The purpose of this post is hopefully to show how setting a table need not all match, need not be stressful, and should encourage us all to invite friends over for a meal. I know for a fact that the very thought of this makes some folks break into a sweat. I have had so many conversations with customers who say they just can’t bring themselves to have guests over.
First off, throw out all the rules. Really the only rule to entertaining and setting a table is that you & your guests have fun. After that, however it rolls is up to you. If you don’t have enough matching chairs to set a full table, then mix and match. We do this all the time. I prefer it. The look is casual and eclectic. Same goes for plates, silverware and glasses.
Use a tablecloth, don’t use a tablecloth. Use placemats, don’t use placemats. There is no right or wrong. Just add things that bring a smile to your face. I have been collecting these little English trophies for ages. I just recently came up with the idea to put tea lights in them. For this table they added sparkle once the sun went down. I sometimes like to have the fork and the knife side by side, as it makes room for the napkin on the other side of the plate. I know this is not traditional, but I like the look.
Use flowers, don’t use flowers. Your call. Or buy a simple bunch at the grocery store and run them down the middle. It fills the table with flowers, does not break the bank, and adds a bit of jaunty flower happiness to the scene. If the idea of cooking for guests makes you nervous, order out. We entertain quite a bit, and this is a trick we learned ages ago. Sometimes we cook the entire meal, other times we augment with store bought things, other times we order the entire meal. This table was for the other evening where we ordered pizza to be delivered. Set out a few nibbles before and we were set. My point with all of this is having guests to your home is such a gracious act. One that is filled with love. Sometimes our want for ‘perfect’ or comparison with others gets in the way. We all have so much to offer. We just need to be comfortable doing it. Cheers to no rules when it comes to setting a table! Cheers to no rules entertaining! Make your own rules. End result, have fun!