Transform Your Table
Don't Be Stuffy
Matching sets of wedding china and crystal are boring and unwelcoming.
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.
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.