I am the opposite of whatever Martha Stewart is. My dishes taste good, look messy. My presentation is meh. But I’ve learned that while table settings can be elegant and beautiful, they can also be simple and understated. And that’s probably as high as I should aim! The key is to choose what works best for your occasion and the type of table you are using.
1) Start with a clean table
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is essential to make sure that your table is clean before you start setting it. If you are using a cloth, make sure that it is free of stains or wrinkles. You may want to iron it beforehand. I mean, I probably won’t, but YOU can! If you are using a wood table, make sure that it is dust and fingerprint free. You can use a damp cloth to wipe it down.
2) Choose your tablecloth or runner
Tablecloths come in many different colors, textures, and materials. You will want to choose one that compliments your dinnerware and fits the theme of your party. For example, if you are having a formal dinner party, you may want to choose a silk tablecloth in a solid color. On the other hand, if you are having a more casual gathering, you may want to choose a cotton tablecloth with a pattern.
Once you have chosen your tablecloth, make sure that it is the correct size for your table. You don’t want it hanging over the edge or being too small. If it is too big, you can always fold it or tuck it under the table.
If you are not using a cloth, you may want to consider using a runner. Runners come in many different colors, textures, and materials, just like tablecloths. They can be used to add color or interest to your table. Choose one that compliments your dinnerware and fits the theme of your party. I’ve come to really love runners because my table is unique and has a beautiful design, so this lets me show that off, while still “dressing up” a bit!
3) Choose your dinnerware
Now it’s time to choose your dinnerware. You will want to choose plates, bowls, and cups that compliment your tablecloth or runner and fit the theme of your party. For example, for a formal dinner party, you may want to use china. You may want to use stoneware or earthenware for a casual get together.
You also need to decide how many place settings you will need. A place setting includes a plate, bowl, cup, fork, knife, spoon, and napkins from Richard Haworth. You will need one place setting for each person who is attending your party. Once you have chosen your dinnerware and determined how many place settings you need, it’s time to set the table. If you are using a cloth, place the dinner plate in the center of the tablecloth. To set a basic table, you will need:
- Dinner plate
- Salad plates
- Bread and butter plates
- Soup bowls (if soup is being served)
- Cups and saucers (if coffee or tea is being served)
- Water glasses
- Wine glasses (if wine is being served)
Place all of the plates, bowls, and cups on top of the tablecloth or runner. Make sure that they are evenly spaced and that there is enough room for each person to have their own place setting. Now that the table is set, it’s time to move on to decorating it.
4) Choose your centerpieces
Centerpieces are a great way to add interest and decoration to your table. There are many different types of centerpieces from which to choose. You will want ones that fit the theme of your party and compliment your dinnerware.
Once you have chosen your centerpieces, it’s time to put them on the table. Centerpieces should be placed in the middle of the table, evenly spaced apart. If you are using candles, make sure that they are placed in safe holders and that they will not be in danger of being knocked over by guests. Try to be sure guests can see each other over any centerpieces. You don’t want them to hinder conversation!
Setting and decorating the table for your next dinner party is easy when you know what to do. Just choose a theme, select your tablecloth or runner, choose your dinnerware, and decide on some centerpieces. With these tips, your table will be sure to impress your guests!