Set a Pretty Table

My mother-in-law has said that her mother taught her to always set a pretty table, at every meal time – it will make the food taste better and the company brighter.   Whenever I help her set her table, I do feel a bit anxious…does the salad fork go on the inside or outside?  Do I need to set a soup spoon if we are not having soup? Does this look okay??

A refresher for any of you who may not have the mechanics of a proper place setting ingrained in their memory: think of the acronym FORKS: from left to right, Fork, O for the round plate, Knife, Spoon.

Other things to remember:

  • Knife blades always face the plate
  • The napkin goes to the left of the fork, or on the plate
  • The bread and butter knife are optional
  • Don’t let the fork run away with the spoon!

Now we have that out of the way, let’s get onto the fun part – tablescapes.  Throw out tradition here – beyond setting the place settings, be creative.  Be seasonal. Mixing and matching and layering are encouraged.  After all, a fun and interesting table will encourage a fun, interesting meal.  I guess my mother in law was right!

It’s fun to add a pop of color with the bread plate.

A place card with a personal touch can double as a take-home party favor.


Print a menu off of your computer and toss it into a frame for your table.  Alternatively, jot your menu down on makeshift paper placemats.  Your guests will be impressed – and it takes no time at all.

Fresh produce can create a theme for a table.  Choose local, seasonal produce and go with it.

Candle lamps add a romantic twist.  Decanting wine into several small vases is a space-saving, fun way for guests to replenish themselves.

If you are looking to set a more casual, yet chic table, here are some darling concepts.

How cute are these burlap pouches from Cutlery Couture?  A smart way to transport your cutlery from the buffet table to your seat.

images via pinterest, housebeautiful, diynetwork, cutlerycouture

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