This week, I am changing things up a bit. I had wanted to write a column about beautiful spring table settings. Around the same time I had this inspo, I was scrolling through Instagram and some gorgeous dinnerware, set to perfection, on a spring table, stopped me mid-scroll. This eye candy was on The Gift of Gab’s Instagram page (@giftofgab_ms). As you already know, Gift of Gab is one of my favorite shops in Ripley. FGG and I were planning to go to Florida for a week, anyway, so rather than miss a week of the column, I decided to reach out to Nikki Edwards, owner of Gift of Gab, to see if she wanted to write about beautiful table settings. Nikki had some tips to share in this week’s column.
Entertaining is something I've always loved to do. My grandmother would host her golfing friends a few times a year, and I loved talking her into using her good china when really, she would have rather used disposable! And Christmas morning breakfast was the only day of the year we got to use her Crest-O-Gold “George & Martha” china. I thought that was as fancy as fancy got! Even as I got older, I would pore through fine china catalogs imagining a table perfectly set with matching serving dishes or customizing a place setting using different coordinating patterns.
Whether you're hosting a few friends for dinner or a shower for your best friend, deciding what pieces to use can be daunting! I usually take a “less is more” approach to table settings, but if your personality is BIG, then your table is a great place to let that shine! When designing a table, I usually decide on a few key factors then let the rest fall in to place. I've put together a quick list that will make creating a tablescape effortless.
- Decide on style
First and foremost, deciding on a style is key, and this comes from the main ingredient in a table setting: the dinnerware. Fine china tablescapes are indeed an art form. The classic bone china with a gold rim, cut crystal goblets, polished silverware and fine linens make for a stunning showpiece, no doubt, but it may not be practical for everyday entertaining. A better choice might be a nice stoneware or pottery, an everyday ceramic china, or even a printed melamine. And none of these have to break the bank! I love thrifting dinnerware and serving pieces. I'm a sucker for vintage pieces and will often use a hodgepodge of mismatched floral patterns to create one place setting. Once you decide on your dinnerware, all the other elements can be built off of this.
- Pick coordinating linens
Table clothes (runners, place mats, chargers, and napkins, if being used) should all coordinate with the dinnerware. A nice linen napkin is a classic choice, but printed paper napkins can be a fun way to add personality and color!
- Choose a centerpiece wisely
The centerpiece should accent the table, not steal the show. Choose coordinating florals in a low vessel for a simple elegant look. I love using a large round glass bowl I thrifted a few years ago. I usually add whatever flowers are blooming in my yard at the time, along with a little greenery and various herbs. Rosemary and wild mint are my favorites because they smell divine.
- Add accent pieces
The accent pieces are where your personality can really show! Adding a uniquely printed accent place (for example, a set of quirky salad plates you picked up on a vacation several years ago) will not only add interest to your table, but also can be a conversation starter. This is also a good place to insert a “theme.” Hosting a bridal shower? Add gold rings, champagne bottles, or the Bride's wedding colors. If you're celebrating a certain holiday or special occasion, fun coordinating accents can transform your table setting into a memorable dinner for your guests. This is also a good place to add in your glasses or drink ware. A sturdy tumbler is a great all occasion glass, but if you prefer wine, a stemless glass is ideal for casual entertaining as well. The same goes for the flatware. There are great choices available for stainless flatware, but we're seeing some really neat plastic options too! That's exciting to me because I love entertaining outside!
- Finish with final touches
Final touches can be anything from handwritten place cards, a sprig of greenery on each place setting, a sweet treat, or anything personalized.
Entertaining guests should be fun and stress-free. Planning ahead and simplifying your tablescape leaves more time to love on the people around the table.
The photos in today’s column are all courtesy of Nikki Edwards. Be sure to stop in to see Nikki! Tell her your friend, The Little Mrs. FGG, sent you!
The Gift of Gab
1214 City Avenue North
Ripley MS 38663
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9-5, Saturday, 9-3.
Share your beautiful table settings with me on The Little Mrs. FGG’s social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok) or holler at me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be back from Florida by the time this is published, and look forward to hearing from you!