Setting a table for a dinner party should not be exclusive to the dining room, nor should the lack of a dining room stop you from inviting friends for a meal. Many houses today are designed with a multitude of spaces perfectly suited for a sit down dinner; the table is clearly important, but sharing a meal with family and friends even more so.
I have set tables in the foyer, particularly when the dining room table becomes a work surface for my projects, or in the living room when the guest list exceeds the dining room's capacity. And, believe it or not, I've even used the driveway when the guest list was really long! If you live in an apartment, in which space is at a premium, you really must be clever about how to stage a sit-down meal. Your home office, the playroom and library are fine places to do this. When I lived in a tiny studio apartment in New York, we used to sit on banquettes around the bed, and in my first country house, for our first dinner everyone had to bring their own chair because the budget at the time had only allowed me to purchase a table!
Moving the table around allows me to use all different corners of the house. Sometimes I like to sit by the bay window, at others near the fireplace and still other times it is fun to set the table in the living room next to the Christmas tree. I am not afraid to invite friends into our bedroom—it brings back fond memories of my early days in New York.
To set the table for a dinner party, use two main colors for both china and linens. Investing in a white linen tablecloth and napkins will allow you to add color and texture with decorations and accessories. A solid white tablecloth goes with everything and it is elegant, luxurious and always perfect. Make sure it is of high quality linen and it will last you forever. Begin your entertaining life with a great set of white plates that you can mix and match with other colors as you grow your collection. Keep it basic and simple and use the things you have at home in lieu of flowers. It makes for individual and personal decorations.
A simple silver bowl in the center of the table filled with seasonal objects like fruits, pinecones, Christmas balls or even large sea-shells are always perfect. And place a group of miss-matched candlesticks with white or beige tapers around the bowl for a very elegant look; little else is needed to create this elegant and classic table.
Butternut Squash Soup
Berries with Cream & Chocolate Chip Cookies