There is something satisfying about a stunning dinner table. It makes your guests feel special and honors the meal soon to be presented. Unfortunately, in our household we don’t do it enough. We can rarely get our senior in high school to be hungry at standard meal times. I love setting a proper table, and look for any opportunity to do so.
Lately, there are many Spring table ideas on Instagram and in blog posts. However, I have noticed that often the table isn’t set properly. And because we are not pulling out the linen, china and crystal often enough, I tend to need a reminder on the proper way to set a table.
Here are some quick and easy reminders.
Where to put Cutlery
Cutlery should line up with the bottom of the charger. Not that you need to go all Downton Abby-ish and use a ruler, but put the bottom of the silverware in line with the bottom of the charger. If you are not using a charger, then line them up with the bottom of the dinner plate.
Size of Tablecloth
The tablecloth drop or overhang should be around 10 inches. I make an exception to this when we do dinners in the orchard as rental linens for rental tables go to the floor.
Seems obvious, but the salad and dinner forks go the left of the plate. Knife, teaspoon, and soup spoon go the the right. Knife blade always faces the plate.
The photo below is one from the internet. See how the silverware is not lined up with the bottom of the charges. It is very pretty, though!
Where to Put Glasses
Guests need only two glasses~~one for water and one for another drink (typically wine). It is okay to use one glass for either red or white wine. The water glass goes above the knife and the other cascades to the right.
Size of Centerpiece
You can be very creative with centerpieces. Flowers are nice, but depending on the them of the dinner, you could use seashells, branches, or just lots of candles. If you do build a centerpiece, please remember that the centerpiece should be 9-10 inches tall, maximum. Avoid anything that would prevent eye contact across the table.
Putting fabric on a table warms up the space. However, placemats are a nice alternative to a tablecloth. I didn’t use a charger below because it would have dominated the placemat and hung off the edge.
Napkins-use cloth, quality disposables or inexpensive flour sacks or cotton dish towels. For maximum lap coverage, the best size is 22 x 22 inches.
How to assign seats? Seat each guest next to someone you think they’d have things in common with. The most VIP person should be seated to the right of the host. Couples should be seated separately to promote lively conversation.
What dishes to use
You don’t have to use fine or fancy china. Mix and match everyday ware for something a bit different.
You can make your table setting more formal with place cards, napkin holders, printed menus and chargers.
Here are some tips on chargers.
Chargers should then be taken away with the dinner plate still on top, as this clears the table and leaves it ready for dessert to be served. When serving desserts, chargers are never used. Once all guest are seated, chargers can be removed. Or they may remain on the table throughout the entire length of the meal.
I hope this inspires you to create a beautiful table!
This post shared with Tablescape Thursday #624~hosted by Between Naps on the Porch