Kathryn is a journalist-turned blogger and mum to three kiddos. Kat got the Cream is her happy place where she writes about fashion, home and travel.
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Organising a dinner party – whether or not it’s for Christmas – can be daunting, not to mention expensive. But it really should be simple and fun.
The truth is, laying the table can be one of the most enjoyable aspects for you as well as a way to create beautiful memories for your dinner guests.
Here are a few ideas on how to create a table setting with a little budget and a lot of wow factor.
New Dinnerware without the Expense
First of all, a special occasion is a great opportunity to spruce up your table with new dinnerware. But you don’t have to buy a whole new set.
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Pick out a few separate dinner and side plates and add them to your existing crockery. The idea is to stack them up to create a more impressive setting. Try going for contrasting plates rather than all matching, and look for decorative trims or shapely edges.
For this post, I’ve chosen Darcey dinner plates and Flint side plates, which work nicely together for a modern-meets-traditional mix.
Also, take a look at your cutlery situation. If it’s looking a bit tired or depleted, consider buying a nice new set. I love the brushed satin set I’ve used here, which looks more expensive than it is. And this way you won’t get caught out by an extra guest.
Cloth or Runners?
Next, think about the table itself, which can be transformed with a new cloth or even just a runner and napkins (I’ve actually used folded placemats). A little coordinated linen creates a nice base for your table setting and helps to bring everything together.
Easy, Natural Decorations
Now it’s time to think about decorations. The best bit about the idea I’ve used here is that it’s completely free!
I love fresh flowers but they can cost a lot at this time of year, so head outside and go foraging for leaves, twigs and dried flower heads. This is a great way to get the kids involved and they can help you to arrange them as well.
I always give any foraged bits a good shake before bringing them indoors and leave them to dry out for at least 24 hours. If you fancy getting crafty, you could even have a go at spray painting some bits with silver or gold.
You can also use some of the foliage to personalise each setting. Below are three variations on a theme, depending on how you’d like to arrange things.
You can also create a more child-friendly setting by replacing the foliage with a little brown paper bag full of crayons and colouring-in bits to keep them entertained.
Finally, add a little candlelight, which I always think brings a table to life. I love these pretty pink glasses, which are lovely to use for drinks, but could also make sweet tea-light holders.
And there you have it, just a few simple additions and you have a lovely, inexpensive table setting.