• Oct 05, 2016
  • by Robert Galeski


You are having family and friends over for a nice holiday dinner or to celebrate your love for them. While at your home, your guests will be spending much of their time at your dinner table.  Make it a memorable experience for them to talk about long after the dinner has ended. 

You have heard the phrase ‘you eat with your eyes first.’  Remember, your dinner table IS your centerpiece and should complement your food. We’ve got many tips for you to create a beautiful tablescape to impress your guests.

-Having a theme and/or color scheme is important. You can use your food, a serving platter or even your guests as inspiration for your table scape.

-The length of your table, as well as the width and serving style [family, buffet, plated, etc] play a role in how much room you have on the table to create a design. Flower arrangements should be your focus and allow props to accent the florals. 

-Create layers on the table to add interest to the table scape. Layers begin with the use of a linen tablecloth.  It then continues to the dinnerware, stemware, flatware and decor being used.

-Candlelight will add another dimension to the height of the design. The use of tea lights for an evening dinner is a great addition.  Candlesticks with tapered candles or pillar candles add more impact for sure.  A combination of candle types also adds interest and creates shadow at different levels.  [Be sure to NOT put candles around items that may be considered flammable]  The option of battery-operated candles is always a safe bet.

-Using seasonal objects and props will add yet another layer. For Thanksgiving, gourds, tiny pumpkins and leaves can be added to create almost a runner down the table.  A nice thought is to implement food, including cabbage, artichokes, corn (within its husk) fruits and vegetables to create a bountiful table scape.  The food can be donated the next day to a local food pantry and not be wasted.  (If you plan on donating the food, it cannot be pierced, cut or preserved)

-Accessories such as placemats, chargers, napkin rings, etc can finish a table off nicely. If you lack any of the items listed, get creative.  If you do not have placemats, maybe use a linen runner down each side of the table to achieve that additional layer.  If you do not have napkin rings, maybe used pieces of folded burlap to tuck the flatware into and add a sprig of fresh rosemary.                          

-If your dinner has a larger number of guests, create seating cards. Seating cards are great so you can seat people, who connect, next to each other.  A holder for the seating cards could be acorns you find in the woods near your home; maybe their names can be written on a leaf; you can even use old, childhood, photos of those attending in a small picture frame that they can take home as a keepsake.

-To have fun with your guests, create questions and put at each place setting. The questions can be “If you could invite two famous people to dinner, who would they be and why?” or “What is your favorite part of the Thanksgiving Holiday?” or maybe “What are you grateful for?”  These questions can be asked and answered during the dinner to spark conversation.

-Once you have created your arrangements, secured all your props and know if you are offering your guests a sit-down, plated dinner, family-style or buffet, it’s time to put it all together. If it is a sit-down or buffet, you have the maximum amount of space on the table and just need to account for the stemware, dinnerware and flatware being used by your guests.  If you are offering family-style serving, you need to account for serving platters and food on the table.  The best way to tackle this is to place out your platters and serving bowls in advance and visually mark or even place tape where each of your vases and props are going to placed.  This way, your table is set up, minus the platters that will be brought out just before your guests are seated. 

The tips above can help you create a very successful dinner, with little to worry about, when planned in advance.  This will allow you to spend more time with your guests and truly enjoy your dinner as much as your guests will. 

If you would like to relinquish the role of creating the tablescape and live in Manhattan, you can always reach out to the design team at Fleurum to completely take this off your plate…pun intended.  Have fun with it and create at your own risk.