Stylish Entertaining

by Mari Robeson

Everyday can be special, when you welcome friends and family around your table.
Mari Robeson—Interior Design expert and Contributor—helps us do so with style and function. Mari takes us inside the world of design, and helps us bring beauty and color to the places we call home.


I love entertaining. The way you set your table and present your entrees can be like a mini Interior Design project. First, let’s talk some dining room basics.

Jonathan Adler Dining Room

Dining Room Table

Here are some tips for selecting a dining room table for your family:

  • Round tables are great for flow and ease of conversation and usually seat 4 to 6 people.
  • If you entertain more than 4 people, a rectangular table may be a better selection for you.
  • The base of the table is important too. Keep in mind that a table with a trestle base will allow you to seat more people around it.

Good Lighting

Another important item when setting up your dining room is lighting. A chandelier centered above the table is traditional.

  • The bottom of the chandelier should hang approximately 36” above the top of the table.
  • The scale of the fixture is important too. If the room is 10’ x 10’ add them together for a 20” chandelier.
  • Sconces perform a secondary, ambient light and look beautiful in a dining room.
  • Also, most people forget these…dimmers! I highly suggest putting them on all your light fixtures, especially the ones in your dining room.
  • Here’s one last little tip about lighting. If you’re having candles on the table with your meal, I’d suggest unscented ones. The smell of your amazing homemade cooking should take center stage.

(Dining Room by Jonathan Adler.)

A Colorful Tablescape

Once you’ve selected the appropriate table and lighting for your needs, have fun creating your tabletop.

Last year Pantone picked Turquoise to be the color of the year but it looks like turquoise is here to stay throughout 2011 as well. I did notice that the color has gotten deeper and richer this year but as you can see from these examples Turquoise is still hot.

Turquoise Finds for Entertaining
Peacock Cups at Amazon. All other items from

I’m seeing a lot of Peacock-inspired designs too, which are so whimsical and fun. Let’s face it, our country has gone through some tough times lately and having these cheery colors around our home is a nice little pick-me-up.

More Turquoise Finds for Entertaining
Cake plates, mixer and dishes from Coasters and placemat from

I hope these little tips and colorful finds help you, and perhaps inspire you to have your own dinner party. There is nothing more special than sharing time with loved ones in a home that is warm and inviting!


Designer Mari RobesonMari Robeson — an Interior and Product Designer, and a published Illustrator — strives to bring beauty into the world whenever she can. Mari shares with us her Interior Design tips and advice, and makes learning design concepts fun. With her fresh, creative projects, Mari spreads her love of color and beautiful textiles.

Mari has designed everything from restaurants to children’s rooms. She recently launched her own line of home décor accessories and textiles. She and her husband own WM Design Consultants on the beautiful Central California Coast.

Most days you can find Mari working up her latest designs or teaching Interior Design Workshops in her colorful studio nestled in the countryside.

What colors, or special items help you create a stylish table?

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

3 Comments for “Stylish Entertaining”

What an informative article! I especially appreciate Mari’s willingness to share tips such as how to determine the size of chandelier for the room and how high to hang it over the table. I love that theres actually a formula – Who knew? I’ve always eyeballed it. (Which BTW takes much longer) I also love the Peacock Cups!

I am loving the gorgeous turquoise, Kathy. Great dining room photo and tips!

Mari! These photos are so yummy that I’m left wanting to repaint my log home’s green kitchen cabinets, a beautiful turquoise! And we aren’t even finished building them all, yet! 😉
I especially love the glassware.

Leave a Comment

Tags: , , , , , ,

Subscribe to Email News

Keep up with the latest Challenges news, and creative design & decorating inspiration when you Subscribe to Homeworkshop's Design Junkies Journal.

Automatically Receive Content
Follow HomeWorkshop on Twitter Follow HomeWorkshop on Pinterest Follow HomeWorkshop RSS feed
Let's Go Shopping
Make your own thrifted shabby chic pieces in a weekend

Put our button on your site!
Copy the code below:

Fab Web Sites