Friday, June 15, 2012

How To: Create the Perfect Table Setting

Formal and Basic Table Setting Tips
What order does the silverware go? Which side of the plate do you put the napkin?

Setting the table for a dinner party, holiday dinner or a special occasion can seem daunting at first.  But here are a few simple tips to transform your next sit down affair into the perfect dining experience.

When setting the table, the first and most important rule is to choose a look that reflects the mood or atmosphere you wish to convey at your gathering.  The table is what brings people together to eat, share and interact.  Think of it as the centerpiece of your event or a blank canvas to build the tone of the party around.

How to Set a Table - Properly Set a Table
The second thing to consider is your foundation - whether or not you want to use a tablecloth.  This comes down to personal preference or whether you desire to hide your table.  If you choose to utilize a tablecloth, individual place mats are not necessary.

If you opt to use place mats, there are several options available to add design and function to your table. Fabric mats or even table scarves can add a soft, sophisticated touch to your settings.

Currently, wooden placements are a popular choice.  While they can pop on a metal or tile table top, wooden placements can get lost or blend in on a wooden table. It is recommended that you use a fabric place mat under the wooden one to create a layered effect that will blend the styles.  

The place setting depends on how formal of an event you are hosting. However, there are some basic guidelines that apply to both formal and basic setting requirements.

  •  Place silverware in the order that it will be used - from the outside in towards the plate.  
  • Don't put out utensils that will not be used to avoid confusion.
  • Spoons and knives are arranged on the right side of the plate, with the cutting edge of the knives towards the plate.
  • Forks are placed on the left side of the plate (except for cocktail forks, which go on the right side on the far outside).
  • Dessert silverware is placed horizontally along the top of the place setting.
  • Layer them in the order that you are going to use them. 
  • The bread plate should be placed on the left side, above the forks.
  • The salad plate can be added to the layered plates or off to the left hand side.
  • Always go to the right side of the setting above the knives and spoons.
  • Place your cloth napkins to the left of the forks or as a decorative element on top of the plates. 
Tip: Make a small "b" and "d" with the thumb and forefinger of each hand. The hand that makes a "b" is the bread side and the "d" is for the drinks side.

Also, don't forget to add some personal flair with unique napkin holders, personalized place cards or an interesting centerpiece. 

For a quick reference, here is an example of a place setting or click here to download a printable diagram with tips:

For additional tips and ideas, view these Jennifer Adams Home How-To Videos:

Download: Printable Quick Reference

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 3:00 AM 


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