Forget all rules – take a look at our easy and inspirational feel-good tips for setting the table!

Whether you're looking for tips to liven up a casual dinner setting or to decorate a festive table, there's only one rule: forget the rules. Check out our inspirational ideas for feel-good table settings!

an image of Arabia's and Iittala's tableware in a table setting, as part of the dining room decor.
Details make the table setting. Try new and exciting color combinations, surprising shapes, or tactile textures to add some oomph.

SETTING THE TABLE with care brings a touch of celebration to even everyday meals. You don't necessarily have to plan a party with an etiquette book in hand – even a more formal table setting can also be charismatic and personal.

Have fun setting the table and scrap all unnecessary rules and restrictions: add some flair to a Monday night meal of mac and cheese with your best heirloom porcelains, and get a party started by adding bright and bold colors!

An image with Serax's Merci tableware, &Tradition's Collect SC67 vase, Tonfisk's Reuna serving tray and Marimekko's Unikko placemat in a table setting, as part of the dining area decor.
Unique pieces of tableware bring a relaxed and high-spirited mood to the table. The charmingly original Merci plates, cups, and mugs are part of Serax's range, and the ceramic Collect SC67 vase is by &Tradition. The organic look of Tonfisk's Reuna serving tray is further softened by Marimekko's Unikko placemat.

1. Soothe the mood with natural materials

Natural tones and materials have been immensely popular for quite a while, and no wonder: they have a wonderfully calming effect. A gentle color palette combined with charismatic ceramics and organic wooden surfaces also brings harmony to the table setting and aims to soothe. The combination is apt to create the relaxed atmosphere of laid-back weekend mornings in all kinds of table settings.

Go for instant softness by adding textiles – try the Aamu linen tablecloth by Lapuan Kankurit with Tekla's linen napkins or set the table with some stylish jute placemats.

All table linen >

An image featuring Iittala's Teema tableware, Arabia's KoKo tableware and HAY's lavender Color Crate box in a colorful table setting, as part of the dining area decor.
Soft lilac shades and fresh yellow look irresistibly delicious together. The honey-colored Teema dinner plate is Iittala's and the purple 24 h Avec plate and the KoKo tableware in a blueberry milk shade are part of Arabia's range. The colorful Flat glass spoons, Colour Crate basket, the S&B kitchen towel doubling as a placemat, and the lavender toothbrush holder – or miniature vase – are all by HAY.

2. Refresh with colors

Both an everyday breakfast setting and a grand occasion can be instantly leveled up by adding a pop (or two) of color. Dip your toe by putting together a color-bursting centerpiece and adding color to the table setting with candles and textiles – or make a grand splash by dressing the entire table in your favorite shades.

Do try unusual color combinations such as matching yellow Teema plates with Arabia's soft purple KoKo tableware, or choose just one: a monochrome look can also be surprisingly powerful!

All bowls >

An image featuring, among others, the Bernadotte porcelain plate and Bernadotte crystal glass by Georg Jensen, Lyngby Porcelin's Lyngby vase, and Gense's Nobel spoon in a table setting, as part of the dining room decor.
Don't hide away your most precious treasures in the cupboard: elegant pieces of tableware bring a delightfully well-kept look to everyday table settings as well. Unnecessary solemnity can be stripped by combining silverware and porcelain with fresh colors and charismatic ceramic dishes. The statuesque Lyngby vase by Lyngby Porcelain is a classic from the 1930s.
An image featuring, among others, the Bernadotte porcelain plate and Bernadotte crystal glass by Georg Jensen, Lyngby Porcelin's Lyngby vase, and Gense's Nobel spoon in a table setting, as part of the dining room decor.
The porcelain Bernadotte plate and the crystal Bernadotte tumbler are part of Georg Jensen's range. Gunnar Cyrén designed Gense's Nobel dessert spoons to mark the 90th anniversary of the Nobel Prize in 1991.

3. Catch the eye with contrasts

Although there is hopefully a relatively harmonious mood at the dinner table, a bit of conflict is not at all bad when creating the table setting. Play with contrasting shades or bring life to the ensemble by combining strict geometrics and soft organic lines.

A charming combination of luxurious elements such as crystal glasses or refined porcelain and perfectly imperfect ceramic dishes looks particularly appealing. Georg Jensen's effortlessly elegant Bernadotte collection is perfect for mixing and matching.

All plates >

An image featuring Teema tableware, Carelia cutlery and Marimekko's Pieni Unikko fabric as a tablecloth in a table setting, as part of the dining area decor.
Kaj Franck's versatile Teema tableware collection is equally apt for everyday meals and grand celebrations. Hackman's Carelia cutleries, Arabia's KoKo pitcher, and Tekla's linen napkins are also perfect pieces for all occasions. Marimekko's Pieni Unikko fabric is adorned with Maija Isola's iconic floral print.

4. Classics are key

When in doubt, set the table with classics! Timeless pieces such as Iittala's Teema tableware are the cornerstone of tableware and they work wonders in every situation. Neutral tones and minimalist design language create a versatile base for all table settings, as they can be easily combined with many colors and patterns – and they always look perfectly stylish.

If you want to make sure to strip off all unnecessary sternness, try folding a few beautiful kitchen towels on the table instead of napkins.

All cups & mugs >

Get inspired by the look

Marimekko
Unikko cups
Lapuan Kankurit
Aamu tablecloth
Antrei Hartikainen
Nokka tongs
Iittala
Teema dish
HAY
S&B kitchen towel
Georg Jensen
Bernadotte plate
Arabia
KoKo mug
Iittala
Aalto serving tray
Iittala
Aalto vase
Serax
Terrazzo tray
Arabia
Mainio Sarastus multiuse cloth
Serax
Merci No 9 mug

See also:

All tableware at Finnish Design Shop >
All products at Finnish Design Shop >

Text, images, and videos: Mira Ahola

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