Etiquette Expert Lynda Rodríguez Shares Her Tips for the Perfect Holiday Table

lynda rodriguez christofle table
International etiquette expert, Lynda Rodríguez shares her simple tricks to setting the perfect holiday table.

While attending a Christofle Star Table Series event in New York, we met international etiquette expert and table designer, Lynda Rodríguez, who created a luxe holiday scape. We snagged some easy-to-apply tips from the expert, which you can use even if you don't have a drawer full Christofle silver (it is pretty swoon-worthy though!). Here's what the Dominican Republic-based beauty says about setting the perfect holiday table.

1. Mix Your Metals
We like to think of flatware as jewelry for your table and that means, you can mix gold with silver and even copper tones. Rodríguez says, “The combination of gold and silver has always been elegant and mixing the metals of your flatware will brighten up your tablescape. Just keep in mind that the style of the pieces you're using should have a complementary design and shape."

2. Try A-Symmetry
Avoid boredom at the table and try something a little different. “Your table should have the sense of something different—something that stands out from other tablescapes we see on a daily basis." This element of surprise is what makes it chic!

She continues, “The napkin is an element that you can easily display in different ways but only use shape that doesn't need much manipulation, because the less you touch the fabric the more hygienic it is for guests. Always place the napkin on the left side of the plate or in the center as long it's not on a soup plate," says the etiquette expert.

3. Keep It Real
It can be a small expense, depending on size and quantity, but a floral arrangement gives a table serious style. “Flowers give life to a table and why it's recommended to use real flowers to decorate with. Just remember that overdoing it may not be elegant, so keep it simple: If your linens are white or pale, flowers can add color and give your table a seasonal personalization," says Rodríguez.

4. Use Logic
Setting a holiday table doesn't mean you have to go all out with twelve pieces of flatware—unless H.R.H the Queen of England is attending. However, Rodriguez suggests using simple logic with your flatware to make dining as seamless as possible. She says, “Forks are placed on the left and knives on the right (as most people are right-handed—and it's tradition). If you're serving pasta that doesn't require cutting, then the fork is placed on the right. Similarly, if you serve soup, place the soup spoon on the right side of the plate.

5. Pay Attention to Height
Ever table needs a centerpiece but it's best to keep it balanced. “Your centerpiece can be made of flowers, fruit, candles or other objects, but they shouldn't have a strong odor or be taller than 10 to 12-inches, as not to interrupt the view between guests. The only exceptions are candelabras, which can be higher," says Rodríguez.

Photos courtesy of Lynda Rodríguez and Christofle

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