How to Style A Dining Table For A Party?
Look like a dinner party pro with our tips! Styling a table for an occasion is one way to make your guests feel special and welcomed into your home. For some people, setting up a table for a dinner party is a joy, while for others, the idea of setting a table for guests is daunting and it’s hard to know where to start. There are many elements to consider when preparing your table setting, from the dinner set and table linens, to glasses and décor, and table setting placement. Paired back with your theme and colour scheme, and you’ve found a winning combination. We take you through our 8 steps on how to guide to get the perfect table setting every time.
1. Preparing the table
Wipe down your dining table for a clean surface. Up to you, but you can choose to iron or steam your table linen before laying it out on the dining table. Tablecloths come in an assortment of sizes. The recommendation is to choose a cloth a third bigger than your table measurements, so it drapes nicely over the table. We went for a more dramatic floor length option.
2. Place your tablecloth and runner
Layer your tablecloth with a runner. The runner typically “runs” down the middle of the table. It acts as a centrepiece line for your food or adornments in the middle of the table. It can also elongate your table. Ideally, the table runner ought to be slightly longer than the table, flowing over the edge, and then the same length, if not shorter, than the tablecloth. The runner can be the same colour in linen but sometimes a contrast is quite nice.
3. Select a placemat
Layer your table with placemats with the same number of diners. Matching the same colour as the table runner provides a cohesive look. They can be the same colour in linen but sometimes a contrast can make for an appealing aesthetic. If choosing a hard placemat, a natural material like jute (straw like material) adds a rustic look. For an elevated elegant look, you could place your soft placemat first and then use a decorative plate ring on top. In our example we have continued to use soft linen.
4. Setting the table
Put out your dinner set on top of the placemats. It’s up to you how you choose to arrange your table setting placement. You could layer your side plate on top of the dinner plate if you require more room. Alternatively place the side plate to the left of the dinner plate. Then place your cutlery on either side of the plate. If you’re using multiple forks, knives, and spoons for a formal setting, ensure they are in order of use from the outside in.
5. Place your napkins
Display your napkins by either folding them (anyone like a swan?) or looping through a napkin ring. Using napkin rings is the easiest way to provide guests with napkins while also looking fancy. Using napkin rings also provides an opportunity to create individual styling. We have used natural jute napkin rings with a sprig of gumleaf to match our theme. Just casually fold them on a diagonal and twist the napkin into place within each napkin ring.
6. Choose where your platters fit on the table
Arrange your platters in the centre of the table. Doing this without food on them makes it easier to move the arrangement around until you find what fits best. Then remove the platter piece by piece to put the food on so you don’t forget where everything goes. Work from the centre to the edge of the table to avoid knocking food over or getting food on you while stretching out.
7. Place the glassware
Arrange your wine glasses, tumblers, wine coolers and jugs. Glasses are ideally placed to the right of the dinner plate. Don’t forget to consider what drinks you’ll be serving your guests for the party. For example, if you are serving a variety of wines, then you may need both red and white wine glasses. Similarly, if some guests prefer beer, then you may want to have some beer glasses chilling in the fridge ready to go too. At minimum, we’d recommend each guest have one glass for drinking water.
8. Time to decorate your table
Adorn your table setting with decorations to match your theme. Flowers and candles add a lovely fragrant touch. If they are in the centre of the table, try to place them where they will not get knocked over and not intrusive of conversion from across the table. Also ensure the fragrance is not potent as you want the food to be the highlight. We have set our table for a casual outdoor Aussie Christmas with a natural theme. We have chosen natives and arranged them to the side of the table. Then placed Christmas ornaments around the table to give a Christmas vibe.
And that’s it! Your table is all set, ready for guests to enjoy the dinner party.