Junior League Holiday Home TourContemporary Dining Room, San Francisco
Photo: Janet Paik © 2012 Houzz
What Houzz contributors are saying:
The spoon. Spoons traditionally are always to the right of the place setting and to the right of the knife. If soup is being served first, the spoon will be the outermost implement. If a tea and coffee spoon or dessert spoon is needed, place it to the left of the soup spoon and to the right of the knife.Nowadays, for aesthetic reasons, we tend to lay out our cutlery out according to size, as in the place setting here. There’s no hard and fast rule, but for a traditional setting, placement is always based on the outside in for the courses served.
Test out your place setting. To set the table for a formal dinner, start with a charger, then stack up the dinner plate and salad plate. Lay out the forks on the left, knives and spoons on the right, remembering that guests will use the silverware on the outside first and work their way in. Pull out all the stops on a nonparty day and take a snapshot you can refer to, so you’ll stress less before the big event. Choose one color or material to be the star of the table. Try a gleaming metallic hue for a sophisticated look or bright, clear colors for a fun, modern take; or go cozy and rustic with natural fibers. Whatever you choose, narrowing the palette will help make your table look more polished and intentional.
This table setting has a neutral palette with gold as the accent color. Anderson explains, "The homeowner wasn't keen on traditional floral arrangements, so we used big decorative ornaments." The nature-inspired accents are kept subtle with formal monogrammed napkins. One special twist the designers added to the traditional table runner was orienting three of them perpendicularly, connecting each table setting across from another.Tip: "If you don't have it in your budget to bring in a lot of flowers," Anderson says, "substitute ornaments or candles to create a stunning evening setting." Use ornaments that are substantial in size, not tiny ones that can make the table look cluttered.Metallic leaves: Pottery Barn; gold flatware: West Elm; hammered gold chargers: Crate & Barrel; napkins: Belgian linen, Frascati, Bespoke Home