Simple Ways to Set a Great Table for Entertaining

June 6, 2014

Do you love to entertain?  I know that I don’t do it as much as I’d like to, but when I do, my favorite part is designing the table.  Setting a great table when you entertain is no longer about pulling out your grandmother’s china, silver and linen tablecloths.  It’s about mixing old with new, and high end with low end.  You can still use those silver candlesticks that you inherited from your grandmother, but for an elegant yet modern look, you might want to mix in some modern wine glasses or some simple white plates.

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Family or vintage silverware mixed with modern dinner plates usually look great.  Then the dessert or salad can be served on vintage plates, but not matching.  You can use a charger under your dinner plate to add another layer of interest.  The water glass can be fine crystal and the wine glass can be more modern and inexpensive.

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You can use pretty linens or placemats to start with.  Sometimes I like to layer, when it comes to linens, in order to create texture or a color scheme.  Try putting a table runner over a tablecloth or a small square tablecloth on the diagonal over top of a larger rectangular or oval one, depending on the table shape.  Another option is to make something in lieu of placemats or a runner.  Use burlap or denim for a barbeque; use an animal print fabric or a nautical theme to make napkins or placemats for a kid’s party.

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You can get creative, and make something fun, to establish a theme for the table setting, like these vinyl record placemats.  These are actual placemats, not real records, but this image gives me so many ideas.  I love the idea of using vintage items in unexpected ways, like filling a cigarette box with mints or nuts or a hat box with champagne glasses.

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Here’s an unexpected idea.  Using a sheet of stone tile as a placemat.  I love it!  Mosaic tile comes in mesh sheets of 12” X 12;” the perfect size for a placemat.  Find some on a closeout that are discontinued.  You could glue a felt back to them if you don’t want them to scratch your table.

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A new trend in table top décor that I have been seeing lately is paint-dipped flatware and silver-edged glassware.  This is kind of a fun look that can add color to your table top.   If you didn’t want to paint your good silver, you could pick up an inexpensive set of flatware at the flea market or a thrift store and dip it in paint to use for a party.

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Candlelight is always important.  You can use those silver candlesticks or you can use an entire strip of modern votives running all the way down the length of the table.  And don’t forget the flowers! I know that most people don’t get as involved as I do at Décor Revolution, in the whole table setting process; making their own linens and all.  To me, that’s the fun part, but if you just want to throw together a pretty table, you can still do it with a mix of what you have, old and new.  Whatever you do with your table setting décor; it’s the unexpected touches that create an affair to remember!

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