Pretty Food - Tablescapes

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Putting together a stunning table is a goal I aspire to every time I serve a meal. I've catalogued my experiments into four segments -- flower arrangements to grace the table, examples of table settings for daily meals, photos and commentary from special days, and Seasonal inspirations.
Flowers Daily Meals
Special Days Seasonal

Here are some ideas to make your tablesettings stand out and be remembered!

Fabric for Table

Creating a beautiful table
Sumptuous fabrics with unusual detailing can make an incredible table covering. Start with a basic tablecloth underneath. Layer the see-through fabric on top. Duct tape underneath the table. Yes, you read that right. It gives it a finished look and you don't have to drag out the sewing machine or cut the fabric and lose the ability to use it on multiple sized tables.

Lacy Table

Layer textures for a rich effect. What makes this table work? It's the layers of different textures and the interplay of the beautiful colors. It starts with a lace tablecloth on bottom. If I had placed the gold plates directly on the ivory lace, the look would have been cold and sterile. Instead, I chose vivid pinkish-coral placemats, which really warmed up the gold. Rather than simply plopping down the plate, I placed it on a gold charger. The linen floral napkins are bound with a gold love knot, the flatware is goldware, and everything ties together beautifully.

Lacy Table

I got these glasses at an estate sale a few years ago. They turned out to be the perfect shade to match the table linens! Woo hoo!

Lacy Table

One more thing to note. This is a very formal look. If you're going to set your table like this, you'd better be serving steak that day, not hot dogs!

The occasion here was a monthly dinner for ladies from my neighborhood. I started the tablescape planning with the napkins.

After I decided to use these napkins, I chose flowers that picked up the colors in them, then highlighted the royal blue color with my choice of vase, plates, glasses, and serving pieces. One guest made my day by saying it was the prettiest table she had ever eaten at!

Serve Yourself Snacks

Have a consistent theme. One of the organizations we're active in had scheduled a board meeting at our house. Since I knew it was likely to make people late for dinner, I whipped up some finger food to make it possible for board members to concentrate on our agenda, rather than growling stomachs. I chose to use colorful Mexican platters for the various treats. For those items that didn't have a way to say ole' I supplemented with a few white pieces. The look was consistent and visually pleasing. The only thing that was missing was height. Having something tall, whether it was a tall narrow floral arrangement or a tiered server, would have improved this otherwise appetizing spread.