I used to find myself drooling over beautiful table settings in catalogs and magazines wishing that I could pull off such a fancy look on my own table. Yet I found myself limited by not wanting to spend a fortune at Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel. I now purchase items on clearance after holidays or as I see really unique one-off items at places like Home Goods or consignment shops at a great price even though I don’t have matching sets.

I recently hosted a dinner party for my family and felt like I was finally able to achieve the look I have always wanted on my dining room table. The look I created was warm and welcoming. I’ve learned that you can really mix and match many different items and come up with unique and beautiful looks for a dinner table without spending a lot of money on matching centerpieces or fresh flowers.

I started to use a lot of items that I purchased for my wedding to add decor to my parties. For example, square and cylinder vases can easily be turned into something fabulous. I use square vases with beautiful items like potpourri, small christmas ornaments or ribbon and place a glass votive in the middle. I also place decorative rocks in the cylinder vases and fill them with water. I float either floating candles or just pull a tealight candle out of the metal shell for a great centerpiece.

I love the look of this beautiful table. Photo credit: Pottery Barn

Try mixing things you already own like tealights, votives, pillar candles set on holders of different heights and candlesticks. And remember that the candlesticks or candle holders don’t have to match. You can even add in the vase items I described above.

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Crystal, glass and metal can look great together. For my look, I mixed three silver candle holders with white pillar candles that were all the same height and added silver votives, plum tealights (from my wedding) and some crystal candlestick holders I received as a gift years ago. I scattered all of them across the table with white candles. White candles really help to bring the look together.

Photo credit: Crate and Barrel.

One of my favorite recent finds are these clear candle holders from Crate and Barrel. Priced starting at just $2.95, I own several heights and mix them up either on my fireplace mantel or on the dinner table. They are incredibly versatile.

Anyone can create a fancy dinner table using items you already own and maybe a few new ones. Try to look through your house to really take inventory of items you already own that could look beautiful when mixed together and remember that with candle light and your lamps dimmed, no one will notice if colors don’t match perfectly or if something has a scratch. Just give it a shot!

I am adding my first video tonight. I took it with my iPhone and 10 men were yelling during football in the background, but you’ll get the idea. I whipped up a dining room table setting in just a few moments with quite a few different elements. Enjoy! Live the fancy life!