With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, it is time to start thinking about your table. Creating a dazzling table for a special event is not hard... but it does take prep work and advance planning.
Setting a beautiful table is just as important to a special meal as the menu… Yet many people find this part of entertaining extremely daunting or do not think it is essential to completing the meal. Think of your table as you would a beautifully wrapped gift. When you receive a package that has been thoughtfully wrapped, it creates just as much excitement & anticipation as what’s actually inside. If your table is beautifully presented, it can make up for a world of sins if your cooking is anything like mine!
So … Today, I would like to help you simplify the process. If you follow these five simple guidelines, you will have everyone talking about your table!
1. COLOR & THEME - Even if you have all white dishes and all white linens...adding some colorful napkins tied with a beautiful ribbon can dress it up. While I am not much on "themes" of sorts, thinking of a theme for the table can help focus your efforts on decorating. My Thanksgiving table is usually centered around a WOODLAND theme that matches my Spode Woodland dishes.
2. LAYERS - Whenever I set a table for entertaining, I always use several layers of plates….even if we don’t need them. I always use a charger, a dinner plate and a salad or dessert plate stacked on top of one another. It creates visual interest and adds some depth and dimesion to the table that just one flat plate cannot achieve. It can also bring in an element of color and can help set the mood for the theme if the plates are patterned . Think outside the box for the bottom (charger) element…. It doesn’t have to be a formal china plate.
3. FLOWERS & CANDLES - I prefer to use several small floral arrangements spread across the table as opposed to one larger centerpiece. This allows the guests at all points of the table to enjoy them. When you break down flowers into smaller bites, it will seem much more manageable and it can truly be as simple as a few roses in a small drinking glass. The key to your floral arrangements on a dinner table is height! Make sure your guests can see over it to keep the conversation going across the table. Scatter in a handlful of small votive candles (unscented!!) and you have created the perfect ambience.
4. SEATING - Super simple... mix it up! It makes for much more interesting conversation when you have thought about and preselected where people will sit. Place cards add an extra touch of elegance and allow you another element to think outside the box and bring color to the table. I have used small frames, pieces of fruit with ribbons and tags, formal place cards with colored ink... the possibilities are endless! One last note on seating... I do not believe in "kiddie" tables. I think children should be mixed among the adults and be made to feel just as special as the other guests.
5. A SPECIAL GIFT - The final element to creating that special table is to place a small "take away" gift at each place setting. I typically use small boxes of chocolate (2-3 pieces) wrapped with a beautiful ribbon and placed on either the bread plate or above the place setting. It is a lovely party favor for the guests and again helps to add layering and color to your table.
So there you have it... five simple tips! I would love to hear how you will dress your table... now, I must get to thinking about mine!
all photos belong to Tiffany Jones Interiors