How to Set a Fancy Table

Two Methods:Choosing the color themeSetting the table

Here's how to set the table for a meal to remember.

Part 1
Choosing the color theme

  1. 1
    Consider what colors you want to portray at the dinner party. If it's for a festive or seasonal event, you'll probably want to match the color scheme to the occasion. Otherwise, color schemes can be matched to your favorite dinnerware, to your décor or really, to whatever you feel like trying out.
  2. 2
    Choose floral arrangements or flowers to complement the color scheme. If you don't like flowers, consider using something else for a centerpiece, like colored sticks, an ornament or a bowl of fruit with similar colors to the theme.
  3. 3
    Select napkins (serviettes) in the same color scheme. These are small items that end up making a big difference. If you know how, fold in a beautiful way.
  4. 4
    Select table mats that match or complement the color theme. These could also be neutral, such as cork, reed or plain wooden mats.

Part 2
Setting the table

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    Place the fork to the left of the plate. It should sit 2.5 cm (1 inch) up from the table edge.
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    Add the salt and pepper shakers to the table. Also add any condiments you will be using for the meal.
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    Using a salad fork? Place it to the left of the first fork.
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    If you are serving bread and butter, add a small side plate to the left of the forks.
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    If using a tablecloth, lay it on the table so it hangs evenly around all edges.
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    Place dinner plates in front of reach chair. Place them about 2.5 cm (1 in.) from the table edge.
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    If there is a pattern on the plate, such as a rooster, make sure it stands upright (facing the diner), not on its head or side.
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    Put the knife to the right of the plate with the blade facing inward, (about 2.5 cm (1 in.) from the edge of the table.
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    Using a soup spoon? Place it to the right of the knife. Make sure the handle lines up with the knife, 2.5 cm (1 in.) from the edge of the table.
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    Place glass above the knife.
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    Add a centerpiece. For example, add fresh flowers or a bowl of seasonal fruit. Keep it low so that dinner guests can see each other across the table.
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    Add the napkins (serviettes). Napkins––folded in half––go to the left of, or beneath, the forks. Or, place them on the plate or inside a large glass. Or, better yet, do a fancy fan fold (see related wikiHows).

Tips

  • Silverware smarts: When dining, always use the cutlery farthest from the plate first. Work your way toward the middle.
  • If leaving a jug of water on the table, add ice and a few slices of lemon or orange.

Article Info

Categories: Dining Etiquette