By Kathryn Weber
We may repaint, recover and renovate — but then we still use the same old napkins, placemats and dishes in our refreshed dining rooms and kitchens. A few careful switches can help you create a new look that will have you and your guests dining in style. During the holiday season, as entertaining hits its peak, you have more selection at better prices than any other time of the year.
If you have a set of solid-colored dishes, you can create a multitude of fresh arrangements. By adding just a few dishes in contrasting colors or patterns, like salad plates, you can make a splash.
Today’s table is all about mixing and matching. A great way to stretch your dinner ware options is to add a set of coordinating salad plates that harmonize with your current china. Great examples are Pottery Barn’s appetizer and dessert plates. If you have bone, ochre, or moss-colored dinner plates, pair them with the Fresco Turkey plate for a beautiful fall or Thanksgiving table (Potterybarn.com).
Make your dinner-scape more interesting, too, by mixing round and square plates.
Think year round
Whether you want to just add a spot of new color or create a more versatile collection, think about how you like to dine. If it’s out by the pool, choose colors that can take you from spring into summer. In the fall and winter, look for accent pieces that focus on autumn themes and colors.
Cutlery also comes in a variety of styles and colors and can really change the look of your table. Add a stylish feel with Anthropologies’s Resplendent flatware that can coordinate with both summer and fall place settings (anthropologie.com). Vintage is also all the rage now. Try flea markets and swap meets to find coordinating and contrasting pieces.
Don’t forget about making some changes in your drink ware, too. Whatever your favorite libation, try to have the coordinating glass, like a cool margarita glass. Adding a bright, shiny set of Moscow mule mugs will bring some sparkly fun to the table. Get a set of these copper mugs for about $60 (Overstock.com). Instead of cups and saucers, try a coordinating set of coffee mugs for dinner gatherings.
Tired of the same old placemats? Slip them under the cat’s dish or line your refrigerator vegetable drawers, then swap in pretty tea towels or rattan chargers for a change of pace.
Use table runners spread across the table as shared placemats. If you use table cloths, try layering them, with a large cloth on the bottom and a smaller square or round contrasting one layered in the middle.