When throwing a dinner party it’s important to pay close attention to the way your table is set. The dinner table will be its own centrepiece, so the way you arrange everything, the type of cutlery you’re using, how you’re decorating it, and so on, will have a huge impact on the overall dining experience. Setting a dinner table is easy, we’ve all done it at least once in our lives, but setting a dinner table in an elegant and sophisticated way is quite a different thing.
Requiring much more than just knowing which side to put the spoons on or where the butter dish goes, a special dinner table takes more work than you might imagine. No matter if it’s for a family gathering, a business deal, or a romantic evening for two, there are some universal rules as to what comprises a well-set dinner table for a special occasion.
The very first thing you’ll need to do when setting a table is planning where everything will go and how you want everything to look. From the smallest of decor pieces and the plates to the cutlery and wine glasses – everything will need to be planned for ahead.
The key to a well-set dinner table is to always have a theme, so choose a colour scheme that you’re going to follow throughout the night. The colours that you pick will dictate everything you have on the table, so choose carefully and according to the occasion.
If it’s a dinner for two, maybe go with purple, red, or white. If it’s a business dinner, keep it classy and stay within the range of navy, cream, or even black. Family gatherings can handle any colour, but it’s always best to keep it simple. Bear in mind that you’ll need to put food on the table too, so don’t go overboard with either colours or patterns and designs!
If the table is the centrepiece, your plates will be the star of the show! The type of plates you choose will say a lot about your taste in design as well as your aesthetic. So, don’t stray away from what you already know and like, just adapt it to the occasion! The plates you put on the table should definitely be unique, so you can look for some handmade ceramic dinner plates to buy as these are usually the ones that leave the biggest impression.
The advantage of having handmade ceramic dinner plates is the fact that each set is uniquely made, so there are no two sets alike. However, this doesn’t apply to the items within that set, so you’re still going to have a table that’s unified, yet diverse!
Another great thing about handmade ceramic plates is their durability. Made with high-quality materials and enormous attention to detail, they are refined to perfection, which makes them the perfect choice for an elegant and special dinner party or celebration. Available in a huge variety of styles, you can go with plain white, white with specs of colour, colourful options, vintage or modern ceramic plates,.and so on.
Clay plates are an option, too! You can also choose between shiny or matte pieces according to the vision you have in mind, but always remember that whichever way you choose – you’ll need to stick to it. This means that if your plates are matte so should any decor items, but we’ll get deeper into that in a bit.
Finally, make sure to have plates for both the main dish as well as any other courses you may be serving, and don’t forget about the dessert plates as well! You can use them as a way to create a diversion and break the pattern or round the theme up!
Glasses & Cutlery
The glasses and the cutlery should closely follow the tone you’ve already set with the plates. If, for example, you went with matte, clay, vintage plates your cutlery can be ornamental and with a deeper tone while your glasses can also be sufficiently decorated and unique. If you’ve decided to go for a more modern and minimal look, choose cutlery with a contemporary design and a simple colour and glasses that follow suit.
Thin round or square glasses can really tie a modern table up, while heavy and detailed ones will work wonderfully well with a more olden style. Either way, you decide to go, make sure to not go overboard with details and ornaments as there is still space for actual decor items!
You can always mix things up and create a table that has a little bit of the past and the present on it, but this is a bit of a difficult line to walk, so you’ll need to pay extra attention and really plan everything out beforehand. Still, it isn’t impossible, so go ahead and try your hand at it!
Your decor will be everything that isn’t an absolute necessity on the table but will also include some essentials like napkins and your tablecloth. I spoke earlier of the colour schemes suitable for each occasion, so you may use that guide again to determine the colour of your napkins and tablecloth. Make sure they are simple, yet striking enough to transform your regular table into a design marvel!
Once you have them all figured out, all that’s left is to think of your actual table centrepiece and any other little additions. You can add name cards if the dinner is going to host more than four people and can even leave personalized gifts for every guest that will be in attendance. You can use candles as well as paper flowers or fresh fruit as additional decor pieces that will add their own splash of colour to the whole mix.