13 Place Setting Ideas for Your Next Dinner Party

Updated 11/04/19

 Sarah Sherman Samuel

Let's be honest, hosting a dinner party is stressful enough without having to worry about how to set the table. Between sourcing easy dinner party recipes that look gourmet and selecting an affordable bottle of wine that tastes way more expensive than it is, having people over requires quite a bit of effort. So, just in time for fall entertaining season, we're sharing 13 place setting ideas that will help take some of the stress out of your next dinner party.

Whether you're having a low-key get-together or a formal fête, we've got you covered. Spanning an informal place setting that's perfect for hosting an impromptu dinner party with friends on a Wednesday night to a formal place setting that's ideal for a modern Thanksgiving feast with all the fixings, we're confident that these place setting ideas will make having people completely painless. Keep scrolling for 13 'gram-worthy table settings that are sure to impress your guests. Now, all that's left to do is crack open the wine.

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Understatedly Elegant

Allow Sarah Sherman Samuel to demonstrate how to set an understatedly elegant table. To get the look, follow the interior designer's lead and forgo a formal tablecloth in order to establish a casual, welcoming aesthetic. Then, set the table using a traditional silverware arrangement for an air of sophistication.

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Modern Table

For a slightly more modern place setting, gain inspiration from this table, also designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel.

To get the look, edit your silverware down to the just the essentials (i.e. a dinner knife, fork, and spoon) and arrange them directly atop the salad plates in an offset pattern.

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Fancy Without the Fuss

To set a formal table that doesn't feel overly fussy, start with a tablecloth in a relaxed linen fabric. As this table designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel demonstrates, a washed linen tablecloth effectively serves as a neutral backdrop that works with any table setting without looking too crisp or feeling too overdone.

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Boho Chic

If you're hosting an informal affair and you have a beautiful table to show off, make like Sarah Sherman Samuel and opt for a table runner that will allow the natural beauty of the surface to shine through. For boho-chic vibes, select a runner with tons of texture, such as the macrame one pictured on the table here.

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Outdoor Cozy

Of course, no table setting would be complete without candles. Take a page from Sarah Sherman Samuel and incorporate plenty of tapered candles into your tablescape. Pro tip: If you're hosting an outdoor dinner party, drape sheepskin rugs over chairs and benches for a warm and inviting setting that exudes cozy vibes.

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Fall Harvest

When it comes to creating a showstopping centerpiece, channel your inner Sarah Sherman Samuel and think beyond a tried-and-true floral arrangement. Here, the interior designer makes a compelling case for embracing the bounty of the season by setting the table with a centerpiece that puts fresh produce on display.

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Seasonal Spin

If you're hosting a larger fête with an extensive guest list, forgo a traditional centerpiece and instead place a seasonal piece fruit at each seat, as inspired by this table shared by Sarah Sherman Samuel. Here, green pears act as place cards that help keep your guest list organized while doubling as décor accents. Win, win.

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Casual Dinner Party

Take a cue from this table designed by prop stylist Cassandra Lavalle of Coco Kelley and mix and match tablecloths to create an informal place setting that's ideal for hosting a casual dinner party. By layering a patterned tablecloth atop a neutral one, you instantly double the texture and depth of your table, making it look and feel cozier and more inviting.

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Rustic Table

For a rustic table setting, skip tablecloths and table runners and instead go with natural fiber chargers, as inspired by this table shared by Erica Chan Coffman of Honestly WTF. Here, the braided jute chargers perfectly complement the mismatched glass jar vases, the wildflower centerpieces, and the bucolic surrounds.

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Tropical Spin

Greenery isn't just for centerpieces — and this table designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel is proof. Take style notes from the interior designer and swap standard chargers with leafy greens instead. Here, palm fronds lend tropical vibes to a table punctuated by polka dot napkins and gilded flatware. Natural wood vases complete the look.

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Updated Traditional

Honestly, who knew a scrunched table runner could look so effortlessly chic? To get the look, as inspired by this table shared by Erica Chan Coffman of Honestly WTF, gather the runner in the center of the table. Complete the look with tall tapered candles and forged foliage (think pine cones, evergreen branches, and dried leaves).

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Creative Table

Further proof that greenery isn't just for centerpieces, this table by Sarah Sherman Samuel features a table runner fashioned from sprigs of evergreen branches. Arranged along the center of the table, they make for a striking display.

Swap your tablecloth for kraft paper to make clean up a cinch, especially if you're hosting a kid-friendly dinner party.

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Graze Board

Be the hostess with the mostess by putting an artfully curated graze board at the center of your table à la Bri Emery of Design Love Fest. After all, what's better than beautiful, delicious food that doubles as décor at a dinner party? (Spoiler alert: Nothing.) Your hungry guests will be eternally grateful.

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