4 Tips for Setting a Beautiful Table

Now that you’ve got your guest bedroom ready, it’s time to focus on an important holiday tradition: gathering to enjoy a delicious meal around a table. Whether it’s your turn to cook or set the table, we have a few tips for creating a gorgeous space where everyone can enjoy your holiday meal.

1. Table Linens. Of course we’re starting with table linens, as they set the base for your tablescape. If you’re putting heirloom linens on the table, we have a special post on Caring for Vintage Table Linens just for you! For non-vintage linens, you can spot treat and wash in a basin with Eucalan, or launder in the washing machine with Eucalan using the gentle cycle, then drying on low heat. Napkins or tablecloths with embroidery will require a little TLC, especially if you’re planning to iron them – check out our post on Caring for Embroidered Pieces for more details. Even if you decide against a table cloth in favour of more informal dining, adding cloth napkins to the table will give your scene a warm, homey touch.

2. Dishes and Utensils. If you’re worrying because you don’t have matching service for the guests you’re expecting, stop! Some of the most beautiful tables can be set with mismatched dishes. Select a colour or shape and build on that theme, then stack dishes in layers (think chargers, dinner plates, salad plates and more) to create visual interest. If you don’t have enough flatware, consider mixing and matching there as well. Do make sure you include enough dishes and flatware to cover the courses you will be serving (don’t forget the dessert forks and spoons for coffee) or plan to clear the table and switch for new dishes between each one. Finally, ensure that you’ve got all the necessary serving utensils for each dish! Although this is a Thanksgiving tablescape, we love the tips found in this Hostess with the Mostest post.

Photo Credit: Madisyn Fecko

3. Place Settings. Once you’ve laid your linens, dishes and flatware, it’s time to dress up each place setting. You might choose to do this with fancy napkin adornments, or by adding fun place cards at each setting. For little ones, try adding activities at each place setting to keep children entertained throughout the meal. Again, go back to the colour or theme you have chosen and select adornments that complement the table. We just love this simple pine cone place setting from HGTV and this unique place card holder from House of Hargrove.

Photo Credit (L to R): HGTV and House of Hargrove

4. Centrepieces. The world is your oyster as you create a focal point for your table! You could lay a table runner, and create a centrepiece that runs the length of the table. Or, add fresh seasonal flowers to instantly brighten up the scene. If you’re looking for a bit more ambiance, add candles to the table to create an intimate dining atmosphere – we love the luminaries featured at Today’s Creative Life. You could also opt to group several seasonal items together to create your own unique centrepiece like in this collection of images from Better Homes & Gardens.

Photo Credit: Today’s Creative Life

Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Our final note isn’t a tip about creating a beautiful table, but on how to clean up after you host that amazing dinner. In How to Remove Common Party Stains, we delve into what to do just in case dinner gets sloshed or spilled on your table linens or carpets!

We hope these tips help you create the holiday table of your dreams this year. Need more inspiration? We have a Pinterest board full of great ideas for festive Table Settings and Tablescapes.

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