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Design Trend: Upgrade Your Dining Experience

It takes more than great food to wow your guests. Try some of these great table top ideas.



Gingham napkins from Kim Seybert.

After Easter, I’ve been thinking about tables. Have you ever noticed how a dining table with settings in place makes a home more inviting? Whether it’s a builder’s model or a friend’s home, a set table says, “Welcome, we’re glad you’re here.” It’s one of the first things I notice: How the table setting picks up colors from the surrounding rooms, introduces sparkle and simply completes the look. Yet my two tables are almost bare except for one bewildering jigsaw puzzle, a scattering of mail and magazines.

From this day forth, I’ve vowed to set the table even though it’ll make dusting a pain. Heck, I might even go for a completely different theme, thanks to the pretty place setting photos I keep receiving in my inbox. Among the most swoon-worthy:

L’Objet’s golden horses. Plated in 24K gold, these napkin rings ($175 for a set of four) and place card holders with hand-set Swarovski crystals and semi-precious gemstones ($225 for six plus 25 cards) are perfect for my annual Derby party..

Anything from Kim Seybert, the darling of dining. The new collection of juicy-colored bamboo placemats ($21) and seersucker and gingham napkins ($19 and $22, respectively) is ideal for outdoor dining picnic-style. The designer also has cocktails covered with Sea Odyssey beaded coasters ($95 for four seen above) and dainty embroidered cotton napkins with parasols and more ($59 for a box of six).

Portmeirion’s fine porcelain Novella Firestorm rimmed in a lively pattern of blood-orange and black with flecks of baby blue, an accent color reappearing on the lid of a teapot and the outside of bowls and mugs (regularly priced from $28.75 for two espresso cups to $120 for four dinner plates and on sale at portmeirion.com for $12.99 to $51.96).

 

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