Table Couture: The Beginning of Dressing A Fabulous Table

Hello everyone and welcome back. Today we will talk a little about how we begin to dress our table. Table dressing or setting came about in the late 18th century with the aristocrats to be a form of expression. To begin with, you need to know what type of occasion you are having and how you want to set the mood or ambience.  This will determine where you need to start. There are three things to consider, a runner, placemats and/or centerpiece. Depending on your occasion, you might like to coordinate these pieces to bring life and beauty to where you want to focus the center of attention.

The centerpiece, it can be used in many different ways and they come in all shapes and forms, from flowers and candles, fruit bowls or displays, and many others, you can even create and make your own. We can go into many details here, so many are popping into my head right now, so let your creativity flow. However, keeping it simple for now, the centerpiece can be used for many occasions, take note of the size of your table; make sure the centerpiece is sized appropriate. Consider whether or not you will be serving plated food or self-serving dishes, how many courses, and how long you will be seated at the table. Maybe you have a long table and it may call for more than one centerpiece. The centerpiece can be used for celebrations to special occasions, or simply having one just to dress your table to add beauty, color and life to the room.

The Table Runner can be used from an elegant formal setting to any casual setting. It is said, the servants came up with the idea of the runner and table napkins to save on the work of cleaning the tablecloth and protecting it from the spills and food stains. Table Runners and napkins were made of fabrics that were easier to care for; however, in today’s time the table runner is used for more decorative purposes such as to help set the mood or the theme of the table or to coordinate other elements of the table together.

The Placemat can be chosen in a formal or a casual setting. Everything depends on the theme of what you want to present. White linen placemat can hold their own in a formal setting. Placemats come in all shapes and sizes, you can even have them custom made to fit unconventional size tables.

So, there we have it my friends, this is the part of the table I like to label the under-dressing. The next topic in our series “The Beginnings of Dressing the Table” we will talk about the second level of dressing the table with your china, silverware and glassware. That is all for today my friends, the miniseries continues, be sure to come back next week, you don’t want to miss it – until next week everyone – Life and Beauty to your homes.

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