BOVA Design Blog

How to Set a Dining Room Table.

When it comes to “properly” setting a table, there’s a lot more rules to remember than you’d think. According to the etiquette handbooks of yore, salad forks belong half an inch away from the dinner forks, teaspoons belong horizontally across the top and so on and so forth all the way to the dessert plates. While we agree that a well-dressed table can make an ordinary meal feel like a special occasion, we’ve never been that into following rules at Bova… a quick look through our products should tell you that! We like to believe that coming up with a table setting can be fun. Here are 5 tips to help you create some unconventional contemporary tablescapes.

1. Start with the dishes.

Your dishes set the tone of the meal. We love the flexibility of white dinnerware but we also like unexpected elements like wooden cheese boards, slate servers and textural chargers. For more versatility, look for items that look great on chargers, mixed with fine china or on its own. The look of the dishes themselves may also help determine what sort of color scheme you should use in the rest of the table setting.

2. Track down nice table linens or ditch them altogether.

Tablecloths and placemats make for sumptuous table settings while a bare table imbues a meal with laidback vibes. White table cloths may be a little froufrou for most parties but nice placemats always let plates (and food) pop. Remember that no matter what you’re eating, your guests will probably want napkins and cloth napkins are a great way to add a splash of color and individuality to your table. Plus, they’re reusable!

3. Carefully consider the lighting plan.

Candlelight isn’t just for romantic dinners for two. The flicker of a flame lends a warm, intimate feeling to any meal. The dining table is the perfect opportunity to sneak in extra movement and light with candles but seeing a table with a couple of lonely candlesticks on it and nothing else isn’t fully satisfying. Don’t be afraid to put some smaller accessories on the table too – more on that later.

4. Build a beautiful centerpiece.

A centerpiece is the best place to show a little seasonal flair or a punch of color with a floral arrangement or an interesting container. As for what to use exactly, you don’t have to limit yourself to a traditional vase. An ornate bowl or a woven basket works just as well.

5. Accessorize!

There’s no need for setting the table to become an act of drudgery. Like a blank wall needs a great piece of art, an empty table top begs for good accessories! After all, don’t five-star chefs tell us that we eat with our eyes as well as our mouths? With a little imagination, tables and tableware can go far beyond there strict utilitarian functions. As much as we love classic table accessories like tapered candles, placemats and napkin rings, we also like to get creative with special decorative trays, statuesque ceramics and dazzling glass structures. Our number one rule for setting a contemporary table? Anything goes!


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