Spring and early summer are filled with many opportunities to set a pretty table and create a celebration….Mother’s Day, Graduations, Bridal & Baby Showers, Memorial Day…..all are opportunities for us to create a time to come together, relax, renew and reconnect.
Now….. don’t get stressed out about having family & friends over to celebrate these special occasions…..Keep it simple, Relax, Plan and Don’t over-do it!
Notice I said “create” a celebration, “create” a time…..in this busy world it is easy to let the days, weeks and months slide by and before we know it we find it has been way too long since we have connected with family and friends over lunch or tea or dinner. That is why we must be proactive and be sure to carve out that time and “CREATE” those special moments with family and friends on a regular basis. Staying connected with those we love is a very special and important part of life…..through our relationships we enjoy laughter, love, fun, fellowship, encouragement, memories…sometimes tears…..and in the end, it’s the people in our lives that really make life truly memorable and worth living!
My Easy & Elegant Entertaining philosophy is this: Keep the food simple, Make the table beautiful, Enjoy your guests! Creating a beautiful table can be achieved on any budget! It doesn’t matter what your personal style is, nor does it matter if your gathering is casual or formal….it is always “in style” to create a beautiful table! I believe a beautiful table is not only pleasing to the eyes but that it also makes your guests feel very special and……are you ready for this one? I think it makes the food taste better! Really!
Try it, you’ll see!
Kathleen’s Easy Elegance Tips for a Beautiful Table
*Using a cloth table covering and cloth napkins=Instant Elegance- don’t be afraid to mix and match colors and patterns for a more personal look.
*Use pretty dishes- your “special” dishes, pretty patterned paper plates, mix it up. Pick up pretty sandwich plates at discount stores (or use the patterned paper plates) to dress up plain white dishes. Use your “special occasion” china on a regular basis….every day is special!
*Candles always add elegance- the taller the candle the more formal or elegant your setting appears… however, little votive candles in jeweled holders or set into stemmed glassware also look quite elegant. Use a bit of Epsom salts to anchor tealight candles in teacups and little glasses. For some tips on using tealights watch this video: Tealight Centerpieces
**Avoid burning scented candles at your table as they interfere with the flavors of the food
*Fresh flowers in small vases add another layer of elegance to your tablet. Grocery store roses or mixed bouquets can be divided into several smaller mini bouquets that can be scattered all around the table for everyone to enjoy. Keep your vases low enough to see over to the person sitting across from you.
*Silver and crystal add a timeless elegance to any table. Scour flea markets, thrift shops and discount stores for thrifty finds that will make your table sparkle with elegance. I love to use my collection of mis-matched silver flatware that I’ve picked up for a song at flea markets.
*Footed cake plates and pedestal servers add interesting height and elegance to your table and you can set mini vases of flowers underneath them as well.
*Layer your place settings- use a charger plate or an oversize dinner plate under your plate, add a smaller plate or bowl (depending on your menu) on top- even more interesting if they are all different patterns.
*Include a small favor for each guest- wrapped up in tulle & ribbon or some other creative way- and place it on top of the place setting .No need to make it expensive….thoughtfulness is required here. Even a piece of chocolate wrapped in tulle or a beautiful shiny apple with a snippet of ribbon tied onto the stem will put a smile on the faces of your guests.
*Use place-cards for seating- it takes the guesswork out and lets your guests know exactly where they can sit- place-cards can be as simple as a piece of paper with your guests name written on it tied onto a napkin with a piece of ribbon. There are so many fun & creative ways to add place cards……just “Google” it for some great ideas!
*Play some beautiful music softly in the background- instrumental works well, my favorites are classical or smooth jazz.
*Most importantly…….have FUN! Relax & Enjoy the process and the time with your guests! Take pleasure in creating a beautiful atmosphere for your guests to relax and enjoy.
Blessings & Beauty to you~