Dressing a table for a dinner party or for that matter any special occasion doesn’t have to be boring…or even hard for that matter.
I prefer not to cover the entire table in a linen cloth. I select my colour scheme and then pull from the linen cupboard all my linen and table accessories that work with that scheme.
Photo | as painful as it is, don’t forget to iron your cloth.
Firstly, let me digress (the strange thing that). We went to dinner at a friend’s house over the weekend. As expected dinner was just gorgeous and I went home so full I thought I might blow up in the middle of the night. It was comforting to wake in the morning and find myself still in one piece. Monty Python’s “just a little bit more” came to mind. But there again, I am digressing further from my point. Her table was beautifully layered, simple and yet very elegant. She covered the table with a white linen cloth and folded a black table cloth so that it ran down the centre of the table, as a wide and generous band. Added to this, she placed a more rustic casual dark chocolate oval placemat at each guest setting. Given the Indian menu, she complimented the table with the inclusion of a gorgeous silver Indian antique, a family heirloom filled with colourful flowers (I adore those little treasures which just pop up in a setting…the ones which carry a story). Message to self | photograph it next time!
As for me, my dinner theme was bold and a little organic. I dragged my bright orange linen cloth out, ironed out the creases (still just a little fatigued from the iron) and then folded it in half and placed it down on one side of the table (the long end). Just go with the flow, you can’t go wrong!
photo | Don’t fear the spots are wet from the iron! Cloth folded down half the table.
I layered the cloth and table with long table runners across each place setting. I simply adore these runners as they are just so flexible. In addition, I added single matching placemats randomly around the table (and yet maintaining the balance), and threw in a few brightly coloured French linen tea towels (reserved for this purpose only). I did have matching linen napkins, but the thought of washing and ironing them on this occasion was a little overwhelming. My faithful paper ones worked just as well.
photo | Laying various complimentary linen tea towels (remember ones which are only used for this purpose, not washing up!
Photo | Don’t forget to let the tabletop peek through regardless of what you lay. I love white on just about any coloured table.
Just have fun! This is your chance to pull out all those hidden treasures!
next blog | a well-layered table (all about adding items to the tablescape and adding a little height). Example pic below…