We love to spend time at our dinner table. Dining at home, or dining with the family is almost a lost art. Most families find themselves trying to keep their heads above water - driving their kids from school to their post-school activities, working on homework at the kitchen counter while trying to shovel in a side of left overs from the night before. We get it. Big time - life is difficult and takes planning. And your table won't be set every single night and it won't have a full set of heads surrounding it. BUT, we think that when you make time for it, it should be a place that sets the mood for the quality time being spent there - laughs included.
We believe there a few basic rules that should be followed when setting your table - whether for an intimate dinner with friends or for your Sunday family get togethers. No matter the shape or size of your table, we believe a table cloth always elevates the look. It simple and for most of the time, timeless design doesn't reinvent the wheel - instead, it focuses on what adds value to a space, a room, or in our case, a table. As you may have noticed from our Instagram page, we are BIG fans of all things Bella Notte! For us, it's a no brainer to have a Linen Whisper ruffled table cloth draped with Olivia lace. The combination is not for the faint of heart - and we'll admit, we don't have any little ones running around so it is a safer option for us to go with! When picking your tablecloth we recommend you stick to a neutral color, something that will enlarge your table and not close in your space. Think of this as a blank canvas, you want your dishes and food to have the stage - so let the background be just that, the pretty and soft backdrop!
Now, it's no secret we think it's all in the detail.. and another detail we think that often goes forgotten is the dinner napkin. Call us crazy, but most people don't see napkins around the dining room table unless they're at a restaurant - and frankly, that doesn't count! A napkin is another layer to your dinner table that your guest or your lucky family should enjoy. We love to look for vintage napkins with lace or monogramming detail - we think this additional touch can really personalize a table. Remember, a house is not a home - so make it your home. Leave little traces of you and your loved ones everywhere you go..start with your table!
We often get asked if everything has to match when setting a table and the truth is, we like to go against the grain almost always with our interior design. Different styles, different collections, old pieces, newer pieces can all go together. The secret really becomes selecting one common thread among them and carrying it throughout your table setting. For example, in the picture above - we feature an antique teacup that isn't part of the plate collection displayed. However, chances are you would never have guessed that taking a look at our setting. We chose to highlight the gold detailing in all of our pieces. And we made sure that regardless of what we added to our setting, that element remained constant. Even when it came down to our cutlery selection.
Here we chose to highlight the silver elements and really get a layering effect with our white plates. If color is important to you, try to incorporate it into sections of your table setting. A teacup, flowers, or even place setting name assignments are wonderful opportunities to do so. Whatever element you wish to elevate in your table setting can have a significant effect on the type of mood you're trying to set - think, elegant, playful, whimsical, formal and the list goes on..
Now, it may come as a surprise to you.. but we like to have a lot of fun. All the time. With everything..including our table settings. We think that it's important to be playful and add details that will make you smile. We picked up these swan salt and pepper shakers at an English antique store a few years ago during one of our European vacations. The truth is, a lot of people are afraid to incorporate these type of elements because they think it may come off childish. But that is an awfully silly fear to have - these are the type of elements that make your table, your table. And your guests will love these touches - they are a total conversation starter! So go on, add all the 'fun' elements you can find!
We mentioned it above briefly, but just in case you missed it.. we believe florals are a great addition to any dinner table. People often assume that arrangements are too big, or will get in the way of a dinner party. But the truth is, they don't need to be large - they just need to be lush. We prefer small vases, and the one featured above is a vase that has been in our family for over 60 years. It is meaningful, and special and we get all the good juju from it all the time.. Flowers can be put one side of the table once the serving of the dishes begins - they will continue to add value to your table, and provide a beautiful fragrance for all of your guests so enjoy.
Remember, tables are places that are meant to bring people together. They are meant to serve as opportunities to share stories, to have laughs and to have hope for the future. Whether you are sharing the table with your nearest and dearest on a Wednesday night or having a dinner party for your close friends on Saturday - enjoy taking the extra time to put together a table that will be a feast for the eyes. After all, we do eat with our eyes first!