Should The Dining Table Always Be Set?

Whether you have a small or large family, the dining room table is often a popular gathering spot. Having your dining room table beautifully set at all times may sound appealing. However, you might be wondering if it is practical or necessary to always keep the dining room table set. We have researched this topic and have come up with some of the advantages and disadvantages of keeping your dining room table set.

It is not necessary to always have the dining table set. Your lifestyle and personality should be a factor in deciding if you want your dining room table set at all times. Whether you prefer to keep your dining room table set for easy entertaining or you prefer a bare table with no clutter, the choice is completely up to you!

Consider various factors such as the way your family uses the dining room table, time constraints, ages of your family members, whether you have pets or not, and your overall style before deciding if you want to keep your dining room set at all times. Keep reading to learn some advantages and disadvantages to keeping your dining room table set. Additionally, we will offer some ideas on how to decorate your dining table when it is not in use.

Classic Family Breakfast outisde, Should The Dining Table Always Be Set?

Advantages of Having a Dining Table Always Set

There are several advantages of having your dining room table set at all times. A set table can mean different things to different people as well.

Woodtype setting table with mixed wood chairs

Whether it is simply having the dinnerware and flatware on the table or going all out by adding placemats, napkins, and other decor, a permanently set table can be advantageous.

Always Prepared and Saves Time

One reason you might want to keep your table set is to always be prepared to serve unexpected company or when someone drops in for dinner. You can rest easy knowing your table will look ready for them, and it is a great way to impress your guests.

Also, you will be able to spend more time visiting with your guests rather than setting the table.

A good rule of thumb is to set your table right after your current meal to get ready for your next meal. This will take away the hustle and bustle of setting the table right before your meal, so when hungry stomachs arrive, they won't have to wait for the table to be set.

Pleasing Appearance

Another reason you may want to keep your dining room table always set is because of the beautiful aesthetic it can bring to the dining room. Most dining room tables in stores or magazines are set when the company is trying to sell them to you. They tend to look more stylish and beautiful when set.

You can also make your dining table look more elegant or rustic depending on the types of glasses, dinnerware, and place settings you use. Fancy dinnerware and wine glasses can be used for a more lavish display, while mason jars and simple white plates could be used for a more simple farmhouse style.

A dining table is an empty canvas for you to decorate as you wish.

Outside setup or vacation set-up of dining

This beautifully set table is simple and ties the room together with the use of blue dinnerware and glasses. It perfectly complements the colors in the dining room.


If entertaining guests is a large part of your life, keeping your dining table set might be important to you. Whether you have guests over for tea, host large diner parties, or make romantic dinners, keeping your table set will impress guests and make it more convenient for entertaining.

Creativity and Coordination

Setting your table gives you a chance to coordinate your dining room with the rest of your design style. If you have pops of color throughout your home, consider using those colors on your dining table to create a cohesive look.

Mix and match the color of your placemats, dinnerware, or centerpieces to provide a continuous color scheme in your home.

It can also be a place to let loose with your creativity. Think about setting your table according to the upcoming holidays or seasons. It gives you a chance to put your personality on display!

Dining table set with a looking festive decoration of halloween

This dining table is decorated for fall by simply placing small pumpkins and gourds down the center of the table. They stand out beautifully against the neutral tablecloth and bright white plates.

Beautiful wedding setting or classic dine of table set-up

How cute is this table decorated for Easter? The gorgeous yellow tulips in the center coordinate perfectly with the yellow chevron napkins. The gorgeous plate of colored eggs and colored bunny on each plate are the finishing touches.

Disadvantages of Having a Dining Table Always Set

As you can see, there are several advantages of having a dining table always set, but there are also some disadvantages. It may not be worth the effort to you, and quite honestly, it may not be practical for your space and your type of living.

Multi-use Space

If your dining room table is used for more than just eating and entertaining, keeping it set may not be realistic.

If your dining room table is a space where children do homework, you pay your bills, or friends gather to play games,  having a set table is just not practical. You don't want to have to set and unset the table every time you need to use the table for something else.

Young Children

If you have young children, keeping a dining room table set may be dangerous and thoughtless. A young child can easily grab your breakable plates off of the table or may find a knife or fork and want to use it as a toy.

Broken glass can be quite dangerous, and you are probably not going to want to keep replacing broken dishes. Keeping your dining table always set can be a huge safety hazard for young children unless you want to constantly be deterring the child away from the table.

Pets Pets tend to play under the table or over the table which may damage the set table

Just like small children, pets can damage your set table by jumping up on the table and knocking things over. This can be both expensive and irritating.

Moreover, you don't want your guests finding stray pet hair inside of their glasses or on their dishes when they sit down to eat. That can be a rather unpleasant way to start a meal.


Even if you have time to set your table often and find it just adds an extra bit of style to your dining room, the buildup of dust can become a problem.

Your dinnerware and glassware are the perfect place for a layer of dust to settle. Even if you reset your table every single day, a thin layer of dust can still find its way onto your table.

If you rarely use your dining table, you can be sure your set flatware, plates, and glasses will have accumulated a layer of dust. Before using your dishes, you will have to wash them and reset them unless you want dust with your meal. This can add more time and hassle to a meal.

How Do I Decorate My Dining Table When Not in Use?

Maybe you don't want to keep your dining table set at all times but still want it to make a statement. Here are some ideas for decorating your dining table when it's not in use.

Add a Tablecloth

Simply placing a tablecloth over your dining room table can add a touch of color or warmth to a room. You can choose a single color or bold pattern.

Table dining with cloth decoration on table

Use Candles or Vases

A combination of vases, candles, or pillars can add interest and height to a dining table. They will prevent your table from looking bare and can add visual interest.

Click here to see this candle set on Amazon.

Flowers and Greenery

A large display of flowers or greenery can add color to your room and will immediately provide a focal point. You can show off your green thumb or showcase flowers and plants you love.

In Closing

Classic Family Breakfast outisde

Keeping your dining room set is dependent on your lifestyle and personal preference. If you entertain often and appreciate the look of having a dining table set at all times, then go for it!

If you have young children or your dining table has multiple uses, then don't stress about keeping it set! Ultimately, your preference of keeping the dining table set at all times is all that matters.

Click on the following links for more ideas on dining room decor:

Should You Use Placemats With A Tablecloth?

9 Accent Wall Ideas For The Dining Room

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