Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Covering and the Art of the Table

The best part of preparing for dinner guests is setting the table!  The art of the table is a form of expression and through it seasons, foods, and personalities can be exhibited.  Linens, candles, flowers, and tableware all work together on the palette of the table, creating a picture of beauty, charm, or whimsy.  From traditional to quirky, a tablesetting is only limited by one's imagination.  Although an 'anything goes' approach is preferred by some, the proper principles of tablesetting are designed to facilitate service  for the comfort and enjoyment of each table guest.  

Most tablesettings start with a clean table.  Sometimes gleaming with polished charm, a lace, voile, or net cloth is placed over the table without pad or underlayer.  This allows the natural wood of the table to show through.  At other times, a pad (sometimes called a silence cloth) is placed on the table first and a full-size table cloth is placed over the top.  A proper overhang of the edges of the cloth on table are 10 to 15 inches, but can be even greater if a very large table is used.  For casual dining and entertaining, the more formal, full-size tablecoverings are usually replaced with something more casual.  Smaller luncheon cloths or placemats have become the norm for this type of entertaining.  

Table linens range from simple damask to colorful, embroidered pieces.  Each sets the tone for the table, enhancing and complimenting the china and accroutrements it displays.  

What's on your table today?


  1. Placemats and folded laundry...no good? Ha! I love this table setting and I love your photography...so crisp and clear and the composition is always just right.

  2. Hello La Tea Dah...Let's see. Agreed that nice table settings are appealing. On the all wood, long dining room table is an Easter floral centerpiece. On the kitchen table, there's an Easter theme cloth, very colorful, with the Polish eggs and bunny still. Having houseguests so left out the Easter finery. Both tables look festive. Thanks for the post. Sincerely, Susan

  3. Piles and piles of things! I brought wrapping and tissue paper supplies, bows and gift bags that were overflowing from their place in the garage. I'm nearly finished rearranging, sorting and clearing out some things to make it easier to find them on a moment's notice. Hopefully my table will have a gorgeous yellow potted Mum and a vintage crochet piece in the center and nothing else.

  4. I am not very good at following any rules. Right now on my table are the clean plates from Easter waiting to be put away. Oh and a lovely vase of tulips.

  5. If I could have guests over and only do my tablescapes and leave the cooking to someone else, everyone would be much happier!


Thank you for commenting on my blog post. I am always happy to hear from blog readers. Your words encourage and inspire me. I am glad you stopped by to share conversation, recipes, ideas, and thoughts on creating a welcoming home.