Set the Table

They say that you eat with your eyes first.  So vamp up the visuals by setting a beautiful table for your fabulous feast.  With some simple strategies, you can take any tabletop from dull to decadent.  Here are some of our favorite ways to doll up yourdécor.  Choose one or two, or use them all together.

  1. Tealights.  Who doesn’t have a bag of tealights hanging around?  Grab some regular glasses of different heights and pour a touch of water in each one (to keep the wax from sticking to the glass- makes cleanup a breeze).  Place as many tealights as will fit in each glass and stagger across the center of the table for a multi-height centerpiece in minutes.
  2. Use festive fabric.  Make a runner out of an old scarf or tapestry.  Fold the fabric into a long rectangle and lay across the center of the table.  Or, if you have two, use them as long placemats for either side of a rectangular table, leaving the center clear for your other decorations.  Keep the look casual by laying the fabric in a gathered and random way.  Fill in the pockets with candles, flowers, fruit.
  3. Give the table a little lift.  Make “risers” out of regular kitchen items like pots and pans, or boxes of dry goods from the pantry.  Lay your first table cloth on the table.  Then, place your “risers” in a staggered row across the center of the table, varying heights to create interest.  Cover the risers in another cloth, gathering the excess at the bases to make a beautiful pool of fabric.  When you present the dishes on the table, the varying heights will offer extra interest.
  4. Flowers, greens and goodies.  A little nature goes a long way.  Find inexpensive flowers at the local florist or grocery store and separate bouquets into small arrangements.  Using vases or glasses that you already have, make arrangements of varying heights.  White carnations look like a million bucks and greens from your yard are free!  You don’t need to break the bank to help your table sparkle.
  5. Colorful fruits in clear containers give a punch of color to a dull setting.  Use vases, glass mixing bowls or serving bowls.  Lemons and limes are cheap and beautiful and can turn into delicious beverages (lemonade, margaritas) after the centerpiece is gone.
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