The Do’s and The Don’ts of Setting A Dining Room From an Interior Designers Perspective

  1. DO: Set out the appropriate silverware for your meal. Be considerate toward your guests and remember that not everyone knows the paring of specific food to fork ratio. Another option is to wait for your guest to ask for certain silverware. A simple request for a soup spoon or salad fork can easily be announced and retrieved from a nearby drawer. Here are some good, basic ideas for how to set a table:

DON’T: Have too many silverware options. The last thing a guest wants when eating at someone else’s home is to feel awkward on which fork, knife, spoon should go with which food. This can lead to unspoken uncomfortableness between you and your dinner guests.

  1. DO: Make extra room for guests. We are all too familiar with unexpected party guests, so make sure you have extra chairs for whoever may show up unannounced. If you don’t have enough chairs that match your table, don’t sweat it, just have an idea of what chairs you can pull in at a moments notice. Start with chairs that are often around food (like the kitchen) then branch out to other options if necessary.

DON’T: Prepare for a ridiculous amount of guests and overload your table with chairs. Keep the size and shape of your table in mind. This can help you create enough space for each guest and save you from overcrowding. Even though you have an idea of what chairs could be added to your table, that doesn’t mean they have to be added. Wait until you are aware of the surprise guests presence. WARNING stay away from the lawn chairs!

  1. DO: Have an eye catching centerpiece. Your dining room centerpiece is one of the most important aspects of your dining room attire. This can bring together your entire room and draw eyes onto a stunning display of either flowers, colored jars, or a collection of tasteful decorations. You should take into account the time of year when arranging your centerpiece, for example colorful flowers during spring would serve as an attractive piece to your table.

DON’T: Have a centerpiece that blocks people from catching eyes. There’s a simple rule of thumb when creating a tasteful center piece: if you have to move it in order to set the table, it’s too big. The last thing your guests want to eat next to is an enormous object getting in the way of both their eating and socializing. Sizing down a centerpiece isn’t as difficult as it may seem. You can even replace your entire piece with a couple of bottles of wine which serves as a striking yet functional center for the night.

  1. DO: Create an atmosphere through lighting. Having specific lighting to enhance mood or ambiance can turn a night around. With just a simple set of lit candles or even a cluster of tea lights, the night can go from drab to dramatic. Can’t find the perfect lighting for your room? Find out how to contour your home here:

DON’T: Use too much or too little light. When playing with lighting for the evening you can easily slip down the “too bright” or “too dim” path without you even knowing it. Instead of having a few candles lit, try dimming the overhead lights allowing your guests to see easier. Not able to dim your overhead lights? Simply turn on the surrounding rooms lights; this gives the illusion of light without using an over powering light fixture.

  1. DO: Que up some color. Adding a pop of color into your curtains, linens, and rugs can bring a huge change of scenery into your dining room. It not only adds a lighthearted atmosphere but it inspires conversation and creativity in your house. Those funky yellow glasses you found at an estate sale will be a perfect topic for any guest and add functionality.

DON’T: Stick to your regular matchy-matchy routine. When it comes to style, most of us know that the safety of matching can make or break a space. Too much can come off as playful, yet too little can come off as super formal. Try to “dress your dining room” the same way you dress yourself. Remember your home is a reflection of who you are, so if you are all for using bright and quirky items in life then don’t be afraid to show your stuff.