Transform Your Table
Birmingham tabletop guru Patricia Murray shares simple ways to elevate any table setting from expected to extraordinary.
Don't Be Stuffy
Matching sets of wedding china and crystal are boring and unwelcoming.
Place mats: Festival linen hemstitched place mats in White by Sferra; sferra.com.
Dinner and salad plate: Fish Scale Service Plate and Salad Plate in Gold by Herend; herendusa.com.
Flatware: Lucia by Match Pewter; match1995.com.
Stemware: Mozart Goblet and Red Wine by Moser; moserusa.com.
Mix and Match China
Break up a coordinating set by swapping the salad plates for ones that have a playful pattern. To complete the layered look, add a less formal pottery charger along with a shimmery place mat.
Charger: Incanto Metallic Pearl Border Charger by Vietri; vietri.com.
Salad plate: Rothschild Bird Dessert Plate by Herend; herendusa.com.
Dessert spoon: Nouveau Teaspoon by Sabre; available through table-matters.com.
Add Unexpected Color
Make clear crystal wineglasses stand out by pairing them with jewel-tone goblets. Patricia says, "Less is more with colored glassware, so it's best to use only one shade on your table."
Purple stemware: Fanny Amethyst Goblet by William Yeoward; williamyeowardcrystal.com.
Skip the Mixed Bouquet
Arrange vases, each holding a single kind of bloom or greenery, en masse so they read as one centerpiece. Patricia chose shades of green and purple to accent the paisley tablecloth.
Bark vases: birch tubes; available through table-matters.com.
Shy Away from Basic Linens
Choose a pretty patterned tablecloth for an additional element of color and texture. Complement that by selecting solid napkins that are embellished with a bold monogram.
Napkin ring: Black Lip Rectangular Napkin Ring (807187); available through table-matters.com.
Seat Your Guests in Style
Small bouquets labeled with guests' initials double as place cards.
Place card: Beth Ellis Designs; available through table-matters.com.
Meet the Hostess: Patricia Murray
Patricia Murray, owner of Birmingham's Table Matters (table-matters.com), shares three ways to entertain in style.
Try a textured place mat. "Let the shape of your table dictate the mat," Patricia says. "Use round mats on round tables and rectangular ones on rectangular tables."
Make a lasting centerpiece. "Choose greenery or berries instead of delicate flowers so your arrangement stays fresh all week."
Use a pretty and practical goblet for water, tea, or wine. Patricia loves Simon Pearce's dishwasher-safe, go-with-anything Cavendish goblet.