Tabletop Ideas

How to: Set a stunning table in 10 minutes flat

How to: Set a stunning table in 10 minutes flat Author: Style At Home

Tabletop Ideas

How to: Set a stunning table in 10 minutes flat

As one of Canada's top event planners, Sebastien Centner knows how to throw a successful and stunning dinner party. Through his event planning company Eatertainment he's been throwing fabulous parties for crowds, both big and small since 1996. His company has even won the award for ‘Best Caterer in Canada' at the Canadian Event Industry Awards two years in a row. That's why he was first on our list when we wanted to find out how to set a stunning table in 10 minutes flat. Here, he spills some of his table setting secrets to help you save time, especially when you have none to spare.

1 Prepare your elements the night before and put them all together

Sebastien says to stack the plates, polish the silverware and fold the napkins ahead of time. This way when it comes time to set the table you can have everything in one place instead of scattered around the kitchen.

2 Skip the tablecloth

Consider using stylish and upscale placemats instead of a traditional tablecloth. He says this gives a more modern look providing the table surface is made of high-end material such as granite, marble or glass. Sebastien's favourite placemats are by Chilewich.

3 Let flowers bloom

If you're making your own arrangements, Sebastien says to assemble them the night before and let them sit so the flowers open partially. If you're buying from a local flower shop, provide them with your own vases so you don't need to transfer them.

4 Simple centrepieces

For a simple and easy-to-create holiday centrepiece, use odd-shaped glass vases filled with holiday balls. He suggests keeping it monochromatic with up to two colours like white and silver or gold and brown.
5 Dinner party dynamics
For a larger group, Sebastien says to work on the place setting ahead of time (don't just do a random boy-girl-boy placement of guests). Sebastien says the dynamic of the dinner party relies on having the right people next to each other. For example, someone who may be a bit more shy and reserved should be placed near the host or someone who is able to strike up a conversation easily.

6 Get the lighting right

If you're using candles, Sebastien says to make sure the candleholders are cleaned and set with fresh candles the night before so all you have to do the night of the party is place and light them.

7 Employ your buffet

Sebastien says setting a side table or buffet with drinks and other dinnerware will save you from running back and forth to the kitchen during the party. For example, if you're serving a cheese course at the end of the meal, set the plates out ahead of time to avoid returning to the kitchen during the party.
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Tabletop Ideas

How to: Set a stunning table in 10 minutes flat