Tablesetting 101: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Tablesetting seems like a complicated tasks for beginners. With all the types of utensils, glasswares, napkin folds, and other decorative elements you need to know, it can get quite overwhelming. But once you know the in and outs of basic table setting, there’s no limit for your creativity and imagination!

 Table Styling 101

Whether you’re hosting an elegant gathering or you just want to dine fancy during your everyday dinner, this tablesetting how to-article will help you bring a beautiful tablescape for every type of occasion.


What is Tablesetting?

Tablesetting refers to the arrangement of utensils, dinnerwares, and glasswares during a meal service. It creates a beautiful layout of all these items to create an appealing ambience during meal times. A tablesetting helps in upgrading a simple dinner with your family and friends. It’s also a way to show that you care for them and that they’re special to you!


The Basic Elements of Tablesetting


Before anything else, let us go through the basics of tablesettings. A tablesetting is usually consists of:

Chinawares and Porcelains: large dinner plates, salad/dessert plates, bread and butter plates, cups and saucers, soup bowls, charger plates.
Glassware: water glass, wine glass, pitchers
Silverwares: knives, forks, spoons
Linens: tablecloths, napkins, placemats, table napkins
Other decorative elements: candlesticks, fresh flowers, menu cards, antique or heirloom pieces, table runners, vase centerpieces

 Table Styling 101

You can incorporate each and every item mentioned in the list above, but note that it’s not necessary to include all! You can leave out some of the pieces depending on the type of occasion and the food you’ll be serving.

It’s also best to just put the utensils and dinnerwares that will be used by your guests. Unnecessary objects often lead to messy and cluttered table setting.


Few Things to Remember When Tablesetting

  • The order of utensils should be placed according to their use. They are usually placed from the outside in.

  • Forks go to the left of the plate. Knives are placed on the right side of the plate, and next to them are the spoons.

  • Glassware should be placed above the knives and spoon, located at right side of the plate. Wine glass is placed at the right of the water glass.

  • Dessert utensils are placed horizontally above the plate.

 Table Styling 101

Table Setting Guides

Whether you’re planning to create a stunning tablescape for a casual or formal dinner, these tips are surely foolproof for your table setting journey.

Table Styling 101

Mix and match. Don’t be afraid mixing and matching patterns and textures. You can use different patterns and colors for your linen that can be matched for your dinnerwares. 

Your dinnerwares shouldn’t be plain and simple, too! You can use plates with different patterns or plates that have scalloped edges for a quirky and fun take on these dining wares.


Table Styling 101

Incorporate rare and antique heirlooms. To make your table setting more interesting, incorporate dinnerwares or cutlery that you’ve inherited from your grandparents. These finds are conversation starters and it helps in setting the tone and atmosphere of your dinner.


Table Styling 101

Adopt a theme. Table setting doesn’t necessarily require a theme, but you can always use one if you like. There are lots of options to choose from, and you can also bring your own idea to life. Choosing a theme for your table setting is an advantage because it creates a cohesive look for your table. Just note that your theme should go hand-in-hand with the food that you’ll be serving.


Table Styling 101

Add an accent piece. Charger plates are pieces that can be used as an accent. Since they’re more decorative compared than dining plates, you can take this an advantage to add more depth to your table setting.

Runners in bright hues can be used as an accent piece as well. Flowers and fresh herbs are also a great decor elements that can accentuate the whole table.


Table Styling 101

Pick a color scheme. Having a color scheme is helpful because it coordinates each and every aspect of your table setting. Muted color palettes are the classic color scheme for table setting, but you can always go for bold hues if you want to evoke excitement and vibrancy for your dinner.


Table Styling 101

Don’t be shy on embellishments. But don’t go overboard either. Embellishments and decors completes the whole aesthetic of your table set, so keep in mind the quality and look of these.


To make sure that your table arrangement don’t become overwhelming, go for placemats or dinnerwares that can function as a decor. Napkin rings are also a subtle yet captivating embellishment. Check out our Handwoven Seagrass Placemats if you want to add natural texture to your tablescape.

Seagrass Placemats

You can also add colored and unscented candles as a decor for your table. It gives a warm and homey feel to the dining experience. On top of that, name cards with beautiful design can be placed to make your guests feel extra special.


These tips and guides are applicable to any occasions.

Here are where these tips are applicable:

Casual Table Setting

Perfect for: Breakfast meals, weekend dinners at home, family-style dinner, basic meals

Table Styling 101


Semi-formal Table Setting
Perfect for: Holiday parties, birthdays and weddings, graduation celebration, dinner dates

Table Styling 101


Formal Table Setting

Perfect for: Black-tie event, elegant wedding, awards night, business lunch

 Table Styling 101

Now you can jumpstart on setting your table!


Did you learn a thing or two on this article? Let us know what tips you’ll surely try when you start table setting for your family and friends!

Table Styling 101

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