127-dinner-partyFriends and family always seem to find their way over for a special occasion this time of year.  It’s dinner party season!  Your kitchen should always look it’s best, whether you’ve recently remodeled or are thinking about remodeling (and just want to take the focus off of the outdated kitchen details).  Pulling together a wonderful table setting for a dinner party of any kind can throw even the most poised hostess into a tizzy. And since dinner parties become a weekly event this time of year, we’ve come up with some fool proof tips for you to remember when you’re setting the table for your next soirée:

Setting the table…casually

Instead of putting out every piece of china you own, only put out the pieces that guests will actually use. For a more causal dinner party, you can expect to use a dinner plate, salad and bread plate, and soup bowl when it comes to dishes. Utensils should include salad and dinner fork on the left and a knife and soup spoon on the right. If you’re serving dessert, a spoon or fork horizontally above the dinner plate.  Your water glass should go above the knife and optional wine glass or champagne flute can accompany it. Napkins go on the left of the dinner plate and name cards are best placed above the dessert utensil.

Find the center of attention

When it comes to centerpieces, make sure yours doesn’t obstruct the views of your guests. The trick here is to have things of varying height but nothing that will come above the guests’ shoulders when they sit down. Also remember not to have anything too fragrant in your tablescape. This can alter the way the food tastes and after all that hard work, your guests should be able to enjoy the food and flavors you brought together.  A good rule of thumb for the table’s décor is to use a bit of foliage, something that will bring a little shine, and a light source (like candles or soft white light strings).

Add a sweet little touch

Finishing touches to your table will really make your dinner party memorable. Details such as name cards and small mementos that guests can bring home will set your table apart from the rest. Some cute ideas are small ornaments that are tied to your linens, or wine glass charms your guests can keep.

So after you’ve finished decorating for the holidays, be sure to keep these helpful tips in mind to make your dinner party preparations a little easier.