5 Tablescaping Tips to Set an Impression

By: Jessie Kuhn | Staff Writer
On: October 02, 2015

Hosting a dinner party or holiday gathering is no walk in the park, even if you are the hostess with the mostess. There’s a lot to it, from scrubbing the decks to conjuring up a fabulous menu. It’s no wonder that the presentation of the dinner table itself may often be a last-minute shuffle. But it doesn’t have to be and assembling that picturesque tablesetting packed with personality is within reach, thanks to a friend of ours.

Move over Martha—we’ve got Dayton’s very own David McKibben coming to the DLM Culinary Center Thursday, October 29, to teach you the fundamentals of tablescaping. Don’t worry, you won’t leave hungry, as we’ll be cooking up a dynamic menu paired with wine for you to sit down and enjoy at the same tables David will dress to the nines before your eyes. But until then, here are five tips from David to help set your best table yet.

1. Be resourceful. Do you have leftover fresh herbs from a recipe? Gather up those random bits you don’t know what to do with and put them in a bowl. In addition, thrift stores, garage sales, and family heirlooms are your friend. “Don’t let grandma’s dishes get thrown away,” he says.

2. Don’t be rigid. In fact, “don’t look at Pinterest and expect to recreate it,” David says. “Look at what you have, including interesting pieces you’ve curated, and be prepared to wing it.”

3. Set your table in advance. There’s no reason why you should procrastinate when it comes to tablescaping, as you’re likely to run out of time if you save it to last. David recommends doing it the week before, freeing your focus.

4. Set a mood. “You are setting an environment,” David says, so decide what ambiance you want to create. “If you want a more formal mood, keep it monochromatic. ... If it’s casual, put your dishes in the middle,” he says.

5. Build your base. Invest in a clean, neutral set of dishes and silverware with a good weight. Pops of color can be pulled in with other elements.