Who says you can’t do some fine dining at home if you put your mind to it? Why should you settle for an ordinary dinner, when you can turn it into a restaurant-worthy experience? Those of us that actually take pleasure in setting the table and picking out dinnerware and cutlery for our special gatherings don’t need any convincing.
But even if you’ve been a bit less adventurous so far, you can always take things a step further and try something outside of your comfort zone. Not only will your guests be impressed, but you’ll also get to feel the joy of transforming something mundane into a truly extraordinary experience – it’s as simple as that.
How Can You Make Your Dining Experience Better?
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with just a simple arrangement with all the basics you need to set the dinner table, sometimes we all want to make things more special. Of course, you don’t have to whip out all the fancy tableware when you’ve just got home from work but you can be more attentive and put in a bit of extra effort on select occasions.
Arrange Your Placemats Carefully
Surely conventional tablecloths are timeless and look amazing, but they’re also a bit bulky and require a little bit of extra care. The durable and modern placemats are a superb alternative, given their more compact size, and the fact that they provide a certain level of sophistication and freshness to any dining experience
If you want to keep things simple, you could opt for a monochromatic rattan piece with a subtle pattern for added texture. They often feature reinforced stitching in the centre, only to expand to less structured patterns at the edges, which gives a modern twist to such a classic item. The outer borders help to keep your place setting in check, and the inner ones to draw attention to any type of decoration or centrepiece you might use.
Those of you who want to go bolder on the pattern spectrum could opt for modern placemats in a rectangular variety. They often feature abstract and interesting designs that are eye-catching and unexpected, with a focus on different shades while still keeping the design simple, clean, and elegant.
When you really want to get creative with your modern placemat setting, you could go for leafy and herbal motifs. This gives the placemat a lifelike and natural feel, ending up looking super chic. They reflect the Aussie lifestyle seamlessly, with coastal designs that are reminiscent of shells, coral, and all types of sea life.
In any case, make sure you add one for each of your guests and that you adjust the sizes to suit your table. Some models can be quite large, so be mindful of what you’re working with before buying. You should have one for each person, but also make sure that they’re not too close to each other and that they don’t interfere with the centrepiece or cutlery.
Serve Food in Courses
One of the joys of enjoying each other’s company over a fabulous dinner is having the time to savour each course. It doesn’t matter if you’re an enthusiastic foodie or just a casual diner, taking your time to enjoy a multi-course meal is an art that also requires patience and proper tableware.
To kick things off, you should pick stylish and practical serving trays and bowls that provide a beautiful display for the food. This way you can also conserve space on your table. Size-wise, it’s best to opt for a few medium-sized items, as their shape and design will draw attention to the food without taking up too much space.
In terms of design, you can go with regular serving trays with either an oval or a rectangular shape. Both options are fantastic, as you can use them for hot and cold dishes alike. Keep in mind that the rounded varieties are also great for smaller items, such as olives and nuts.
On the other hand, if you want to display larger and more ornate dishes, you could go with larger models that have complex detailing and a unique texture. This could include anything from floral patterns to specific motifs and shapes. One particularly interesting option is the wavy-edged variety, which adds a modern twist to the classic serving bowl.
In terms of materials, bamboo, rattan, and melamine are all excellent options. Bamboo is the most sustainable choice, and it comes with a natural texture that makes otherwise plain dishes look more interesting. Rattan is quite suitable for a casual vibe, while melamine is excellent for more formal occasions.
Add a Few Candles
There’s always a lot of debate when it comes to dining room lighting, with the main emphasis being on artificial fixtures in the form of ceiling lamps, sconces, or chandeliers. While these are all fantastic options, you should also consider the possibility of transforming your space into a calming retreat with candles.
No matter how large or small your dining table is, you can use candles to make it look bigger and brighter. The trick here is to place them at different heights to avoid overcrowding the space. For instance, if you’re hosting a large party, you could opt for pillar candles in various sizes, or even floating ones.
If you’re going for something more subtle, you could opt for simple taper candles. These are tall and thin and usually come in a multitude of beautiful colours like pink, cream, or brown. Place them in minimalist holders and don’t forget to pay attention to the details, such as scent or natural ingredients like eucalyptus, lavender, or rosemary.