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You have sent out the invitations, planned your menu, cleaned your house, and now it is time to set the table. Are you like me, and attack this task several days before? Or is this a last minute event for you? No matter when you set the table, I hope you do it with style! My guests are important to me, and I want them to feel important at my home. I try to make dining a creative adventure, and the tabletop where your guests will sit is the perfect place to begin. No matter what your budget , you can set an interesting table that reflects your personal style. Here is my selection of some of the most stylish tabletop pieces in the market place. I have included pieces at all price points. Each piece was selected for it’s style, value, and purpose. Many of the items would also make a great gift. I hope that you find a piece that gets your own creative juices flowing!
Step out of the Flower Box and traditional centerpieces. Give your table a fresh new look with fine bone china flowers! Imagine how important your guests will feel with on at each place setting. Tuck a place card in each and they become a beautiful place card holder. Arrange a grouping on a pedestal stand for an unique centerpiece. Or place one on your bathroom vanity……just to make you smile each morning. They are delightful! Find your blooming beauty at nybgshop.org $14 each.
So hip….your coffee will taste better! This little set will perk up your coffee service….or be a terrific hostess gift. The set includes 2 ceramic espresso cups with silicone handles and saucers. originally $21 and now on sale for $14.70 at shopwillow.com
Dinner by the numbers! Let there be no confusion at the dinner table. Everyone will know whose napkin is whose…even after a few glasses of vino! A wonderful set of numbered hemp and cotton blend napkins sold in a set of six or ten. Priced from $120 – $195. artfulhome.com save 15% with Coupon Code: SPRING9 Expires March 31st.
Serve the wine stylishly in Raynaud’s porcelain jug designed by famed chef Thomas Keller. As functional as it is beautiful. $156 at takashimaya-ny.com
I can think of 1000 uses for these handsome hand hammered brass leaf plates! Perfect for hors d’oeuvres servers…….pretty in the powder room for guest soaps……..fab in the foyer to catch keys or the mail…….beautiful on the bedside table for your reading glasses……delightful on the desk at home or office for paper clips or candy. They will make a great gift for almost anyone! $16 at papertrailrhinebeck.com
Tea time is even sweeter with the Ottoman Tea Glasses by Tade! I think these are lovely and would make a great hostess gift. When not using them for tea…..use them as a glass in the powder room……or as small vases around the home. $26 each at Tabulatua.com
I couldn’t resist these happy cups! Created by Panton in 196o……the geometry pattern is eternally modern. They return now to unicahome.com in limited editions of egg cups…..bowls….or thermocups. Each set comes in your choice of five colors. Sold in sets of four…. the egg cups are $65….the bowls and thermocups…. $80. So Joyful!
They’ll scream over your ice cream! What a lever little ice cream container! This hand fired gold ceramic box will hold a pint of Rocky Road and look great on your table. Get it for yourself or give it as a yummy gift! $125 at BestowBoutique.com
If you are having an intimate dinner party…...the Grab Bag of Napkin Rings designed by Kuhn Karamik will spice up dinner with their edgy vibe. A little bit punk……a little bit of glamour…….they add up to a whole lot of style! Each set is differnt and hand fired. $198 for the set of six from BestowBoutique.com
Be a sweet hostess and serve up some decorated sugar cubes with coffee or tea. You will find a clever collection of cubes at I Am The Princess. Shown above are the Birthday and Tea Party selections. Many more are available. Priced from $15 – $20 at iamtheprincess.com
A modern approach to candlelight! These sustainable Beeswax Candles……in fresh contemporary colors…..are a clever way to shed the right light on your next dinner party. Love the soft robins egg blue mixed with the chocolate candle. They are 16″ and sell for $69 at indiarose.com
Salt cellars seem much more interesting than the typical salt and paper shaker we all have. I actually use mine each and every day. These Horn Cellars by Siecle are exceptionally interesting! Made of buffalo horn with silver or gold plated butterflies. Let your imagine fly and use them for salt, pepper, sugar, or sauces. $25 each at Vivre.com.
If you entertain casually……plastic may be the way to go. These thumb appetizer plates are sophisticated in black and practical as they are dishwasher safe. They also make sense and easy for your guests to hold while noshing at your next party. Sold in a set of four for $30 at ElementsChicago.com
Oh how very lovely! This Square Sugar and Cream Set would be appropriate for almost any type of table setting. Made from hammered stainless steel….the set includes lidded sugar bow, lidded creamer, tray and tongs. One of my very favorite finds! The set is $135 and can be found at Chicago’s Material Possessions.
These clever little Chalkboard Candles will get your message across in style! Their uses are endless. Perfect at each place setting at your dinner party…….just write with the included chalk……each guests name on each candle holder. Great shower favors. They are made of 100% soy wax and can be found at Delight.com for $19.50
Place cards are a stylish way to make your guests feel welcome. I always use them if I have more than four guests. Place cards gives you control of the dinner party! You can mix and match the guests the way you want to. I also believe that people really want to be told where to sit. Dauphine Press makes a lovely letterpress card available in the colors above. Very chic! $10 for a set of ten at OrangeandPear.com
Chatam Global’s Tortue Flatware is in a word……stylish! Not over the top dressy….yet very distinctive. With resin handles and stainless steel , the set of 20 pieces is dishwasher safe yet hand-washing is recommended. On sale now for $124. Originally $240 at Horchow.com
Nothing makes a guest feel more special than a place card and a charger plate. Chargers add instant depth to the tabletop and are a great way to add color and style! This antique bamboo charger with its’ nickel plated center is a shining example of style and good taste. It is pricey….especially if you want to purchase more than a few….but it is on sale now. Originally $83 and marked down to $74.70 at PioneerLinens.com
Fill your tablescapes with interest! Alex Marshall Studio Rectangle Pedestal is the perfect way to add interest and height to the table. Shown here as an appetizer display……this piece has so many other uses. Fill the pedestal with an array of tea lights for a great centerpiece. Arrange individual desserts on the pedestal. Place complimentary colored pillar candles on top of it for a colorful centerpiece. And wouldn’t it highlight bon bons and truffles nicely! This piece comes in a plethera of pretty colors and is priced at $190. Find it at Vivionline.com
Ruffles aren’t just in style for your clothing! Now with the Tuxedo napkin….you can bring ruffles to your tabletop. This set of six all cotton napkins are so versatile no matter what your dinnerware might be. They are basic with a twist. $36 for the set at IndiaRose.com
A table runner is a good look and a great way to add interest to the tabletop. The Dots Runner by Chilewich in Smoke is chic and contemporary look that I happen to love. Best yet…….Chilewhich products are made of woven vinyl…making them durable and easy to clean. $29 at shoprelish.com
Here’s a different way to serve coffee…….A Latte Bowl in chocolate by Kim Westad. Made of lovely hand thrown porcelain with white “slip dots” that have been hand painted. This little bowl or cup has a nice feel to the hand. It also will make a nice trinket holder on a bathroom vanity or desk top. $32 at supermarkethq.com
Candlelight can really set the mood of a dinner party. The Seaglass Ilumnaria from VivaTerra.com are fanciful and sure to cast a romantic glow to your table top. Made of recycled glass and will hold tea light candles or use them for small bouquets of flowers. You might consider, when using them as centerpieces, to purchase an odd number such as three or five. Decorating with odd numbers is so much more interesting. $42 each. Now on sale for $29!
For your next first course or appetizer, consider using these Palm Leaf Ceramic Dishes. Simple, elegant,………Perfect! Remember, it is okay that they don’t match your dinnerware. In fact, mixing it up a bit makes for a more interesting table….always! $40.00 each at CarolyneRoehm.com
Having a Dim Sum Dinner? Asian theme dinners are so much fun! Add some authenticity to the meal with a Rosewood Set of five Chopsticks in their own woven rattan holders. A fun look for a casual meal. $27.95 at Everythingchopsticks.com
Mackenzie-Childs creates chic and colorful home accents, dinnerware, furniture, and more. I have always appreciated their sense of style and color. This Enamel Pot in The Courtly Check Pattern could amp up the fun factor for any table…inside or out. They are petite in size at 4.5 inches tall. I can imagine using them as a vase with red boquets, as a small ice bucket on a cocktail try, one at each place setting for a rib fest, so that each guest can dispose of their bones. And wouldn’t a red napkin look wonderful artistically folded in each one? These little pots have so many uses, you are only limited by your own creativity! $22 at mackenzie-childs.com
Now this is a clever idea! Which are these, Candlestick or Vase? You make the decision, and by all means use them both ways. Because they are glass, and will not block a guest’s view, five of them placed down the center of a table……two with flowers and three with candles…..would be perfect. What a chic centerpiece look that would be! Even more interesting is that they are sold in two different sizes, 14″ and 17.5,” giving your table top dimension. $29 – $35 at fawbushschulz.com
Though one doesn’t typically set a table with a martini glass, The Venice Elise Orange Martini Glass by Michael Weems was just too beautiful not to show you. Most likely you will be serving wine at dinner and not a martini, but I have another use for it. Try filling each of these hand signed and dated works of art with chocolate mouse and using them for your dessert service. Melon balls of green honeydew and cantaloupe with a sprig of mint would also beautiful. They great glasses also would make ice cream look very special! You just have to think outside the box and your table will be beautiful in no time. The best thing about these glasses are their price tag. Now $35. Originally $88 at Gearys.com
These fabulously fun napkins jumped off the page to me. The Kilim Noir Black Decorative Napkins are sold in sets of 6 for $34.99. Not a bad price for so much style. Perfect for a Mexican Fiesta or any event for that matter. The woodblock print will jazz up any dishware and add a bit of fun to the table. Don’t forget to save one for the bread basket. Found at saffronmarigold.com
I happen to think having a collection of clear glass dinnerware is a dining staple. You can do so much with clear glass…..change out table linens (anything will match) mix and match with other colors or patterns of dishes. Sometimes your flowered pattern dishes just doesn’t fit the event you are hosting, or the color of the food you are serving. Clear glass is appropriate for any type of meal. Most importantly, it is easy to find clear dishes that are affordable and stylish such as the Eclissi Dinnerware. The above set is made of Duralex which makes it break resistant, dishwasher and microwave safe. Each piece is sold individually, making it easy to purchase a large amount, if you are hosting a large dinner party. The dishes have a very contemporary vibe with their square shape, yet because there is no pattern, they also will fit into a classic decor. Rather stunning for these prices! Dinner Plate $5.99 each Dessert Place $3.69 Glass Bowls $2.89 – $6.99. Buy them at Villagekitchen.com
The Art of the Tea Towel, a tradition in France and you can bring a little “Joie de vivre” into your life with these beautiful woven Jacquard Tea Towels. So many of us entertain in our kitchen these days. You can’t just use your only ratty terry dishtowel with company coming! A few of these terrific towels on the counter will perk up your party in no time! Consider also using them for lining the bread basket or a serving tray, or artistically folded in a basket on your kitchen counter. They are so beautiful that they are suitable for framing, and often are. Many choices to chose from, each pattern with its’ own distinct charm. Many of them are printed with delightful French Phrases. You will find it difficult to chose just one! Sold individually for $20 or as a 4 piece set for $80, which makes a lovely gift, as well! Found at a delightful Internet store, quelobjet.com.
Nothing dresses up a table better than a Placemat placed under a dinner plate. I have a collection of them in different colors and fabrication. This eco-friendly and party perfect Potato Chip Placemat Set of Six, are very clever and chic. They are made from the lining of potato chip bags. Fancy that! The set arrives in a round silver box that can double as a serving tray. Fairly traded from Nepal. $120 for the set. from btcelements.com Save an additional 20% Off with Coupon Code: grechen.
Have you ever been to a wedding or formal affair where the table top was mirrored? If so, you know how dramatic the look is. The beautiful glassware, napkins, candlelight, and dishware is reflected in the mirror, creating a stunning tabletop. You can achieve this look at home with Mirrored Placemats. Sold in a set of 4, they will duplicate the beauty of your table and protect it at the same time. These placemats happen to have a nice clean design that would compliment any type of dish style you might have. $99.80 at ZGallerie.com
Though candles are beautiful on a dining table, why not switch it up a bit, and use the warm light of The Lexington Oil Lamp? Designed by David Perkins, the lamp has a beveled crystal shade and a hand blown glass base. Just beautiful! A pint of smokeless and orderless liquid parafin is included with each lamp. Your guests will feel as if they are dining in a Parisian Bistro. Found at HazelnutNewOrleans.com for $78.
These Rhinestone Chargers certainly will have your dinner guests talking! Why not add a little bling to the table? They are actually made of plastic, but who would know with your own dishware sitting on top of the chargers? These were such a fun find, I just had to show you all. Sold in a set of 12 for $95 at PlumParty.com. Take 20% Off With Coupon Code: ADORE. Expires: Feb. 15 2009.
Like a rainbow for your table, Artecnica’s Trio Candle Holders are so unusual, each one with a trio of colors. Imagine the look with a flaming taper inserted. The candle holder is meant to mimic the colors of the flame. Though they are contemporary in silhouette, the jewel toned colors would compliment a classically set table, as well. Found at VelocityArtandDesign.com for $38 each. Available in colors shown above.
I saw these handsome petite carafes today at Chicago’s Sur La Table store. Made by Laguiole, they are of etched glass and imprinted with the word “Laguiole.” Standing at 5 inches tall, I immediately thought that the presentation of one at each place setting would make for an interesting table. The uses don’t stop at wine. They would be very appropriate for any time of juice at the breakfast table, ice tea, or individual waters. Your guests will appreciate the ability to serve themselves! Lovely for the price. $19.95 for a set of two. SurlaTable.com
On Sale Now for $14.96
Get an earthy glow on that table of yours with a Set Of Four Natural Tea Light Holders handmade from South Africa. Like your dinner guests, no two are alike. Each holder is pressed with natural flowers, grasses, petals, and grains by a South African women’s collective. Lovely Illumination at $34 per set. Find them at CandyStoreCollective.com
What a clever idea! Doileez By Modern Twist, are not your Grannie’s doily! They are resuable silicone, eco-friendly, and oh so stylish! They have so many uses! My favorite is to decorate food presentations as pictured above. Also consider using them under vases, as furniture protection, a design element to any counter top…..go crazy with them, as each pattern is so lovely. Available at Velocityartanddesign.com for $25 in a two pack.
If you are striving for a earthy yet stylish table, Dransfield & Ross’s wooden tortoise placemat just may be your answer. It really needs to be enlarged to appreciate the decorative detain of this mat. The wooden placemat gives you the earthy look, and the tortoise design is always a lux look. I think these mats are beautiful and workable with so many dish patterns. $48 a piece at BergdorfGoodman.com
Just the cake stand I have been looking for all my life! Hand-hammered stainless steel stand by Atticus is perfect for a contemporary kitchen or table. The cake server is just as beautiful with it’s leopard wood handle. And the cake? Looks like Black Hound New York to me. Cake Stand $195 Cake Server $75 at takashimaya-ny.com.
if you haven’t noticed, I admire anything with a fleur-de-lis motif, thus I chose it for my blog design. These oversized Black Bistro Mugs hold 12 ounces of your favorite hot beverage. Designed exclusively for FrenchQuarterMarket, I find them very stylish making a bold statement. I often have company over just for desserts and coffee, and I would be proud to serve these mugs to any crowd. $12 each at FrenchQuarterMarket.com
The first set of dinnerware that I thought was blog worthy! New to the United States and soon to become a classic favorite, Rosenthal’s Landscape Dinnerware, designed by Patricia Urquoila is sensational! it is as beautiful as it is stylish, and I think it would compliment any type of decor. Available at UnicaHome.com The 5 piece place setting is $188, but currently Unica Home is having a special for 20% off any Rosenthal $100 order. Many individual pieces are available as well. Just gorgeous!
Every party needs needs an ice breaker. Party Rox by Sally Russel certainly will get that party started. I think they are very clever and a bit less formal than place cards. Set one of these colorful rocks at each place setting and let your guests pick their seat by their mood or their reputation. Too much fun! Fond at ThreeLovelies.com $36.
Oh how wonderful! Marc Blackwell has created a dinnerware pattern that has all of the properties of Mahogany with its rich colors and grained look in brown and platinum. I think they are divine! Every edge is hand painted with platinum. With the look of wood this design will never go out of style! The Five Piece Setting is $240. Available at StitchChicago.com
Set the mood for a party perfect picnic with Social Couture’s set of 4 Terracotta Votives. Of course votive candles wold be perfect for these little pots scattered about the dining table and beyond. You also can plant a little flower or herbs in them and place one at each place setting. They will serve as a party favor for each guest. Your imagination can go wild thinking out of the box and into the pot with this inexpensive tabletop item at $3.00 per set of 4. socialcouture.com
A very dear friend of mine, Barbara, turned me on to the beautiful store Jan de Luz. Barbara found it in Carmel, and I found it on Robertson Ave. in LA. Marvelous things! Their Mirabeau Breakfast Set is divine! With yummy colors and the casual terra cotta design, I would also use it for lunch tea or desserts. The three piece set includes a Cup, Saucer, and Plate. $82 at jandeluz.com
I cannot believe that these wonderful mats are made of rubber! The Placemat Set by Strada is very exciting to me. The colors are lively and elegant and so appropriate for indoors or out. They are currently nicely priced at Vivre.com for $30 for a set of two. It wold be fun to mix and match all of the patterns. Now that would make an interesting table!
Treat your dinner guests like royalty! I love to use place cards at the table. It is an added detail that is always noticed. There also is a practical function to the cards…..they put you in control of your party! I also think most people like to be told where to sit. With a place card all questions are answered. Made of polished pewter, this set of four crowns on pillows place card holders are just delightful! $32 at hazelnutneworleans.com
I have used river rocks for some time on my tablescapes. I love the organic shapes and the pop of shine that the lacquer gives the tabletop. Today I found the same rocks that I have but made into votives. I scatter my plain rocks around the table….just for effect. Now they can serve a purpose for mood lighting as well. This is definitely a good thing! $22 each in gold, copper, or silver at Zippergifts.com Find them in the Sensuous Home Section.
Beautiful in black and white…….this set of six stylish glasses are detailed with Art Nouveau botanical patterns that have been etched and sandblasted by artisans. I think they are fab and would really add a pop of pattern to a plain white or black table setting. $78 at shopwillow.net
If you want to dress to impress your table, the Vetro Cup and Saucer with Spoon certainly will do the job! Arte Italica hand paints and etches these mouth blown pieces. The painting is done with sterling silver, creating a look of old world elegance. Stunning! $62 at Chicago’s marvelous MaterialPossessions.com
This was an exciting little find! Perfect for so many occasions. This is a case of 15 tiny Bubble Vases. Create a wonderful arrangement for a centerpiece, using all of them together. Fill one with mini bouquets, and set at each place setting. Perfect for guest bathrooms or small bedside tables. If you are planning a wedding or large party they could come in handy for bistro cocktail tables. Each small 2.5 X 3 inch vase will make a big difference to your interesting table. Available in Aqua, Rose, Lilac, and Green. $19.99 at Cocktailvibe.com
Your table with glow with the added sparkle of these Bling Hurricanes! Covered in crystals and available in two sizes they are available for $49.95 and $99.95 at Zgallerie.com
Tortoise has a very warm and inviting look. These Classic Wine goblets are handblown with a swirled tortoise pattern. They are perfect for everyday or can be also dressy. Lovely! $18 at MaterialPossessions.co
Light up and dinner party with Vivre Selection’s Set Of 6 Mercury Glass Votives. Each one is unique and very special. $75.00 at Vivre.com
Get color! What a wonderful way to liven up a table. Eden and Eden’s vintage inspired champagne flutes are bold in color and unique in design. Available in colors above and silver and gold. $68 for a pair of two. EdenandEden.com
I love Chilewich! Their understated modern design is always crisp and fresh looking. Dress up your table with their shimmery vinyl placemats and runners in five soothing shades. Placemats $16.50 and Runners $55 at vivionline.com