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4 simple ways to set the table

Your party, your style. Whether you plan to keep it casual or go all out with a formal sit-down dinner, we have your table setting style.
4 simple ways to set the table

Photo, Sian Richards. Prop styling, Jennifer Evans.

4 ways to set the table

Casual roll-up

Wrap your cutlery in a napkin and bind with a fresh-herb napkin ring. We used rosemary but thyme or oregano would work as well.

Plate, Ittala. Bowl, Ittala. Napkin, Fog Linen. Juice carafe, IKEA.

easy table setting roll cutlery napkinPhoto, Sian Richards. Prop styling, Jennifer Evans.

Laid-back family style

Line up your cutlery and layer it over a napkin for a quick, easy approach. Keep it informal with platters of food passed around the table and decorations foraged from your backyard. Pick your centrepiece from the garden. A single branch cut from a tree can look as elegant as a cluster of flowers and takes no time to arrange.

Create an easy menu that includes tried and tested recipes that can be served from bowls or on large plates. Think pastas, salads or roasts. Decant a couple of bottles of wine into a pitcher, and leave desserts whole so guests can help themselves. 

cutlery napkin easy layer table setPhoto, Sian Richards. Prop styling, Jennifer Evans.


Prim and proper

Sometimes an occasion calls for a button-down dinner with all the trimmings. Follow these tips to make the evening a success without all the hassle.

1. Set the table the night before.
2. Make a place card by writing the name of your guest on a hard-surfaced coaster with a non-permanent pen or marker.
3. Get it catered if the idea of cooking stresses you out. Or buy dessert to reduce your workload 
4. Make your to-do list shorter: Order a centrepiece from your favourite florist and skip the flower arranging.
5. Rent plates, glassware, and cutlery (which need to be only rinsed to return) and cut cleanup time in half. 

Dinner, salad plate, Crate & Barrel. Cutlery, West Elm. Coaster (used as placecard), Elte.

formal table setting dining dinnerPhoto, Sian Richards. Prop styling, Jennifer Evans.

Easy-breezy buffet

Perfect for large groups of people or open-house parties, a buffet can be set out in advance and replenished as needed. Set up zones with plates, napkins and glasses at one end, food at the other. Present the dishes in the same order you would for a meal — appetizers followed by main courses.

Make your display dynamic. Stack some dishes up on books or use cake stands to vary height. Prevent traffic jams by using a separate table for dessert and cocktails. Consider hiring a server to clear dishes and keep the buffet stocked with food.

Lamp, West Elm. Dutch oven, cabbage plate, The Bay. Glasses, Crate & Barrel.

Get more: How to make monogrammed spoons

4 simple ways to set the tablePhoto, Sian Richards. Prop styling, Jennifer Evans.


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