How to set your table for a dinner party

Knowing how to set your table for a dinner party is an art that can be acquired through thoughtful planning and we have spent years perfecting interiors that facilitate dinner parties so you've come to the right place. Raft is a company that prides itself on high quality, elegant, sustainable products that boast a warts and all authenticity... and a lifestyle that matches our collection. We understand that life comes with wear and tear and things don't always go to plan (take this pandemic, for example); however, as long as your home base is a place you love to return to at the end of the day... you're doing pretty well. Keep reading to learn how to set your dining table for a special occasion or just a gathering of friends and family. 

How to organise your crockery and cutlery for a dinner party

There's much anxiety over table setting, with many people convinced that knowing how to organise your crockery and cutlery is the bread and butter of table setting. Now, although that may be the case when you're eating in a fancy restaurant, the beauty of home-hosted dinner parties is that you can relax on this front. Even still, below we explain how to organise your cutlery to tick that fancy formality box. 

Dinner party table setting crockery and cutlery placement

  1. Place your dinner plate in the centre of the setting
  2. Place your salad or soup bowl on top of your dinner plate. 
  3. Place knives to the right of your dinner plate, facing the blade towards the plate. Place the forks to the left of your dinner plate. You can offer two forks and two knives, with the smallest on the outside, so that guests can work from the outside, in, from starter to main course. However, we don't bother; one knife and fork is enough for us!
  4. Above your dinner plate goes the dessert fork and spoon. The fork points to the right and the spoon, to the left. (Once again, we ignore this formality and bring the dessert cutlery out after the main course to create space and minimise cleaning up, if some people don't want dessert!)
  5. Place your water and wine glasses to the right of the place setting just above the table knife.

How to decorate your table for a dinner party

Table decor is an easy way to dress up your dinner party and give it a touch of ambiance. When it comes to decorating, often less is more... but if you want to get that minimalist chic (not stuffy) table aesthetic just right, keep reading.  

dinner party table setting lighting Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

  1. Roughly fold some linen napkins and place them in the centre of each dinner plate. This natural material will add a bit of rustic charm to your table and also require very little TLC. 
  2. Place mats made from natural materials (such as twig place mats) or in neutral colours against a wooden table will provide an organised and beautiful canvas for your table setting. 
  3. If you don't have a complete set of matching crockery or glasses, stacking mismatching plates, bowls and glasses is a stylish trick for easy hosting.
  4. Dot tea-lights around the table for a whimsical ambiance and touch of warmth.
  5. Fill small, jar-like vases with plants and flowers. We are always tempted by a neutral palette, opting for greens and whites, such as gypsophila and eucalyptus. Large bouquets and loud colours can be distracting and obstructive. 

 Our signature tableware 

Raft's Nordic Sand tableware range offers everything from plates and bowls to espresso cups. The glazed stoneware is authentic and natural, making it versatile: easy to dress up or down. How to set your table for a dinner party nordic sand tableware

Shop our Nordic Sand Range

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