My Mom Was Right

| Design Tips

My mom was right when she told me years ago that I would never regret owning a formal set of China. I had a hard time choosing my pattern. While a simple plain pattern would have been the safe choice providing years of longevity and enjoyment, I went with a late 80’s Monet inspired pattern from Villeroy and Boch. I was regretting my choice before the last egg cup was purchased. Yes, I have a dozen egg cups which I had to have. Over time, and as a solution for my buyers remorse I have learned that when you set a table it is all about the mix.

I have collected multiple sets of china over the years and without mixing things up the plain safe china is terrible boring.


Here are my 5 tips for setting a beautiful and creative table.

  • Linens
    I am obsessed with table linens. I love to pick up napkins on sale at Williams and Sonoma. They have some of my favorite double hemstitch placemats. I am crazy for their Vintage Floral Jacquard pattern napkins and think they layer great with a black and white striped runner I picked up at Pottery Barn. Napkin rings also create interest, but if you don’t own them make them. I’m liking a satin ribbon tied with a sprig of eucalyptus right now. It’s equal parts contrast of sheen and matte, fancy and effortless.
  • Glassware
    I selected the extra traditional Waterford Crystal. It’s always in style in my book. I love a table set with multiple glasses. These days even target has a great selection of stemware. It is very acceptable to mix in textures and even colors.
  • Flatware
    Flatware is the jewelry of the table. Invest in a set you love. There are tons of choices from intricate silver patterns to clean contemporary and gold. Hold the silverware for balance and feel. If it feels comfortable and you like the look then it’s the perfect choice.
  • Center of Attention
    Last but not least is your table centerpiece. I like to keep the centerpiece simple. Use things you have on hand. I like lemon leaves, votive candles and roses from the garden. My table is long so I use smaller vases in multiples to spread pops of color down the middle. Fruit, candles and succulents are great fresh options.

If your china is gathering dust in a cupboard I hope you feel inspired to dust it off and use it. As much as I love to be surrounded by family and friends, entertaining can be overwhelming. Set your table at least a day before your party and enjoy looking at it. I even prep my serving pieces the day before. I’ve been known to burn chocolate chip cookies so as much as I can prepare in advance I do. With a beautiful table setting and menu planned the focus can be on your guests, great conversations, and making memories.

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