Table Settings 101
I always use white plates! Always! White plates make the food look more appetizing and white goes with every color combination. I only purchase white dinnerware; my favorite is Williams Sonoma’s Pantry collection. The perfect meal is always served on a crisp white plate. Then, I usually have a collection of different styles of placemats and chargers. You can start the table with a tablecloth (if you like them), then the placemat/charger or both in my case. I love to layer, so I usually always put the placemat down first then the charger. My collection consists of natural options; such as woven chargers and linen placemats. But I love a black and white table too. Over the years, I have decided that a natural table appeals to everyone! My table will always have a large dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, water glass and wine glass, finishing off with salad fork, dinner fork, knife and spoon. This is a standard table setting for me and it goes up from there depending on the kind of dinner I am hosting. Getting out my china is always fun too!
I always use white, I know I am boring, but I love knowing I can bleach them, and that they will always be white. In my opinion colored napkins become dull and look used after two washes and aren’t worth the money. White is easy and never dull! (Side note: I use only white towels for this exact reason too!) You can use a napkin ring or fold the napkin and place under the salad plate and bowl in between the dinner plate or be traditional and place under your flatware. Regarding napkin rings, neutral colors are best. I have woven ones, gold ones, black ones, woods ones, you get the point. The reason I like napkin rings is because they bring a feminine vibe to the setting. Something I love doing is adding a natural element to the napkin and ring like a sprig of rosemary. You can do so many things with the tip, like adding a cinnamon stick, a flower, a sprig of pine, leaves ( I love the smell of a lemon or orange tree leaves) and even add chop sticks if it’s a Thai or Chinese dinner night! Have fun! You will also see in my design photos that I will add a lemon (piece of fruit) to the bowl if I decide not to use the napkin ring. There is such a feeling of home when you add a natural element from the earth to a table setting.
Your centerpiece can really be anything you want, but I want to tell you some tips that should always be followed. Use unscented candles at the table, scented candles can really ruin the smell of food! (Vanilla and Steak don’t mix!!!) EEWWW! Be sure your centerpiece isn’t too high, so your guests can see each other and converse easily. If you chose a tall centerpiece for drama, please make sure that it can easily be removed during the dinner. At my home I have many options in my front yard and backyard for my centerpiece. I will grab a glass vase (from recent flowers I received) or a ceramic pitcher and go out and cut fresh flowers, branches, lavender or eucalyptus. Depending on the time of year I may add pinecones to the table or random branches with votive candles placed down the middle. I try to always be creative and unique, keeping the guest in mind the whole time. A natural table brings me joy and my guest feel at home!