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Entertaining
How to Set a Breathtaking Table
With summer just around the corner, it's important to get ready for entertaining. Whether you are creating an informal outdoor table display or setting your dining table for a dinner party, these tips will help you create a beautiful table for your guests to enjoy!
Written and Photographed by Natalie Pao

Highlight the table itself. Keep that tablecloth in the closet—the only reason to cover up a table is if you don’t love the look of it. Wood or glass tables are a great start and layering it with placemats and linens add depth.

Use good dinnerware. It sets the stage for your color palette and the overall tone of the table. Also, use the appropriate style dinnerware for the appropriate occasion, casual sets for casual affairs and fine china for more formal gatherings. When in doubt, classic white is a failsafe.

Blue and white china and crystal glasses
Blue and white china and crystal glasses make this outdoor spread the perfect elegant.

Layer your elements. Incorporate pops of color with flowers, serveware, glassware and candles. Don’t be afraid to mix and match your tableware to add interest or an unexpected touch.

Don’t neglect the centerpiece. Whether they are simple hurricanes embellished with fresh flowers or stunning floral arrangements, this is where you create drama for the table.

A cake stand
A cake stand full of treats or decorative vases and pitchers make perfect centerpieces.

Don’t overcrowd the table. While it’s good to add personal touches and fun elements, ensure that there aren’t more items that you and your guests will need.

Pay attention to scale. Your guests should be able to see one another easily so make sure centerpieces and decor aren’t too tall or bulky.

Fresh foods displayed in stylish dinnerware
Fresh foods displayed in stylish dinnerware gives this table natural touches of color.

Add natural color. The best dining table accessory is the food! Full of vibrant natural colors and warm palettes, the food you serve can add a splash of cheer to your table when displayed stylishly.