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How to create the perfect table setting

Have you ever gone to dinner at a friends house or to some fabulous reaturant and been impressed even before the food has arrived?

Setting the perfect table helps to set the scene for the evening or occasion and in reality is not that difficult to achieve and does not need to be costly either. Whether it's a formal or informal occassion, a seasonal meal, a simple supper, a wedding or even al fresco dining the same rules apply.

Follow the basic steps below, take a look at the gallery picture included for inspiration and you will always be thrilled with your results.

Step 1:

This may be obvious or not but just to recap this is the correct way to lay a table:

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  Informal                                                       Formal

Step 2:

Decide on a colour scheme. This can be dictated by the colour of your plates, napkins or even glassware. If everything you own is white then you have a blank canvas. Particularly popular is continuing with white or a neutral scheme especially for weddings or Christmas but for the former I would add a touch of colour say a blush pink and for Christmas if you want to stay away from red add some silver and sparkle. Red however is great as an accent for Christmas but also works brilliantly as a focal point (see the large crimson floral centrepiece below). Yellow denotes spring and blues and purples are great for summer. My particular favourite is green as it works all year round, looks fresh and looks equally great inside and out. Almost all of this is created with your floral arrangement with the exception of Christmas when baubles look stunning.

Here are some ideas for different seasons and occasions:

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I've included below a couple of minimalist ideas if that is your preference or you need space for the food! However, I like the look which leaves little space (in which case you'll need to plate your food before serving!) I see it a bit like wearing heels when you go out, not always entirely practical, but they do look good! Put either one large floral arrangement in the middle or an extra larger candlestick, something that is eversizes and grabs your attention (bear in mind where you seat your guests as it may obsure their view unless it's higher than head height).

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Step 3:

Now to actually laying the table. Firstly put our your mats, glass and tableware etc as per Step 1 and see how much room you have left. Usually you will have a central strip to use for adding the extras that will create that "Wow" effect (a table runner often works well for this - I particularly love the plank of wood in the second example!).

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or  place 2 or 3 central smaller arrangements in a row which are lower and better at not blocking cross table conversation

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Step 4:

Lighting! Overhead lighting is often harsh for a dinner party and when your are outside you probably do not have many lighting options. Several ideas are lanterns and hurricane lamps for outdoors, as well as being stylish, they also are practical in that they don't blow out. Inside tea lights dotted around also look fabulous and additionally are space saving.

So if you have chosen to have a large floral arrangement put 2 large candles sticks or hurricane lamps either side. Remember everything has to balance in height.

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For smaller floral arrangements dot tealights around the rest of the table (the examples are for larger parties or weddings but the principal is still the same

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I hope you have enjoyed reading this article for more ideas either scroll down below this blog post or visit the home page and you will find a list of articles at the bottom of the page.

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We sell a wide range of tea light, votive holders, vases and artifical floral arrangements as well as hurricane lamps and lanterns all to help to create the perfect table setting.


thanks for reading!