Setting the Perfect Table

The Daily Basics recently posted some table setting tips from magazine stylist Karin Lidbeck-Brent .  Here are some of Karin's suggestions:

Lesson One: Planning

If you have a good plan, this entire process will be easy and pretty much painless to do.

Determine what kind of event you want:

  • Formal or Informal?
  • Inside or Outside?
  • Sit Down or Buffet?

Lesson Two:  Check your china, silver & linen closet.

If you have your china,  silver,  glassware and linens all set, take inventory.

  • Do you have enough place settings for the amount of people coming?
  • Do you have to polish or press anything?

If you need refreshing of your stock closet, here are some suggestions.

Buy White plates. You can use them for all occasions.  The secret is to mix up your place settings by perhaps  topping your white plates with those rose colored bowls your Grandmother left you or even mismatched fine china salad plates you found at the Church Fair.  It does not take much to change it out  for different looks every time you set your table.

Layering – Invest in Chargers.

One of Karin’s tricks to laying a pretty table is layering.

If you can, buy yourself the same amount of chargers as you have plates.  A charger, is an under plate meant to stay on the table in between courses. Even if you're only serving one course,  use the chargers to fill up the table and layer the look.


Find whatever napkins, tablecloths or runners you’d like.   Karin Lidbeck Brent likes pretty tea towels which when pressed up do double duty as over-sized napkins.

Lesson Three – Decorate the Table

Flowers and Fruit :Centerpieces don’t have to cost a fortune and should look natural unless you are giving a formal dinner party.  Simple floral arrangements or a still life of fruits and vegetables is perfect for most occasions.  Take advantage of what is in season and keep the arrangements monochromatic for a sophisticated look.

Karin's tips make table setting a breeze.  What are your tricks for setting the perfect table?