How to Set a Pretty Table

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Real Simple featured this quick guide for setting a pretty table and it got me thinking about how when it comes setting the table (which is rare) I can never for the life of me remember which side the fork goes on. It's such a simple thing really but I've never been able to make it stick. Despite my poor memory, I do appreciate a pretty table setting...


Formal settings are about logical placement, positions are determined by order of use.



Casual settings can incorporate more fun with pattern and personality. Did you know that knife blades should face the plate?  According to Anna Post, it's impolite for blades to face other diners.



Sunday brunch setups should flow to avoid pileups. Placing silverware rolled in napkins at end of the line prevents the balancing act.



What type of table setter are you? Nightly, occasionally, never?? We're more of a grab your plate with fork in hand and head to the table, coffee table that is...oh the shame in admitting it!

14 comments:

  1. I rarely set the table but I always think that I should do it more... then I think maybe when I have kids! Ha, guess we will see about that!

    XOXO

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  2. I'm a living room/coffee table eater but once or twice a year I throw a dinner party or host a holiday or some other thing that involves setting a table and I usually take full advantage of the opportunity and go all out with centerpieces, place mats, etc.

    xoxo ~ Courtney
    http://sartorialsidelines.blogspot.com

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  3. I rarely set the table but I do love to go all the way and make it really pretty if we have friends over for a fancy dinner :)
    Love that first picture!

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  4. the fork side biz is all based on right-handed people, because when all these rules were made up, being left-handed was basically a sin.

    the proper way to eat is to hold the knife in the dominant hand when cutting for stability and control. therefore to a right-handed person, the knife should be on the right side, a cut should be made, the knife laid back down, fork switches hands, take a bite. it also helps people slow the hell down and not just shovel food in like a last meal. =)

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  5. problem is i am left-handed...ha!

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  6. Jenny - I thought the same thing! I was actually going to mention that in the post!

    Jabberjaws - You and Frankie are so much alike. He eats that way and I'm sort of fascinated by it :)

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  7. We do a casual setting most nights of the week (cloth napkins, wine and water glass and the flowers that live on the kitchen table), but there are some nights we grab knives and forks as food is being served!

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  8. Sadly, I usually don't use the table when I eat. But I have to say, I love the pop of color in your pictures. Especially the pop of turquoise in the first pic!

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  9. that is beautiful!!! love a nicely set table for a good dinner party!

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  10. I love the Posts... Emily Post was a wise & classy lady!

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  11. Love the pattern on that plate - so fun!

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  12. I feel rather proper having known that about knife blades! Lovely Emily would be proud, I think? I'm a simple table setter, and very often I'm a grab-a-plate-and-head-for-the-couch kind of girl, shamelessly. I always appreciate nice tablescapes, though. Have you ever seen the FoodNetwork show Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee? She puts so much into her table settings. I wish I was that organized!

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  13. back when my siblings and i were younger - before we became teenagers ;) - we would always always set the table for lunch and dinner. it was a must. but as we grew up and got busy with school and life, we stopped doing that. hmmm, i think it's time we set the table again.

    <3, Mimi
    http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/

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  14. i like to set the table casually for our regular meals...just a table mat, plates and fork/spoon...nothing special but not completely haphazard either =)

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