From the menu to the music, there’s a lot to take care of when planning and hosting a party, including the decorations.
When hosting a party, Whether you’re gearing up for an intimate dinner party with a few friends or family or planning a big holiday bash, your table setting and tablescape decoration are essential. Creating an environment that transports your guests to party time is crucial to the success of your event. Here are some helpful ideas for setting your tables and decorating them:
Establish a theme.
The table is the main setting where you can establish a theme. Whatever your occasion may be, there would be so many fitting themes. It can be whatever you want, and make sure it is carried throughout the entire event. Setting up a theme can also help you streamline your decorations instead of going for just anything.
Get a tablecloth in the color or pattern that is fitting for your party theme. Your plates and glasses should also be fitting for your theme. If you’re hosting a Parisian-themed brunch with your girlfriends, you may want to skip plain disposable plates and use fine china to set the stage. Themed placemats are great for bringing a touch of elegance to an otherwise bare place setting.
Set a color scheme.
Like a theme, a color scheme can bring the look of your party together. It doesn’t have to be a bunch of different colors – it can simply be one hue. If you don’t have a very specific theme, you can start with the color of your favorite plate or linen, then pick out glassware and flowers that match. Focusing on one hue can pull the table together. You can also combine patterns from the same color palette for a lively and uniform look.
Use fresh flowers.
When laying the table, you can never go wrong with fresh flowers. It totally elevates the dining table. It’s best if you go for flowers in season, so they won’t get expensive too quickly. Order arrangements from a local florist, buy from the supermarket or cut wildflowers and greenery from your garden. For a cohesive look, choose flowers that give a nod to the other floral arrangements or another décor around your home.
If you prefer a more minimal look, get several stems of a type of flower, and place a single flower in bud vases for a modern take on the classic floral table setting.
Supplement florals with something natural.
If flowers won’t suit the theme, you are going for, try an alternative, but still something natural. For instance, you can add a funky or eye-catching fruit bowl and serve some fruits in the season there. This way, the centerpiece is not just decorative but also serves as a healthy dessert as well. Other options include crystals, stones, rustic branches, herbs, and feathers. Potted plants, especially succulents, are also preferable ideas, and they can serve as a more permanent centerpiece. Pull from your surroundings as a substitute or supplement to florals.
Mix and match your items.
Going matchy-matchy is great for formal dinners, but do not be afraid to mix and match any item on your table once in a while. For tablecloths and centerpieces, work with three or four different styles using different fabrics, patterns, florals, and heights throughout the room. It makes a table unique and special, and overall, playful. Who does have 20 sets of matching plates and glasses, or two dozen of the same coasters and placemats, anyway? Having a party is an excuse to buy yet another vase, or another set of plates, glasses, placemats or coasters.
Mismatched pieces of china create a very interesting collection. For example, you might serve your salad on green dessert plates, then serve the rest of the meal on a floral-patterned china. You may want to find a variety of pieces in as many patterns as you can, but limit the colors to two to three.
Play with patterns.
When it comes to tablescapes, prints are your friends. If you prefer to use your existing plain plate sets, a patterned tablecloth can help make it look more festive. If you don’t have much time to lay the table, turn to patterned linen or even napkins and placements in print.
Let it be vibrant.
Your party is an opportunity to add something pretty and something with texture to your tables – from the printed menu to the serving dishes. Make sure that your food and flowers are a feast to the eyes so that guests are instantly drawn and excited when they take a seat.
Adding colored glassware can also make your table look more fun, and it can even be mixed with formal pieces when you choose the right design. If you’re a minimalist who leans more toward neutrals and clear, non-colored glasses, adding something new like colored glasses is a non-threatening way to incorporate more color to your table.
Group your floral arrangement.
Instead of having a massive floral arrangement at the center of your table, opt for a group of smaller vases. Layout your vases of varying colors and shapes to add a whimsical vibe to your party tablescape. Use this as an opportunity to play florist and arrange your vases with your preferred flowers.
Set the mood with candles.
A crucial element for dinner parties is candlelight. It always enhances the mood. Tall candlesticks add a beautiful glow but are slender enough, so they won’t block sightlines.
You may want to have three levels of light to create an intimate setting using candles. Turn off the ceiling lights, dim the chandeliers, and light the candles at standing eye level, seated eye level, and on the table to showcase your gorgeous place settings, glassware, and food. To do this, use pillar, taper, and votive candles to add lighting at varying heights.
Upgrade your napkins.
Basic white paper napkins are suitable for all occasions, but you may want to resist the temptation to go that basic. Don’t forget that napkins add to the appearance of your table. Cloth napkins will help make your party feel more elevated. The foundation of your table is the fabrics and textiles you choose for napkins and table covering. Everything you set on the table will go over the cloth, and the napkin will be in your guest’s hands the entire evening. So, make sure you get some nice cloth napkins that suit your color scheme.
If your party is leaning towards informal and casual and more themed, decorative paper napkins are a great choice. Whatever your theme is, you can surely find one that suits it.
Personalize some table elements.
Whatever your surroundings or occasion may be, personalizing elements will always delight your guests. You may add ribbons on napkins with little name tags on them, use place cards, or monogram your linen with your guests’ initials. There are a lot of fun options for place cards, but if you’re pressed for time, simply buy some blank place cards online and write each guest’s name in your best cursive on a small piece of paper. You may even want to use a calligraphy pen if you like. Place it between the tines of a fork or on top of the plates where each guest sits.
Add metallic accents.
A little bit of sparkle and shine can make any table feel special. Add some subtle metallic accents to complete and elevate your table in a low-key yet statement-making way. You can do this by using a vase, candle holders, or a centerpiece bowl.
Skip the courses.
Serving a multi-course meal is not a must for every party you would host. It takes a lot of work and effort, and if you don’t want to do it yourself, you probably will hire caterers or waiters, which will add to the cost of hosting a party. Instead, you may want to set up a grazing table.
Set up a pretty table with place settings and decorations like flowers and candles. Then, place large platters of ready-to-eat items and appetizers down the center of your table. You may want to make it an elevated affair by choosing fine cheese, bread, charcuterie, nuts, and fresh produce for your guests to feast on as they enjoy each other’s company.