Pin-Up Playtime: Proper Place Settings

by - 6:23 AM

In a recent post, we taught you how to throw a Julia Child-worthy retro dinner party, and today, we're adding to that expertise by showing you how to arrange a proper place setting. We’ll share our decor tips for two tabletop styles — one geared towards casual gatherings, and one for dressy dinners — so your table-setting is always up to snuff!


Showcase your cute and casual tabletop style with kitschy kitchen accessories!

Traditionally, for informal gatherings, fewer utensils are used and serving dishes are allowed to stay on the table. Glasses, knives, and spoons should be placed to the right of the plate. Butter plates, salad plates, and forks sit on the left of the plate.
When setting the table, make sure that place settings are evenly spaced, to give your guests ample elbow room;  look to create about two feet of space on either side. Once you’ve mastered that, consider these ideas:
Keep it Simple  For a casual breakfast, brunch, or lunch, accessorize the table sparingly to create an easy, relaxed environment. Keep it simple by using only the utensils and serving accessories you need, and no more, to keep guests from feeling crowded.
Mix and Match  Delight your guests by mixing and matching old and new tableware. Try serving water in prettily patterned vintage glasses while presenting your delish dishes on modern melamine plates.
Add Flair — Decorate your table with fun and functional touches, such as a quirky vintage salt and pepper shaker set or an eye-catching pitcher.
Impress your guests with a classic and proper place setting that’s anything but stuffy. 

For a more opulent affair, opt for a little extravagance in your table-setting. Here are the rules: Napkins are placed to the left of the forks, and all utensils are arranged by order of use starting from the outside (soup spoon and salad fork, then dinner fork and dinner spoon and/or knife). Glasses are placed to the right, above the utensils, and are also placed in order of use: white wine, red wine, and water glass. The bread plate is set to the left, above the salad and dinner forks, and if dessert will be served — you did plan for dessert, right? — the dessert fork and spoon may be placed above the plate.
Formal, Not Frumpy  Just because the place setting is formal doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun it! Try mixing and matching your flatware from two different sets to achieve an artfully mismatched effect.
A Touch of Glass — Similarly, try serving up different beverages from brightly-colored glassware to add a little oomph to your setting.
Team Layer — Layers aren’t just for your clothes! Try tucking a brightly colored paper napkin inside a neutral cloth napkin for a pop of unexpected color.
Are you planning any fun or formal events? What’s you favorite way to to make your tabletop terrific?

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