The year-end festive season is one of the best times to prove your party-throwing chops. And while most guests expect yummy food and drink as part of the evening, what makes such soirees unforgettable is your attention to the details. Here’s how to introduce the table touches that will catapult your meal from good to great.
1. Play with colour
To go with your tablecloth, choose a strong, vibrant accent colour, advises Jo Ong, 1st Interior Designer at IKEA Singapore. As a general rule of thumb, always use one or two accent colours with a base colour that covers more area. If you need to use more than one colour, keep all the colours on the table in a similar shade or tone.
According to him, there’s no hard and fast rule about colour choices - it’s all up to your taste and party theme. However, for formal dinner parties, flourescent and bright colours aren’t the best idea. Also remember: Your tablecloth should hang down and cover at least half or two-thirds of the height of the table.
You can also add pops of colour with napkins and interesting textiles such as a table runners or placemats. Placemats should offer contrast to the plates used - that way, they won’t blend in with the table setting, yet won’t veer away from the overall look.
2. Let there be light
Ong says using direct focus instead of diffused lighting across your dining table helps bring out the colours of food and make it look more appetising. Consider decorative candles such as the BLOMSTER candlestick ($21.90, set of three) for visual contrast.
3. Introduce variety
Tiered plates or colour-coordinated accent dinner plates and side plates go a long way in creating an attractive table. But don’t overdo it - a tablecloth design featuring prints or a vibrant hue should only be paired with plain serveware so the whole look isn’t too messy, says Ong. For just the right amount of contrast, pair single-shade or monotone tablecloths with printed table runners.
4. Use the right tableware
If you’re holding an intimate formal dinner, Ong recommends weightier cutlery, such as the BEHAGFULL 24-piece cutlery set ($55) or SKUREN 24-piece set ($32.90). If you’re serving large plates, try offering cheeses, cold meats or steaks on a chopping board instead of the usual platters.
Throwing a more casual dinner party for a large group? Go for the practical choice of paper plates and plastic utensils. Sometimes, less is really more.
5. Go unconventional
Table settings traditionally require a certain order when it comes to cutlery. But who’s to say you can’t shake things up a bit? For an interesting touch, present cutlery and even condiments and napkins in pretty holders like a basket.