A beautiful table ready for anything says welcome. Phoebe Howard, a Jacksonville, Florida, designer, keeps table settings simple with white plates and crystal glasses. She also uses crystal saltcellars and partners them with pepper grinders rather than shakers.
“The pieces don’t need to match,” she says. “They just need to be similar and simple.” Charlotte, North Carolina, designer Cindy Smith takes a slightly different approach. “I like to mix patterns,” she says. “The fancier, the better. I like the juxtaposition of fancy silver with simple plates and glasses.”