Five Tips for a Simple Table Setting

October 26, 2011

Dinner with friends and family is often a time to relax and enjoy each other’s company.  Some days, when it comes to laying the evening dinner table, we run plum out of time and just manage to lay a cloth and the crockery.  However, by adding a few simple touches to your table you can create a stylish yet informal ambience.  Here are five simple ways to style your table.  I’ve recommended pieces that can be found around the home easily enough and some inexpensive items that you might want to invest in for everyday dinners.

1. Add some fresh flowers to your table

Pick a few fresh flowers from your garden or buy a bargain bunch from your local market or florist at the weekend.  Arrange stems in a vase or place single stems in glass jars or slim narrow bottles to create an interesting centrepiece.

Via Style Me Pretty

Image via Pinterest

2. Use a table runner to emphasise a beautiful timber tabletop or plain linen cloth.

If you have a lovely timber table top, don’t hide it, add a patterned or plain table runner and really show it off.  Alternatively, you could use a table runner to jazz up a plain tablecloth.  For a unique runner, try a strip of lace curtain fabric, burlap or hessian from your local haberdashery store.  If you are fortunate to have some of grandma’s lace doilies, place them down the centre of your table for a pretty centrepiece.

Image via Style Me Pretty

Image via Pinterest

3. Dress your napkins

Use your favourite table linen set and dress your napkins with an ornament such as a fresh flower/herb stem or piece of fruit.  For a unique napkin ring, use fabric such as satin ribbon, burlap or organza to make a tie around the napkin.  If you’re using a plain coloured tablecloth, why not mix and match your napkins to create fun patterns across the table. And lastly, you could simply tie your napkins in a special fold, like a simple bow tie (below).

Image via The Sweetest Occasion

Image via Martha Stewart

4. Use a strong patterned tablecloth as the decorative focus

The patterned tablecloth becomes the focus of the table.  Use plain crockery and glasses to ensure the table setting is not too busy.  Finish it off with fresh flowers or napkins that compliment your cloth.

5. Use placemats for a casual and informal setting

For a unique setting, use printable placemats, felt or scrapbooking paper sheets or grab a foreign newspaper from your local newsagency and cut out pages to use a placemats (see below).  This last tip works well if you are serving a particular cuisine, such as Japanese, French or Italian.  Simply buy the newspaper that coordinates with your meal. (It’s the little details after all.). Sometimes finding the perfect placemats can be difficult, so I’ve often sought out beautiful table runners instead.  You simply place three or four table runners across the table, in front of each dining chair and voila, you have placemats for each guest in your favourite pattern.

Image via Dreamy Whites

I hope this has inspired you to create a little occasion in your home, where you can relax in comfort and enjoy each other’s company.

Best wishes,

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