Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stephanie Entertains - Perfect Party Place Settings

The holidays are a great time of joy to be shared with friends and family alike.  That being said, I am often asked how to set the "perfect" place setting.  So, here you go...Five simple steps to creating a warm and inviting tablescape that packs some serious style punch with less stress and more time to enjoy the party. 

1. Select a color palette and/or theme. Start with a color trio or perhaps simply a specific holiday (birthday, etc). A pretty table linen (you can rent them locally or have one shipped to your home) provides the canvas on which to begin creating your party scene.
                                                        Illustration by Caitlin McGauley - lover her!
2. Gather your goodies. Knowing where to place china, flatware and glassware can be a little challenging (especially with all those forks involved).  Putting pieces in their proper place makes all the difference when styling your table. Don't forget that mixing colors and patterns feels more modern and playful. Here we paired a decorative, gold charger with a simple, turquoise dinner plate and added a patterned salad plate for instant WOW factor.
                                                                               Images by Meghan Elliot Photography
3. Incorporate personal details. Bringing personal touches to your setting is a great way to make guests feel welcome.  Consider making menu cards (like ours above) at home, or have them printed locally.  Looking to go the extra mile?  Place cards and candy wrappers (for yummy favors) are also easy DIY's.

4. Add accent lighting. Aside from setting a soft mood and creating a welcoming atmosphere, everyone looks great by candlelight (especially when capturing photographs). Here, we spread small, gold, beaded votives around our centerpiece to create a soft, simple glow.

5.  Gather from your garden.  Adding flowers or greenery to your tablescape will create the warmth and festivity that every holiday meal needs.  Here we used all while florals, but seasonal blooms, feathers, pine cones, and branches are just a few alternatives.  Your backyard is a great place to find seasonal greenery and foliage. Remember to keep centerpieces low so guests can easily talk across the table. 

Now, it's time to get cookin'!  Be sure to check back later this week for our DIY floral centerpiece tutorial...

Happy hosting! 
xo, stephanie

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