With  winter approaching we tend to do more entertaining.  What is better to do than having  friends over and eating?  I like to have around 3 couples over for dinner maximum, that way we can all fit around my table, and I don’t have to prepare a huge meal.  If  I have more than 6 people, I make it a pot luck!

Here are some ideas for setting a table that will look stylish and fresh.

1.  If you are using a tablecloth, use a padded liner.  It softens the edges and protects your table.  You can make one yourself (it should be slightly bigger than your table) from quilted lining, or I have even spotted them at Thrift stores.

2.  Make sure your tablecloth is big enough.  It should hang 10-12″ over the table on all sides.  You can use a square or rectangular tablecloth on a round or oval table, this looks fine.  Layering tablecloths is fun, too. 
The bottom one should fall as close to the floor as possible. The second should cover the tabletop and fall about 12″.   Top a round table with a second cloth that’s either round or square, a square table with a second square tablecloth laid diagonally over the first.

 3. For a less formal look, try layering table runners, or using a combination of table runner and placemats.

4. For sophisticated dining, it’s hard to beat white or cream china — it’s elegantly understated and goes with everything.  Then you can experiment with the colours of your table linens – chocolate brown, pale green, soft oatmeal or  pink are some new, fresh choices.  You don’t want the colours to clash with your wall colour, so keep it in mind.

 I think black and white are alway a great combination and all white flowers  look beautiful.  Pick a flower, and do some in the entry, the living room, the powder room, and on the table.  Don’t use one large vase in the middle of your table that no one can see over, use small, low flower arrangements instead.  I have found pretty little jars in the Dollar Store that work well.  Remember not to use flowers with a lot of scent on your dining table, or remove them before eating.

5.  Most important is that the table should say something about the host.  If you are a nature lover, use fresh flowers, sprigs of greenery or herbs to decorate your table.  Or in Fall you can use pine combs or dried leaves.  In Winter I love the look of cranberries to add colour – float some in a glass with a floating candle for a simple centerpiece.  Here are a few more ideas:

If you are in the market to buy some new table accesories, why not try recycled glassware, and napkin rings, placemats, linens and serving utensils made from recycled or recyclable materials.  Pottery Barn has a good selection of these, like these hand-woven rattan napkin rings and recycled glassware.

 I hope this has given you a few ideas for setting a beautiful table next time you have company.  Plan ahead, experiment, have fun, and you can’t go wrong!

Photos (in order of appearance):  www.classictentsevents.com, nikkidesigns, www.styleathome.com, nikkidesigns, thebestweddingdecorations.com, www.stylish-wedding-favors.com, www.robinbecknest.com, www.boards.weddingbee.com