Now that a lot of us are eating at home these days, why not make your dining room as elegant as going to your favorite restaurant? Just a little attention to detail can make even grilled cheese and tomato soup seem like a gourmet dining experience.
My family and I have been reviving the art of family dinners. We’ve shut off the TVs and devices so we can talk to one another. The other day I broke out some taper candles and cloth napkins. Suddenly we were Dining with a capital D. I told my daughter growing up my family always had Sunday dinners at the table and my mom loved her candles. Such a simple way to make a meal feel special.
Here a few easy things you can do to decorate your dining room table to a party or even a weeknight dinner with the family.
Break Out A Pretty Table Cloth
If you inherited your grandmother’s linens or if you have some pretty fabrics you’ve collected, drape one over your table tonight. Heck if you have a canvas drop cloth they can serve as a makeshift tablecloth. If you have patterned dinnerware, choose a cloth patter that won’t compete with your dishes. Instead, select something that will compliment or coordinate with your dishes.
Find A Centerpiece
If you have access to fresh flowers for a centerpiece that’s wonderful but if you don’t that’s okay too. Use something unexpected as your centerpiece, like a lantern with a pillar candle in it or a grouping of tapered candles in the center of a wreath you might normally hang on the door. Find objects that make you happy. Try to vary the heights if you are using multiples and make sure they aren’t so high you and your family will have to stretch to see over them to have a conversation. You don’t have to go out and spend a ton of money. You’ll be surprised at how beautiful found objects can be as a centerpiece.
Creating Place Settings
If you want to add a fun touch to your dinner party consider adding chargers under your plates. Charges are just a plate that is slightly larger than your dinner plates that add a wonderful pattern or color to your place settings. They can make a drop cloth tablecloth look extra fancy for the evening. I get mine from Dollar Tree because they’re only $1 each. If you’re not near a Dollar Tree you can order them on their website and have them delivered. My favorite at the moment are the Faux Wood and the Metallic Rose Gold colored chargers. They make my plain white dishes so fancy!
Set everyone’s place for dinner. Forks to the left, knives to the right. If you want to get fancier put dessert flatware above the plate, salad and appetizer forks and knives should go on the outside of your main course cutlery.
Glassware goes in the top right of your setting. If you want to make your daily dinner special break out your crystal even if you’re serving milk or cool-aid. If you’re setting for an actual formal dinner you want to be sure to have water glasses in addition to glasses for other beverages as needed.
Napkins Swans Optional!
While napkin swans are optional, napkins are not. I love when I sit down for a dinner and my host has provided a napkin. It’s nice to know if I need it I don’t have to ask for one. Even if you’re just feeding your family napkins add to that feeling that this is a nice meal. Fabric napkins can be used indefinitely. I pick them up when I’m out junking but if you don’t have or want to use fabric then again it’s Dollar Tree to the rescue! They have so many fun patterns and colors and at $1 a pack it’s easy to stock up.
If you’re determined to do a fancy fold you can try some of these 11 Best Napkin Folding Ideas from Good Housekeeping.[bctt tweet= “Napkin swans are optional, napkins are not.”]
Make sure there are enough salt and pepper shakers and butter trays for your guests to reach or pass easily. If you have a large table, guests won’t have to shout across the table to get what they need.
Regardless if you’re setting your table for a family of three or a part of twelve a few details can make a huge difference. Do you have any memories of Sunday dinners with your family and what made them seem special? If so share your memories in the comments below! I would love to hear them!
Many blessings to you!