Some of life’s best memories are made while gathered around the table. Whether you are preparing a romantic Valentine’s Day evening for two, hosting Thanksgiving dinner for all of your loved ones, or planning a feast with friends, setting the table sets the mood. 

We sat down with Dianne O’Connor from Weston Table, a craftsman-to-consumer lifestyle brand based in the Boston area, to learn her tips and tricks for making everyday extraordinary dining experiences at home. Keep reading to see her top five expert pieces of advice for setting the table. 

  1. Set the table in advance. As a seasoned hostess, Dianne shared, “You probably have heard this before, but you are more likely to be able to relax, enjoy your guests, and be a better hostess if you are organized and do what you can in advance.  By laying out the tableware and platters at least a day ahead of time, you also may enjoy the beautiful decor for a bit longer.”  
  2. Bring outdoor elements indoors. “Adding organic elements to the table is an easy way to make your dining experience special. When in doubt, flowers elevate all tables. Backyard foraging for branches or berries to use as natural decorations is cost-effective, equally as special, and produces a comforting, homey feel. You may tie smaller elements with twine and place one on each plate and drape longer branches down the center of the table to add warmth and charm to your dinner,” Dianne explained.
  3. Replace the tablecloth with placemats or table runners. Dianne insisted, “Out with the formal tablecloth and in with a more comfortable and casual look: placemats or table runners as table coverings. These table coverings produce less hassle than tablecloths and look every bit as stunning with the completed table setting.”  
  4. Repurpose things you already own. “You may use a water pitcher as a flower vase. A Dutch oven makes a fabulous, repurposed wine cooler when filled with ice. Look around your kitchen, see what sparks your creativity, and relish in the details. The possibilities are endless.”
  5. Choose the right flatware for the occasion. “Whether you are going for a classic, modern, or rustic feel, the flatware can help establish your style.” Browse this extraordinary collection of flatware at Weston Table for all types of silverware, and glean inspiration for your next gathering. 

As Dianne concluded, “Setting the table is a gift you give to your guests. Host with intention, meaning, and heart by putting as much into the overall ambiance as you do into the food.”