Here's how to set a table.
|Two chair styles offer flexibility and can be mixed and matched around a round dining table.|
Photo c.2003 Glenna Morton, About.com
Time Required: 5 to 15 minutes
- Determine how many people will be attending the meal.
- Arrange the chairs around the table in a logical fashion.
- Cover the table with a tablecloth or clean the table surface and set placemats in front of each place.
- Count out silverware and place on table.
- Arrange flatware at each place setting: fork on the left and knife and spoon on the right (with the knife blade facing the center of the mat).
- Add additional flatware if you'll need soup spoons, salad forks, etc. These are placed next to the companion piece. (That is, a soup spoon is placed next to the teaspoon; salad fork next to dinner fork.)
- Line up bottoms of each piece of flatware one to two inches above bottom of placemat or table edge.
- Place appropriate glassware at each place setting, depending on the beverages you'll be serving.
- Set dinner plates in the center of each setting, unless you plan to warm plates and serve them in the kitchen. For formal tablesettings add a place plate to each setting.
- Fold napkins and set to the left of the fork.
- Place salt and pepper within reach of several guests.
- Set flowers or centerpiece in the center of the table. Add candles if desired.
- For a larger dinner with a number of guests, set placecards at each place.
- Get out any extra dishes and flatware needed (soup bowls, coffee cups, etc.). Place them in a convenient spot for use as needed.
- Consider ahead of time what other table accessories may be needed for the meal, such as serving spoons, gravy boats, platters and so forth.
- Plan ahead. The more guests are invited, the more planning you'll need to do.
- Make lists of both food and preparation schedules, and also serving pieces, linens and dishes that will be needed for the dinner.
- Designate a holding area for such items as dessert plates and forks, coffee cups, etc.
- Plan ahead so you're ready for children, vegetarians, spills and offers of help in the kitchen.
More How To's from your Guide To Interior Decorating
~ Glenna Morton