1. Home

Proper Table Setting - How to Set a Table

Learn How to Set a Table for Your Next Formal Dinner

By

How to Set a Table

How to Set a Table

Photo © Mifflin

Planning a dinner and need a reminder of how to set a proper table setting and where the cutlery should be placed around the tableware? Forget which side the water glass goes on or where the napkin should be placed?

Our lives are pretty hectic, and since 'tv' dinners have become the norm for some of us, it's easy to forget how to set a table and the proper table placement of tableware and cutlery. So here's a quick refresher to help you learn how to set a table for that 'perfect' dinner setting.

Top Row From Left to Right


  • Bread plate with butter knife (top left of dinner plate)
  • Coffee cup (top right of dinner plate)
  • Water glass
  • Wine glass
  • Liqueur glass

Bottom Row From Left to Right

  • Salad fork
  • Dinner fork
  • Dessert fork
  • Dinner plate with salad or soup bowl on it
  • Knife
  • Small spoon
  • Soup spoon


Napkin placement depends on your preference and there are many folding variations. As a default, it can be placed in the water glass as shown, folded on the dinner plate, or beside the flatware to the left. Some tableware pieces may of course be optional, depending on the dinner to be served.

Setting a beautiful table is not difficult, nor do you need expensive tableware or silverware. Arrangement and creativity are the key to a pretty place setting. You can also add a plate charger to each place setting. They tend to add glam to a boring table. Adding a table centerpiece can finish the decor.

A centerpiece can be either a purchased item or as original as you want. Being creative with the decor will help bring out your personality and set the mood for the table.

How to Set a Table Video

How to Set a Table With Silverware - Video

Stemware, Glasses, Drinkware Options

Dinnerware & Plate Options

Any time you are entertaining, take a few moments to think of safety first:
Safe Candle Use
How to Have a Safe Fondue Dinner

Read More About Table Setting & Tabletop Tips:

Compare Prices of Tableware

Dinnerware
Silverware
Flatware
Drinkware
Barware
Table Linens
Candles
Table Decorations
Flowers
Serving Ware
Party Supplies

If you're setting a table for a formal dinner, my hosting tips can help. Preplanning for a special dinner is key to serving on time and maintaining the proper temperature of food. It also alleviates stress and makes your dinner party more enjoyable for guests as well as for yourself, the host.

Having the right equipment for a dinner party can help you to stay on target when it comes to serving. It's also easier to cook for a group when you use the right equipment. Find some helpful tips about products for buffets or housewares for serving at special events, formal dinners, weddings or group and sports socials.

Best Buffet Serving Wares
Best Party Appliances
Selecting a Lasagna Pan
Last Minute Tips for a Stress-free Dinner
Housewares to Feed the Masses
Holiday Readiness
Hosting Tips and Resources

Go to Housewares Home Page

Promotional Feature: View this video series to learn how to take good care of your house.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.