atmosphere. Take the time to arrange each element thoughtfully, considering the size and shape of the oval table, as well as the overall theme of your dining space. Experiment with different placements and accessories to find the perfect table setting that will impress your guests and enhance the dining experience.

Adding Finishing Touches

Once you’ve set the table for your oval dining table, it’s time to add the finishing touches to complete the overall look and create a cohesive and inviting dining space. These final touches can elevate the table decor and make it truly special.

One essential finishing touch is the addition of a centerpiece. We’ve already discussed selecting a centerpiece earlier in this article, but it’s worth emphasizing how it can tie the whole table together. Whether you’ve opted for a floral arrangement, a decorative bowl, or a statement piece, make sure it’s positioned in the center of the table and doesn’t obstruct the view or conversation among guests.

Consider incorporating natural elements as part of your finishing touches. Small potted plants, succulents, or fresh herbs can add a touch of greenery and bring life to the dining space. Place them strategically around the table or in a nearby corner to create a natural and serene ambiance.

Another finishing touch is the addition of decorative accents such as candles or votive holders. Candles can add warmth and a cozy atmosphere to the table. Choose scented candles for an extra touch of luxury and a pleasant fragrance that can enhance the dining experience.

Table accessories like salt and pepper shakers, butter dishes, or condiment containers can also be part of the finishing touches. Place them strategically on the table, ensuring they are easily accessible to guests but not overcrowding the space. Opt for stylish and coordinated accessories that match the overall theme and color scheme of the table.

Lastly, don’t forget the power of personalized details. Consider adding place cards with guests’ names or small personalized favors at each setting. These personal touches can make guests feel special and add a sense of thoughtfulness to the table setup.

Remember, the finishing touches should be cohesive with the overall theme and style of your dining space. Aim for a balance between functional and decorative elements, ensuring that the table remains clutter-free and comfortable for your guests.

By paying attention to these final details, you can take your table decor for your oval dining table to the next level. The finishing touches will not only impress your guests but also create a memorable and enjoyable dining experience.


Styling an oval dining table is a fun and creative process that allows you to create a beautiful and inviting dining space. By carefully considering the chairs, selecting the right centerpiece, deciding on whether to use a tablecloth, and paying attention to lighting and table settings, you can transform your oval dining table into the centerpiece of your dining room.

Choosing the right chairs that are proportionate, stylish, and comfortable is essential for creating a harmonious look. Selecting a centerpiece that complements the table’s shape and fits the overall style of your dining room adds a decorative focal point. Deciding on whether to use a tablecloth or go without one depends on your desired look and level of practicality.

Lighting considerations, such as sizing the light fixture appropriately and adding additional sources of light, can greatly enhance the ambiance of the dining space. Properly setting the table with placemats or runners, elegant dinnerware, utensils, and glassware adds a polished touch.

Finally, adding finishing touches like a carefully chosen centerpiece, natural elements, decorative accents, and personalized details completes the table decor and creates a memorable dining experience.

By following these tips and infusing your personal style, you can create a stunning and inviting table setup for your oval dining table. Whether you’re hosting a formal dinner party or enjoying everyday meals with your family, the right table decor will make each dining experience special and leave a lasting impression on your guests.

Remember, have fun and get creative with your styling choices. Let your oval dining table shine and create a dining space that reflects your unique taste and personality.

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Style An Oval Dining Table

What are some popular centerpieces for an oval dining table?

Popular centerpieces for an oval dining table include a floral arrangement in a low vase, a decorative bowl filled with seasonal fruits, a cluster of candles in varying heights, or a succulent garden in a decorative planter. These centerpieces can add visual interest and complement the shape of the table.
Is it better to use a table runner or placemats on an oval dining table?

Both table runners and placemats can be used on an oval dining table, depending on the desired look. A table runner can accentuate the length of the table and create a cohesive look, while placemats can add a pop of color and protect the table surface. It ultimately depends on the overall aesthetic you want to achieve.
How can I choose the right lighting for an oval dining table?

When choosing lighting for an oval dining table, consider a chandelier or pendant light that complements the shape of the table. The light fixture should be proportional to the table and hang at a height that provides ample illumination without obstructing the view. Additionally, adjustable lighting can offer flexibility for different occasions.
What are some creative ways to decorate the chairs around an oval dining table?

Creative ways to decorate the chairs around an oval dining table include adding chair sashes or tie-backs in coordinating colors, attaching decorative chair covers, or incorporating chair cushions with intricate patterns or textures. These elements can enhance the overall look of the dining area and tie in with the table decor.
Are there any specific considerations for styling an oval dining table in a small space?

When styling an oval dining table in a small space, consider using transparent or glass tabletops to create a sense of openness. Opt for slim-profile chairs to maximize seating without overcrowding the area, and utilize mirrors or reflective surfaces to visually expand the space. Additionally, choosing a light color palette can contribute to an airy and spacious feel.

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