Not long ago I invited some friends over for lunch. I had just moved into my new home and they were coming to take a peek. It was a casual meal with good friends, but I still felt like I wanted to set a pretty table. For me, a well set table honors the people you are dining with and is one of the small graces you can add to your daily life to make it a little more pleasant. For this reason, I try to incorporate lovely things on a daily basis and much of this setting comprises my every day dishes.
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Here are my 10 Tabletop Tips for a Special Lunch
1. A solid but textured dinner plate makes a great foundation upon which to build your more interesting elements. I often use the same dinner plates over and over, so I stay with neutral colors like white or cream. The plates used here are Mikasa English Countryside.
2. Pick a patterned salad dish to drive the theme of your entire table. This is where I tend to add color and when I buy new, I sometimes buy just the salad plates. The ones used here are Desserts Gourmand from Gien, a pattern that has been discontinued, but you can click for similar Gien plate patterns.
3. A linen napkin can make all the difference in a table setting. I love the barely there blush pink color of these “Charlie” napkins from Pom Pom at Home. The delicate ruffle adds an extra note of feminine whimsy.
5. Instead of match-matchy coffee mugs, add interest with slightly different patterns. The mugs below work well with the salad plates, in color and spirit, utilizing a casual script and naif drawn imagery. Yet the patterns are not the same at all. The mug set is from Williams-Sonoma.
6. One of the most special elements you can add to any table is fresh flowers. These early summer peonies are my favorite flower.
(I could almost add an eleventh tip which would be sunlight streaming through a large window.)
7. Include wine goblets. I don’t think we actually had wine with this lunch, but it’s always nice to offer the option. The amber crackle goblets from Pier 1 add a subtle touch of color, picking up the warm tones from the plates.
9. Of course the food you serve helps define the nature of your meal, but one thing that can elevate even the most casual of lunches is a lovely plate of sweets to end the afternoon.
10. Not quite part of the tabletop but crowning the setting, a crystal chandelier makes every event special. This vintage chandy was purchased at a local antique shop and brings just the right note of shimmer to this relaxed get together.
A little bit of effort is worth it to me to make a casual luncheon with friends special. It sure beats eating out of plastic containers!
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