How to: Setting a Table That's Friendly & Inviting (And Not Over Done)
There are lots of reasons to set a table whether it's an average weeknight supper or festive holiday feast to date-night dining. At Colonial House of Flowers we see the table as a canvas -- for everybody -- from the bakers to the decorators to children and adults to the flower makers! It's true you are going to need to set your table to make it as fun, friendly, inviting and easy as it can possibly be -- if we are going to have a good time!
Table setting may seem like a bygone art but in fact, it's not. It's very on time, especially right now. In fact, here in Atlanta my daughter went to the Cotillion Class at Roswell Country Club this past week. I was surprised and happy to see her studying about table settings and manners. I love it! Seeing her study reminded me how much I treasure table time. Plus, everywhere from Anthropologie to House Beautiful is talking about the table. Lucky for everyone, it's quite simple once you know a few basics.
I am share a little tip list including images of settings that we have worked on and admire. Here's a 'how to' for setting the table with a unique, friendly and inviting Colonial House of Flowers touch.
Arranging a Table Setting
Setting a Casual Table
2. Put out the silverware next using the forks to the left of the dinner plate, and knives and spoons to the right. The secret to the flatware is remembering that it is placed as it will be used. The dessert utensils are at the top of the plate when included.
SHOP: LINEN NAPKIN SETS, PARK HILL COLLECTION, COLONIALHOUSE.NET
3. Next up: the glasses! The water glass is at the top right of each table setting with the wine glass to the right of it. According to Anthropologie's Table Setting With A Modern Twist, "If guests have enjoyed a sip before dinner, the cocktail glass goes to the right of the entire place setting."
4. Finally put the greens on! Fill the center of the table with candles, lanterns, a small vase of flowers or greenery laid as a garland. For me, it's easy to get carried away here when in honesty, less is more in the center of the table.
CREDIT: COLONIAL HOUSE OF FLOWERS WITH HANNAH FORSBERG PHOTOGRAPHY AT MONTALUCE WINERY, DAHLONAGA, GA
Setting a Formal Table
CREDIT: COLONIAL HOUSE OF FLOWERS WITH JULIE PAISLEY, A FANTASTICAL FLORAL OPEN ARCH IS JUST THE START OF THIS FAIRYTAIL DAY AT THIS HISTORICAL VENUE IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA
1. Upon deciding on the dishes then you can choose a matching tablecloth for the table and other linens.
2. Placemats are optional. If they're being used then they go down first to be topped with a centered charger, dinner plate, salad plate, soup bowl (in that order).
3. Napkins are next, my friends. Although a folded napkin to the right of the place setting is classic you can use napkin rings or place the napkin atop the dishes for an elevated and creative touch.
4. Just like with a casual setting, the silverware is laid in the order it will be used from the outside in. The knives and spoons are to the right of the plate and the forks are on the left. Additional utensils that may be used like the soup spoon, goes farthest to the right. A steak knife goes next to the plate. A desert utensil goes to the top of the plate.
PHOTO: COLONIAL HOUSE OF FLOWERS + RSVP EVENTS + JULIE PAISLEY PHOTOGRAPHY AT SWAN HOUSE, ATLANTA, GEORGIA
5. Next up is the glassware. The water glass goes to the top right of the table setting while a single red or white wine glass goes to its right. If cocktails were served before dinner those glasses go the right of the entire place setting.
6. Lastly, add candles to light the center of the table. You can use taper candlesticks or votive candles and tea lights. This is also a time to add the extra details like place cards, menu cards even boutonnières for the dinner plates like Nashville based RSVP Events commissioned us to create for the tables in the gardens at the Atlanta History Center (above).
And, so you know when it comes to centerpieces, there are a few dos and don’ts. Do light candles. I believe the twinkle sets the mood and invites warm conversation. Also, DO use greenery to add a refreshing sense of time and place to your table. But, I beg you to not overcrowd your table with too many things. It's okay to add fruit and branches or what you desire but make sure it's not too bunched up that you block the view or the guest's reach for the wine.
PHOTO: COLONIAL HOUSE OF FLOWERS + HEATHER BENGE EVENTS + JULIE PAISLEY PHOTOGRAPHY AT LONG HOLLOW GARDENS, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
PHOTO: COLONIAL HOUSE OF FLOWERS + WHITEWOOD EVENTS + ANNA SHACKLEFORD, ATLANTA, GEORGIA
PHOTO: COLONIAL HOUSE OF FLOWERS + K. Lo Design + BROOKE ROBERTS PHOTOGRAPHY, MUSGROVE AT SAINT SIMONS ISLAND, GEORGIA
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