STYLE & INSPIRATION
Whether you're hosting a dinner party or date night, setting the scene with the dining table is key. Not only does a well-dressed dining table ensure your home looks the part, it makes the event feel extra special.Dining table décor doesn't just involve plates and cutlery; many elements combine to create that magical setting. If you're unsure where to start, read on to learn how to set the table.
Step 1: Choose your table linenLinen breathes new life into an old dining table, giving it a stylish refresh. Either pick a cloth that covers the whole table or a runner for the centre. Table linen comes in many different materials and finishes, each with handy benefits. Which material best suits your needs?
Cotton & linenFor that classic feel, look no further than cotton and linen table cloths. Whether you choose cotton, linen or a blend of both, pop them in the wash to refresh them before reusing. Remember to iron cotton or linen cloths before using them to ensure a polished look.PU coatedIf your loved ones are a bit messy, choose coated table linen. Thanks to the protective coating, this linen can easily be wiped clean – perfect for any spills!VelvetVelvet is known for its luxurious look and feel; what better table linen for special occasions? Draped over your table, velvet cloths instantly bring a sense of indulgence.
Step 2: Position the placematsWith the linen in place, you'll need to lay placemats in front of each chair. Find designs thatmatch your linen and in a material that suits your needs. Here are our top picks:• Faux leather: This material adds texture and can be wiped clean. • Glass: A sturdy, durable statement material. • Cotton: Perfect for minimalist styles and machine washable. • Coated cork: Ideal for everyday use, as it’s lightweight and low maintenance.• Woven: Made from materials like seagrass or water hyacinth. Woven placemats add a natural, rustic touch.
Step 3: Place your dinnerwareNext up, dinnerware. Start by laying the main dinner plate onto the placemat, then stack a side plate and bowl. This layering effect brings height to your dinner table.To make things easy, why not buy a matching set? This means your plates, side plates and bowls complement each other. Choose a colourway or pattern that reflects your style to elevate your dining table décor.
Which dinnerware material should you choose?Each dinnerware material has its own set of features. Pick the material that meets your needs and budget:• Porcelain: Its glazed finish makes porcelain durable and less prone to chipping. It has a premium feel but with a budget-friendly price tag. • Stoneware: Durable and heat resistant, stoneware is perfect for everyday use. • Bone china: Recognised as the highest quality dinnerware material, bone china is super strong and chip resistant. • Fine china: Looking for an affordable alternative to bone china? Fine china offers excellent durability but at a lower price.
Step 4: Set out the glasswareKeep the drinks flowing with stunning glassware. Whether you choose coloured glass or crystal, glasses tie together yourdining table décor. Position glasses on the right-hand side of the placemats, with the alcohol glass on the outside.
Which glasses should you pick?The glassware you choose depends on the drinks you'll serve:1. Soft drinks and water: Always provide tumblers for guests to enjoy water or soft drinks alongside their tipple of choice. 2. Red wine: Pick tall wine glasses with a large bowl to release the red’s aromas. 3. White wine: Choose a smaller wine glass to keep the drink chilled and bring the aromas closer. 4. Sparkling wine: A tulip-shaped flute will retain the fizz for longer. 5. Beer: A tulip glass is best for aromatic beers, while goblets work well with high-ABV beverages. 6. Cocktails. Coupe and martini glasses are perfect for homemade cocktails. 7. Spirits. Whether it’s a G&T or whisky, serve spirit-based drinks in a rocks or highball glass.
Step 5: Pick your cutleryMost cutlery is made of stainless steel, as it’s durable and long-lasting. You can choose an all-stainless steel cutlery set or a plastic or wood handle design – whatever works best with your dining table décor.
How to set cutlery on the tableIf you're serving up a special three-course meal, here’s how to set cutlery on the table:1. Place a dinner knife on the right-hand side of the placemat, with the fork on the left. You might need a steak knife if you're serving meat. 2. Lay a smaller knife and fork outside the dinner set for the starter. 3. Add a spoon to the right of the starter knife if you're serving soup. 4. Place a dessert spoon and fork above the plate.
Step 6: Finish with dining table accessoriesWith the essentials in place, it’s time for the dining table accessories. These will ensure your guests are blown away by your dining table décor.Place cardsHelp guests find their seats with a personalised place card. If you’re no calligrapher, why not get the kids involved? Bring out the stationery and challenge them to decorate each place card.NapkinsNapkins are a must-have dining table accessory. They come in various designs, from classic white to fun patterns. Choose fabric napkins for an environmentally friendly option that can be washed and reused. Lay your napkins on the left-hand side of each placemat, or pop them into a stylish napkin ring.
CentrepiecesDining table décor always needs a centrepiece. This draws the eye to the table and allows you to showcase your creative flair. Dining table centrepieces come in all shapes and sizes, but here are some ideas to get you started:• Flower arrangements: Whether it’s one large bouquet or a cluster of smaller arrangements, flowers always go down a storm. • Fruit bowls: Bring zesty colours with a fruit bowl filled with citrus fruits. This is an easy centrepiece that can be eaten too!• Statement vases: Collate your favourite vases to create a design-led centrepiece. • Candles: Candles add a cosy feel while creating intimate lighting.
In just six steps, you've learnt how to set the table for your next special occasion.Get inspired by our latest homeware edits to maintain a stylish abode.
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