At Home
Monday, October 12

How to Set a Table

A dining table is a place for friends and family to come together and celebrate life. Whether you are having a quiet solo breakfast or a family dinner on a hectic weeknight, you can create an inviting atmosphere using dinnerware sets, utensils and more. Here’s how:

plates, utensils, glassware
Classic dinnerware in neutral hues makes it easy to dress your table for any occasion.

Start with a great foundation. As an alternative to the traditional tablecloth, table runners can give you a pop of color and create a relaxed vibe. You can use one running lengthwise, or even try adding a second runner crisscrossed with the first. You can also use placemats to help catch any spills and add additional patterns and color.

Layer in a centerpiece. Centerpieces are no longer limited to just candlesticks and flowers. While those are both excellent choices, you can also create a unique table centerpiece by using items found around your house. A bowl of lemons adds a fresh touch, while grouped jars of condiments set on a tray can be both practical and pretty. Use your imagination!

Add your dishes. White dinnerware is the chameleon of your table—it can be dressed up or dressed down based on the mood you want to create. For ultimate simplicity and ease of cleaning, make sure your dishes are dishwasher-safe so you can spend less time cleaning and more time dining. If white dishes aren’t your thing, there are plenty of colors and patterns available that you can mix and match for a custom look.

Place your utensils. For a casual table setting, you typically only need one fork, knife and spoon per person. These can be placed by the dinner plates—the fork goes to the left and the spoon and knife go to the right. The spoon is placed to the right of the knife. Of course, depending on how casual your meal is, you may only need one or two utensils—or none at all!

Add glasses. The amount and type of glasses you’ll need to add depends on the beverages you are serving. If water or iced tea is what’s on the menu, you can place a pitcher in the center of the table and give each person a water glass to serve themselves. You can also add additional glasses for wine or beer if needed.


As you can see, setting a stylish table is a piece of cake—speaking of, don’t forget the dessert plates! These small plates can be stacked and passed out to make sure your meal ends on a sweet note.

Think you’ve got serious table-style? Let’s see it! Share your photos on Twitter and Instagram with #jcpHome.