Welcome dinner party guests with a stylish tablescape
Stylish table decor for your dinner party can come together easily and doesn’t have to break the bank.
The key is to use what you have, or can borrow, to pull together a pretty table almost effortlessly. Whether you pull out the fancy china or keep it casual with everyday dishes, planning ahead eliminates the stress — you might even find it fun.
Fresh garland, a few handmade touches and flickers of candlelight, create a magical ambience to make your guests feel warm and welcome. Start with a base Fresh, clean table linens in neutral colours such as white provide the perfect base for your table. Think of the tablecloth as a canvas, the starting point for layering on the various elements of your tablescape. A white cotton cloth and white napkins allows the table decor, dishes and stemware to take centre stage. Remember: pull your tablecloths out and check for stains well ahead of your big night so you don’t have to make a mad dash for bleach or replacements.
If you need to purchase a new tablecloth, don’t forget to measure the table before you go shopping. For the size, measure your table’s length and width or if it’s round, the diameter.
Most store-bought tablecloths have a fitting guide on the back. Add a centrepiece The focal point of your table doesn’t have to be a big bouquet of flowers. Try long and low with a garland of fresh greenery spanning the entire length of the table. This makes sure everyone can see each other and enjoy the accent from their seats. Plus, it probably smells divine.
With this plan, you don’t need a degree in flower arranging to impress your guests. First, buy some greenery (if your neighbour’s hedge is attractive, ask first!). You’ll find standard varieties used in bouquets — green cypress, boxwood, salal and orange hypericum berries — at a neighbourhood flower shop.
Keep everything in water until you’re ready to design your table. Layer it on A dinner party is a great time to pull out the fancy dishes you might have stored away. Wedding china that rarely sees the light of day can be mixed with everyday white dinnerware will keep the vibe elegant, but casual. White dishes are like the little black dress of the dinner table; they look good with everything. Add the silverware Silverware is your table’s jewelry. You might have an heirloom set missing a few pieces, it isn’t worth stressing over. Just mix it up. The days of having everything match are passé. Plus, that’s boring.
You can often find old silverware and stainless steel pieces at antique markets. You can put together an eclectic collection that can be much more interesting (and maybe even less expensive) than something from a big box store.
Just imagine how many dinner parties old silverware have witnessed? The stories it could tell. A trio of stemware Having something to sip at every course of the meal may mean putting out champagne flutes, glasses for white wine and red, tiny port glasses for dessert wine and water glasses to stay hydrated along the way.
You can borrow and mix here too, from clean lined flutes to sparkly cut crystal. Perhaps contrast that with a pop of fresh green glassware.
Don’t worry if you don’t have enough wine glasses for all of the wine courses. An all-purpose glass between the sizes of a red wine glass and white wine glass will do just fine. You don’t even need to rinse them between courses, really. Light the table Candlelight and dinner parties go hand in hand. The soft glow adds to a relaxed ambience. Pick up a box of tapered candles. It will last through this night and many more in the future.
Try five brass candlesticks down the table, tucked among fresh greenery. They don’t need to match. Varying sizes and styles can work together as long as you stick to one shade of metal. Make it special Place cards add some personality to the table and to tie it back to the theme. If the menu features citrus fruit, for example, go with a fun, edible option — like clementines. Keep the leaves looking fresh by storing them in the refrigerator covered with a damp cloth or paper towels until it’s time to set the table.
Handwritten name tags for the dinner party shown here were made with kraft paper and a hole punch and tied to the stems with twine.
Adding edible style to your table keeps your props in season and can build on your menu’s theme. Think about pears, apples or lemons or even a sprig of rosemary.
Voilà! Your table is ready.
Whether you pull out the fancy china for your dinner party or keep it casual with everyday dishes, planning ahead eliminates the stress.