Whether you’re planning your next dinner party or hosting a celebration at home, you’ll want your dining table to look as inviting as possible while providing adequate seating for your guests. The formal table setting is considered an art in the hospitality industry, but you don’t necessarily need to polish your silverware or serve a banquet to make a statement – small, personal touches are what make a home look appealing after all. However, certain dining etiquettes are worth knowing if you want to impress your guests. To help you entertain like a pro, here are the five steps to a perfectly set dining table.
Before you start, you need to make sure your dining table is big enough to accommodate your guests (you should aim to allow 60-80cm of space per person), and that you have enough comfortable chairs. If you think your furniture could use an upgrade and a new dining table is an investment of sorts, you can buy contemporary dining room sets online from the Y Living website, as well as an array of high-quality tableware, place settings and table linens. In addition, RC Supplies Online has some amazing collections too.
Whether or not it makes sense to allocate seating depends on the nature of your gathering. If you’re laying the table for a wedding, for example, there are probably a large number of guests in attendance. Therefore, it makes sense to provide place cards with people’s names and food choices on to eliminate confusion and keep things orderly. If you’re hosting a small dinner party at home though, you can afford to be more relaxed about where people sit – you could even let them decide for themselves.
Once you’ve figured out your seating arrangements, it’s time to iron and lay your tablecloth. Before you do anything, however, make sure the surface underneath is clean and crumb-free – there’s nothing worse than stains seeping through or bits of food getting stuck under the fabric. It’s a good idea to lay a double oilcloth tablecloth to provide cushioning for guests’ elbows and keep noise from your tableware to a minimum. Check out Simply Tablecloths for great oilcloth designs.
Next, it’s time to set the places. How accurately you so this is up to you. In more formal dining environments, plates are aligned an inch or two above the bottom of the table, with forks on the left, knives on the right and the cheese knife and dessertspoon at the top between the plate and the glass. However, an informal setting might be more appropriate for a cozy dinner party. If you’re serving steak or shellfish, make sure you provide the right cutlery for the fish and a steak knife.
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Now it’s time to complete your look with some decorative details. Most people opt for flowers, candles, and stylish napkins, but the design element is ultimately up to you. You might decide to keep it simple, or you may wish to create a party mood with confetti, sequins and personalized party favors. However you finish your table, try not to add too much clutter, and remember that anything you do add will encroach on dining space and create less room for wine glasses, sharing dishes and condiments.