In the napkin arena, nothing’s nicer than a generous 22-inch hemstitched piece of white linen, monogrammed and crisply ironed. And the more it’s laundered, the better it becomes.
To buy: No. Four Eleven. Oversize linens with (or without) a monogram. Savannah, GA; numberfoureleven.com or 912/443-0065
Select the basics and add embellishments for a look that is “uniquely you.” Use simple stemware to counter-balance more decorative china, or vice versa.
To buy: Replacements, Ltd. A veritable warehouse of patterns. Greensboro, NC; replacements.com or 800/737-5223
Silver adds the sparkle to a table. Don’t have all the pieces you need? Beg, borrow, or improvise! Mixing settings can give an updated look.
To buy: Scott Antique Markets. Open the second weekend of every month, a treasure hunt through 3,300 exhibit booths. Atlanta, GA; scottantiquemarket.com or 404/361-2000
Place cards take the guesswork out of where to sit. Split up couples, and place people with something in common near each other. Writing names in your own handwriting makes it personal.
To buy: Gadabout Paper. Hand-drawn cards with monograms. Atlanta, GA; agadabout.com or 843/325-6488
Stick to low, loosely arranged flowers. With rectangular tables, use multiple bouquets; for a round or square table, a single vase is perfect. Keep scents subtle.
To buy: Wakefield-Scearce Galleries. Mint julep cups, a Southern twist on bud vases. Shelbyville, KY; wakefieldscearce.com