Dress the table

Forget disposable plates and cutlery. If you want to impress, start with a stylish table setting, and here are ideas to inspire!

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Forget disposable plates and cutlery. If you want to impress, start with a stylish table setting, and here are ideas to inspire! 
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Pretty Classy 

Match an impressive spread with a marble table – its timeless appeal is well worth the investment. Continue the theme with plates, serving boards and condiment bowls, and add a touch of coppery gold, with napkin rings, to contrast with the smooth white. 

Flowers Are A Must-Have 

Add colour and charm to the tabletop with fresh florals. 

- SEE THE BIG PICTURE “Having a theme or colour concept helps you narrow down your floral choices,” advises Ekta Hathiramani, event organiser from Panache Events. For instance, large and lavish floral arrangements can overwhelm minimalist decor, so opt for smaller pieces to subtly elevate the look. 

- CHOOSE CAREFULLY “Choose flowers that won’t shed petals easily to avoid dropping into food or messing up the table,” Ekta says. Spellbound Group’s Creative Director, Anna Lim, suggests orchids, which are graceful and elegant, or David Austin roses that are more expensive but offer a lovely scent. 

- PLACEMENT MATTERS “Ensure that the flowers don’t block the ease of conversations or make it difficult for food to be served”, Anna cautions. 

- DISPLAY THEM WELL A beautiful vase usually does the trick, but consider creative displays such as mason jars and jugs, and then decorate with crystals. 

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Cool Flair 

Create a laidback yet refined dining environment with a cool colour scheme, natural elements and hints of rustic crockery that balance style with function. Sprigs in vases complete the look with their peaceful vibe, perfect for an evening to remember. 

Choosing The Right Tableware 

Tabletop items reflect the table itself, so pick items that will add to and not distract from the atmosphere. 

- GET YOUR CUTLERY OUT There’s no need for fanciful spoons, forks or knives – what’s more important is acquiring good quality ones. “High quality cutlery has a certain weight to it, and make sure to polish them well!” says Anna. Ekta adds, “Go with more clean-cut serveware and cutlery if you already have a lot going on with things like flowers or decor elements.” 

- THE SIZE OF DISH MATTERS “For instance, if you are including bread or soup as a starter, then bread plates and soup bowls should be included,” says Ekta. “If it’s more of a family style meal where dishes are being shared, then usually one big dining plate for each guest is fine,” she says. 

- SERVE YOUR DRINKS IN STYLE When serving water, consider goblets instead of regular cups to add flair, Anna suggests. For cocktails, champagne or wine, make sure to select the correct types of glasses to complement the drink being served. 

- THE DETAILS MATTER Make it fancy by preparing good quality napkins for your guests, Anna recommends. Other things like trivets and block candles help add to the atmosphere too. 

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Monochrome Charm

A classic black-and-white colour combination never goes out of style. Accentuate the look by mixing in sophisticated gold accents, such as a gold- rimmed plate or glittery champagne glasses. 

Elevate Your Party

If you’re looking to take things up a notch further, we’ve got more insider tips… 

- USE TABLE “UNDERGARMENTS” While they aren’t always necessary, what goes beneath the plates and dishes can really add character to the table, Ekta says. Opt for a lovely table runner, placemats or tablecloth, and make sure to iron them well before laying them out, reminds Anna. 

- DISPLAY MENU CARDS Ensure that the font is of the right size (not too large, not too small). Anna suggests printing the menu on mirrors or acrylic to make it even fancier! 

- LIGHTING MATTERS Consider block candles or fairy lights. “Avoid actual candles, as they can make the dining area feel too warm,” Anna says. “These days, battery-lit candles look quite like the actual thing!”

- DESIGN PLACE CARDS Add a personal touch by customising place cards with guests’ names etched onto them, Ekta suggests. Display with ornamental place card holders, and match with napkin rings and show plates to elevate your hostess with the mostest flair.  

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