table setting with orange and lance name place card
How to Create a Simple Table Setting

Creating a beautiful table setting is easy to learn! Here are some of my simple tips for making your tables look polished and party-ready…

table setting overhead shot with coral colored ranuncula flowers glasses with green stems and an orange in the center of plate with name Lance written on it

You can never go wrong with a crisp white tablecloth. I love the look of them~ and white makes it easy to build on creativity. Here I started with a white tablecloth and used dark, rattan, woven placemats to create a contrast. I had flowers left over from this charity event that I did, and so the flowers were my inspiration for the rest of the table. The peach and coral tones of the flowers were so pretty with white. I complemented those colors with green and brown.

coral peach orange ranunculas in two vases on table with white tablecloth

When you have cut flowers, you can arrange them in a variety of vases or containers. I like to mix and match metals and porcelain or pottery because of the different textures. In these photos, I used mini mint julep cups for the cut roses and ranunculus. I grouped several together to make a runner in the middle of the table. I wanted to add a little bit of organic greenery to the table with the cut flowers. I potted mint plants in textured white pottery and mingled the pots in with the fresh flowers…

mint planted in white pots with peach orange ranunculas in vases between the mint

If you prefer to keep the look crisp with the color popping off of the white tablecloth, you can instead use a clear vase or other clear container to put a larger bundle of cut flowers as the star of the table. The smaller julep cups spread down the table give the illusion of a grand centerpiece that tapers from middle to ends.

table with white table cloth brown placemats green stemmed glasses orange flowers and an orange with name on it

Either way, you have two beautiful options for a fantastic centerpiece. Which do you like better? The cut flowers or the flowers mixed with mint plants?

mint plants in white pots and orange flowers in vases alternating in center of table

Now that you have decided on your centerpiece, add dinner plates and salad plates to the placemats or chargers that you have set. A set of white plates is a safe and really useful investment. Here, I used a white dinner plate with a white salad plate trimmed in gold. To add in color and contrast, I used a patterned green napkin and vintage glasses with green stems. Simple flatware goes well with this table setting. I chose silver, but gold would also look great! I like to mix metals and liked how the silver flatware played off of the silver mint julep cups.

table setting with green napkin brown rattan place mat white and gold plates and orange flowers

There was also a little touch of silver on the center container of flowers. I actually used an ice bucket as a vase and filled the bucket with flowers in a really unstructured way. I love when flowers look a little bit askew. :). To me, that makes the table more inviting and comfortable rather than stuffy. (Don’t get me wrong, I also love a really formal place setting at the right time, too!)

clear ice bucket filled with orange flowers as centerpiece on table

The final step in this simple place setting is to add a name card for each place. If you saw my video of this tablescape on Instagram, then you saw that I suggested adding a Clementine orange as a nice touch to tie together the entire table. And, if you would like to take it a step further, add a name to the orange. To add the name, use a toothpick to make a small hole in the skin of the orange. Slide a piece of intentionally torn paper with a handwritten name on to a small twig of berries/buds. Place them on the toothpick and voila! Your table is set with thoughtful and beautiful touches. Enjoy!

table setting with orange and lance name place card

I hope you find these tips helpful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments. below. Happy celebrating!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

table set with white green lavender on porch with plants and a blue door
Windy O’Connor Art and Home Table Setting

Windy O’Connor is an artist that brings happiness and joy through her bold artwork. After you meet Windy in person, you will understand why! She is as vibrant and lovely as the art that she creates! Here is where you can find Windy O’Connor’s art.

windy-oconnor-artist-standing-in-front-of-work

Windy sent two of the table runners that she made using her artwork applied to fabric. I am fascinated by the patterns that she is able to create in her home line and loved seeing the design applied to items that can be used for everyday living. There was an Italian feel to this particular design, and so I set an outdoor table on our porch that became the perfect place to gather our family for dinner.

table setting with windy oconnor art table runner lavender and green dishes and italian water bottles

I like to add a solid white or ivory colored table cloth when I set a table using a pattern like the one on Windy’s vivid art work. She uses bold patterns and colors, and so I temper that with a calm solid. This also lets the artistic table runner be the star of the show.

table set with windy oconnor art table runner with white plates green lettuce salad plates with mug and gold flatware

You can see that I used Italian mugs from Vietri and then added a solid linen napkin (with a touch of French) to the table. The chargers are solid white and the green plates (from PKL Celler) have a lettuce leaf pattern on them. The stripes are the only other real pattern that I included on the table- and that was done sparingly so not to overwhelm the tablescape. It adds depth and interest without conflicting with the vibrant table runner.

table set with windy oconnor table runner linen napkin with fleur de lis striped mug and solid mug

Having a table linen as your jumping off point to styling a table is a great way to begin to visualize the entire experience that you want to create for your family and/or friends. Sometimes I surprise myself at where my mind goes when I start picturing the gathering that I am creating. It’s a little bit like traveling to me- you add in as many ways to evoke the feeling of a place and a time. Each gathering that you host has its own story and adventure- and no matter how many times you visit the same table, you have a different experience to enjoy each time.

table set with hand painted table runner in green brown lavender white with white green and lavender plates

I love the casual feel of outdoor table settings, don’t you? They feel casual but also really special. I think that is what makes them also give the feeling of a warm welcome~ because they are approachable while being out-of-the-ordinary.

table set with white green lavender on porch with plants and a blue door

Think of how you want your guests to feel like they can pull up a chair and pour themselves a glass of water or wine. They don’t have to wait to be asked or allowed- they just know they are welcome to relax and enjoy a slow pace for a minute. They can linger at the table and enjoy the people and the conversation while they enjoy a meal. Since we all have to eat, why not make it memorable?

brown italian chair with cane backing and seating with artistic table runner on the seat

One trick that I like to do if I am having a small crowd (1-3 people) and want the table to feel cozier is to fill the table space at one end. It is almost as though you create a little room at the end of the table and then create a beautiful “wall” around it. We are all so programmed to create a centerpiece (which is one of my favorite parts of a table), but also try moving the centerpiece down closer to the end of a longer table. This creates a homey, cozy feel and allows you to use taller pieces because no one needs to see over it.

tall white flowers in the middle of the table setting on the porch

You could serve food family style and have room at the other end of the table to place your serving dishes. I like the coziness of a larger table made smaller by using plants or items around your home that fit perfectly into a table scape.

table set with artistic painted runner white plates green leaf salad plate lavender mug and gold flatware

Being able to use your outside spaces or a space by a window is always an added bonus. Bringing nature into your home feels us with a happiness that spills over to our guests. Bring the outdoor colors inside with your table linens even if the weather is not perfect for outdoor dining.

table set with brown cane chair lavender green and white dishes and italian water bottles in wine carrier

But, if the weather allows, I say jump to it and enjoy those moments. There is no telling what stories are waiting for you to create with your family and friends.

close up photo of hand painted table runner with lavender mug on green and white plate

Cheers xo,

Lydia