Tablescape Traumatized

Q: I have to set a table for six people who are coming to my apartment for dinner. I have matching dishes, glasses and flatware, but no linens. How do I set the table? Do you have any simple, inexpensive ideas to make a great table setting?

Dear Tablescape Traumatized: 

You are smart to think about more than just the menu! A pretty table setting helps make the food look better and taste better too! It also makes your guests feel you have made an effort and provides you with the opportunity for some creative expression. You are a Google or Pinterest pin away from a myriad of beautiful tablescapes of all ranges, but for your first try, keeping it simple will be best. To set the table for an informal dinner, see the chart below. As far as linens, today a full linen tablecloth with two candlesticks and an arranged floral centerpiece is out of date. You can find gorgeous paper placemats at many stores, some of my favorites are from Kitchen Papers. Cloth napkins are preferable and many retailers have very inexpensive collections or if its hot dogs, burgers or pizza, bandanas make a good choice. However, as etiquette police do not exist, decorative paper napkins will definitely suffice, just make sure they are the large dinner napkins. Make a simple centerpiece from a grouping of candles, jar, pitcher or bowl filled with fresh fruit or stems or a combination of all three. Mimi had a friend that always used her wooden salad bowl filled with whatever she had on hand. It looked great! Imagination and ingenuity is key.    

-Mimi angel

table setting

I recently had people over for drinks and after dinner snacks. All I did for my table scape was nice fresh flowers, lemons and limes and two large bowls (one with pretzels and the other with peanuts). Then, on the other side of the table, I had the drinks, napkins and cups all laid out on a platter. It was a hit! Everything was paper and perfect. As long as you put in the effort, your friends will be impressed.

-Mademoiselle cool

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