Get inspired with different ways to set a chic and simple place setting at your next dinner party.
The season for cozy dinner parties with friends is here. A key to any gathering (apart from the food, of course) is a charming and inviting table for you and your friends to make timeless memories around. In their new book, Decorate for a Party, Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring share some gorgeous entertaining inspiration - with everything from themes, styling tips, decor ideas, and DIY projects that'll have you wanting to send out the invites to your next party ASAP. Read on for Holly and Leslie's styling ideas for crafting a perfectly chic table setting and explanations behind each of the looks they created. Cheers!
Lace trim was snipped to mark a place setting and simply laid on top of the tablecloth. A linen napkin is topped with a round cocktail napkin with sprigs of greens on top and a strip of paper with 'Let Us Eat' stamped on with dark brown ink. Small baking tins become tealight holders. Sprigs and blooms are scattered on the table to bring in colour and a touch of nature. A menu card is tucked beneath the napkin, with pattern peeking through that complements the subdued palette of the tabletop.
A plate holds some candles wrapped in greens – we just used wire and sprigs and made these simply by hand-forming little circles and placing candles in the middle. Ribbons dance down the centre of the table with petals from a daisy. A larger wreath was placed on a plate – in the centre a small candle has a tag that says 'Make a wish' (created on the computer, printed out and trimmed with scissors) pinned onto ribbon. Silverware was placed in a napkin tired with string.
Metal baking tins mimic the floral shape of the soup bowl. A pretty votive candle greets each guest with hello on a strip of paper (or write your guests' first names) – just punch a little hole in the top of the paper, pull the wick through, bend beneath the candle and tape in place. A simple dahlia head continues the petal-shape theme. The linen runner in blush rose adds additional color.
Mixing linens makes a table feel warm and natural. A napkin placed below a gorgeous handmade plate topped with tied silverware against nubby linen is simple but elegant. Use your computer and a favorite font to create a 'Thankful for' slip, placed near the dinner plate with a wooden pencil. This is such a wonderful way to connect people at a dinner. We've done this before and asked each guest to share their list during the evening and it always made the gathering more magical and intimate. A small sprig of green in a tiny vase is as simple as you can get but beautiful still. We used a paper bag from the grocery store and a circle punch to add some polka dots to the table. A wine glass is topped with a strip of lace trim and the name of the guest is placed on top. Small candles in tin holders work nicely with the colour of the napkin and patina of the vintage silverware.
Add a wreath to just one of your place settings for the birthday girl, bride-to-be or someone who is being honored at a special gathering. You can even ask her to wear it in her hair or hang it later from the back of her chair, and definitely invite her to take it home. Use two runners on your table, placed along each side to use as placemats. A darker linen napkin in an eggplant tone adds contrast. Simple twine looped around silverware is easy but pretty. A tiny note on a small plate is a personal touch.
A little scroll can be for your menu or a sweet note to your guest. We found these adorable candle holders, which are also vases, and it was love at first sight! We mixed in some greenery and used the same greens to form a little wreath and tied on the guest name. A tiny bottle with sprigs of flowers acts as a sweet takeaway hostess gift.
To buy this book, click here.
Photographs and descriptions excerpted from Decorate for a Party: Simple and Stylish Ideas for Meaningful Gatherings, by Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring (Jacqui Small, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, 2016).