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Table Setting Tips

Creating a beautiful and appealing tablescape is an integral part to any party and should not be overlooked when you are planning the logistics of your event. Often times if one is not throwing a dinner where it is obviously a major player, the table can be left forgotten and sadly unadorned. By following a few helpful hints you can assembe a terrific table setting. The first and most important hint, is to get creative. Use your imagination and artistic abilities. See your table as a blank canvas and yourself as the artist who shall paint a masterpiece. Once I have decided on a theme and color scheme for my party I take a slow walk through my house to see if I can find any objects that can be used to decorate my table. For ideas to inspire your next table,

  • Start with the table cloth. Large pieces of fabric, blankets, tapestries, and scarves can all substitute for the real thing.
  • Don't get carried away with elaborate floral arrangements and over cluttering candelabra, keep it simple.
  • If it is a dinner you are planning, the centerpiece should be below eye level.
  • A decorative place mat, fruit, a small vase filled with fresh flowers, or one to two large candles look elegant when placed at the center of your table.
  • Rows of varying sized candles in small saucers add mood and greenery cut fresh from the garden bring the outdoors inside.
  • Mirrors, vases filled with colored balls (or ornaments around the holidays), candies, pine cones, nuts, or water and floating votives make wonderful centerpieces.
  • Different heights increase dimension.
  • Offbeat color combinations and jewel tones add style taking your table from everyday to party day.
  • Try a monochromatic look (example: red) by using various shades (maroon, blood red, burgundy, apple red) and objects of the same color (apples, cranberries, flowers, pomegranates) to tantalize the eye.
  • Add a shock of vibrant color to a plain white table cloth with brightly colored napkins.
  • Remember to have a festive and fabulous table one does not need a lot of money. I can't emphasize enough the importance of being creative. Setting your table should be fun rather than a chore and creativity really is the key to making the most out of what you already have in your home.

Here are some table settings I have used in the past to get your creative juices flowing:

  • For a Moroccan themed dinner I used an elephant print hippie beach blanket I found in Uruguay as the table cloth.
  • For a friend's wedding I made simple clear votive holders look like flowers by placing several fake red rose petals in a circle underneath the votive.
  • At a Mexican fiesta I dressed the table with a Mexican blanket and draped Spanish scarves from the chairs.
  • At Thanksgiving I collected and dried leaves then gave them a shower of gold, champagne, and bronze glitter. Using clear silk nylon string I hung them at different heights from my chandelier for a new take on falling leaves.
  • For an Argentine World Cup watching party I bought simple white eyelet fabric and sewed on pretty blue satin to hem the edges.
  • At my Halloween pumpkin carving party I covered my table with an old piece of orange and brown plaid fabric. Next I tossed some hay around for a rustic feel.
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