Don’t Get Caught…

November 28, 2012

…without clean linens this holiday.  And that means pressed, matching (or intenrionally mix-matched) napkins and tablecloth or runner.  Setting the table is an art form, just like designing a room, the table scape sets the mood for the party.  It should compliment the meal, the time of year, the reason for the event and the room in which it’s in.  Thats a lot, I know.

You don’t have to be a Rockafeller to have cloth napkins… I found a bolt of fabric at a resale shop and had it made (my sewing machine was on the fritz) into over 2 dozen “Lapkins” for pennies on the dollar – I’ll have to google that expression… pennies on the dollar. And they were “Lapkins”, big and generous, enough fabric to protect a guests entire lap.  Seriously, you can sew up the edges of almost any fabric and make oversized napkins custom for your look for not much money… you might need a bit more time if your not going the William-Sonoma overnight route ( been there, done that) crafting is cost effective but a time suck for sure.

Just like we – that’s the royal we – discussed in my last post, it’s not all about the sofa and chairs  (napkins and table-cloth).  It’s a lot about the centerpiece.  a good rule of thumb is make it no higher than your elbow on the table to the top of your fist.  this will allow guests to see over the centerpiece(s)… it doesn’t have to be one, it could be 2, 3 4 or more.  Place cards will allow you to strategically place the talkers between the non-talkers, mix the couples ( although newlyweds should be sat together for one year ) and save the confusion when it comes time to sit for the meal.  Place cards also allow for a flourish, an embellishment, a detail… and it’s all about the details.

A favorite little extra I like to do is a small gift.  A tiny scented candle, candy, a small plant, something that dresses the place setting, supports the theme, and is take home worthy.  A small paper white bulb in a mason jar is sweet.  Something that says I’m glad you came, and this is special to me, Hallmark cards not allowed… But you could write a poem on craft paper and tie it with ribbon.  Since I mentioned them, can I quickly say: NO SCENTED CANDLES on the dinner table (unless it’s the gift).  Burning scented candles will be completely overwhelming to the senses and should be avoided entirely.

I love a theme.  It actually makes preparing the table that much easier.  Making enchiladas?  drape a blanket over the table with the points off-set and use terracotta pots as part of your center piece, give tiny cactus as your take-away gift and serve sangria.  I almost forgot… Don’t forget the signature cocktail.  THIS IS KEY.  It makes your life as the host(ess) easier, pre mix and leave on the bar your drink of choice, saves time money and it’s one less thing to manage when it’s party time.  parting thoughts on themes, No clue where to go with your theme?  nothing hitting you? Winter, snow, holiday, red, spanish, chinese, modern, woodland, write me and I’ll help you think of one OR mix up everything you own, buy mix matched place settings and go for a crazy festive over the top look that says FUN.  isn’t that whats it really all about?

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