The only 5 rules you need to follow when setting a stylish table, according to Nate Berkus

Setting a visually interesting table setting has never been simpler, thanks to Nate Berkus's expert advice

Headshot of Nate Berkus
(Image credit: Getty Images / Dave Kotinsky / Stringer)

Fall is fast approaching, which marks the beginning of the hosting season as we embrace the opportunities to entertain over the coming months. Essential to elevating your hosting experience is creating a dinner table that has been thoughtfully designed for a stylish – and practical – look. 

We’re turning to Nate Berkus’s expert design advice following a video he posted to Instagram, explaining how to set a table for any occasion. We take a closer look at his five expert top tips below. 

1. Embrace hand-woven materials

As a starting point for setting the dinner table, Berkus recommends using hand-woven materials to add visual interest. ‘I really like the idea of the warmth and the texture on the table. I usually don’t use a tablecloth and prefer a placemat,’ he explains. 

2. Opt for cloth napkins

When considering napkins, Berkus is a firm believer in opting for cloth napkins. Not only do these add a further element of texture to your tablescaping, but they can be used time and time again, and you can always play around with the look by switching up the napkin ring, as shown in the designer's video. 

3. Use a bread plate

Berkus recommends positioning a bread plate above each place setting which is not only a practical addition, but another opportunity to experiment with the color and texture of the dinnerware to create a layered look. 

We love the below set of side plates from Anthropologie which are perfect for bringing a handmade, rustic feel to the table.

4. Mismatch your glassware

While it may seem contrary to some, Berkus explains that glassware doesn't have to match, and instead promotes a mismatched look with glasses being used for either water or wine. We're a big fan of this more relaxed look, steering away from traditional fully matching sets. 

5. Use your 'good stuff'

Arguably the most important piece of advice, Berkus concludes by encouraging the use of your best dinnerware in day-to-day life, rather than reserving it for special occasions only. ‘I always use our best silver, I just think it elevates any experience,’ he explains. We're certainly on board with this; elevating the dining experience can add joy to the every day, so why not make the most of it this fall? 

Feeling inspired by Berkus's stylish take on crafting a thoughtful table setting? We've rounded up a range of fall table decor ideas to give you some further inspiration as we prepare for hosting season, as well as ideas on how to host a dinner party if you don't have a dining room

Emily Moorman
News Writer

Emily Moorman is a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, working across a range of topics spanning interiors, celebrity and emerging trends. With a background in the fashion industry, Emily is well-versed in the world of design and trend cycles. Her undergraduate degree was in Fashion Communication and Promotion which she studied at Norwich University of The Arts, specialising in writing and digital communications.