It’s the little things.
It often doesn’t take much to make a huge impact – and yet most people forget the simple, little things that can transform their otherwise ordinary entertaining space into something their friends will talk about long after visiting.
Flowers tucked into napkins, mismatched plates, colorful linens, candle light and good music. It’s amazing what people don’t realize they already have that they can utilize to make a fabulous evening for their guests to enjoy. And if you don’t have any of the above, here’s where to start.
Unless you hit the wedding gift registry jackpot recently and recieved every item on your entertainment wishlist (score if so!) most of us are working with hand me downs from our parents or friends from the last place we lived. And that’s ok! Mismatched plate settings can be unique and eye catching. Play with color and patterns – there is no wrong way to set a table, just have some fun with it.
I typically get these last so I can match them to the table setting I’ve created. The dishware you have available may be limited, but the selection of flowers you can pick up for $5 at your local Trader Joe’s is virtually unlimited.
Tip: nothing is worse then setting a gorgeous table and sitting down to eat…and you can’t see your guests across the table. Always be concious of the height of your arrangements if they are going where your guests are going to be seated at. Keep all centerpieces (this goes for candles too folks) below eye level to ensure you can enjoy your company just as much as the table you’ve set.
Last note on flowers, if I have all white dishes, I want my flowers to pop and create something interesting on a table. And in reverse if my plates are full of patterns/designs/color, I like my flowers to be simple and not detract from the place settings.
The devil is the details. It’s those small touches that often create the most drama. This doesn’t mean you need to go full blown “Martha” on your guest however. Details are just that..details. Small finishing touches. You’re setting a fall table? Grab sprigs of pine or foliage from a nearby tree and place it on the center of your plates. You’re hosting a summer Americana themed BBQ? Red,white and blue handkerchiefs make the perfect napkins! Dinner to celebrate a friends engagement? Place a pear with the small notes that says “to celebrate the perfect pair” at each place setting. Get creative. Have fun with your table settings! Always think, “what would I like if I was a guest” or “how would I like to spend my evening”. Create a night you can enjoy and experience as well.
Practical Tip Of The Day:
Napkins, napkins and more napkins
You may not be able to to afford multiple sets of dishware to mix up when guests make repeat visits to your home – but everyone can afford a few sets of unique napkins to spice things up between visits. Especially if you’re working with white and neutral color place settings, the right pop color napkins can truly transform your table setting and create a completely different ambiance from dinner party to dinner party. Head to your local Marshall’s or Home Good’s and browse the place settings isles, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
And final words of advise…no paper napkins if you’re going to host a formal dinner party. I’ll repeat NO paper napkins. Take a que from nicer restaurant bathrooms – do you ever walk into a nice restaurant restroom and find the hand towels nicely folded and stacked (versus the ol’ paper towel dispenser) and you immediately feel that restaurant must be fancier? Same goes for your home – I know it’s a pain to wash and iron your napkins after the party, but it will add the extra finishing touch your guests will enjoy.