Step-by-Step Guide to Setting the Perfect Dining Table


Setting the perfect dining table may seem like a fine art but with our handy step-by-step guide you’ll quickly master this all important household activity. Whether you’re hosting a formal dinner or a causal catch-up, take the following steps to perfect your dining table layout.

1. Place Your Mats

Placemats keep your table safe from food spills and cutlery damage, but most importantly, they help to keep your dining table organised and aesthetically pleasing. Choose placemats that complement the colour and shape of your dining table, and remember to keep the edge of the placemats about an inch from the edge of the table to ensure your guests sit comfortably.

2. Arrange Your Plates

You can now add a charger plate, placed in the centre of the placemat, with the dinner plate placed on top of that. Either place a napkin on the dinner plate or roll it up and place it above at the top of the placemat. You can also place it to the left of the placemat. Try contrasting different plate colours and mixing modern and traditional plate styles to create visually stimulating combinations. Add a small appetiser plate to the left of the placemat if serving dinner rolls, and keep the desert plates in the kitchen until you’re ready to serve. The Classic Collection Cream Side Plate is a perfect plate for any occasion.

3. Set Your Silverware and Glassware

Forks should be placed on the left side of the placemat and the knife and spoon to the right. The salad fork is placed to the left of the dinner fork while the spoon is placed to the right of the knife. Keep the sharp side of the knife facing the plate and only set silverware that will be used during the dinner. Check out the Platinum Cutlery Set with 24 pieces for the ultimate in silverware.

Water glasses are placed above the knife while wine glasses are kept off the placemat to the left of the water glass. The Tipperary Crystal Sapphire Wine Glasses Set of 6 is a gorgeous addition to any dining table.

For the very best in tableware, shop in-store or online.

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Posts from the Harvey Norman blog team.

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