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Please Set the Table

There are times when wisdom cannot be found in the chambers of parliament or the halls of academia
but at the unpretentious setting of the kitchen table.  
-EA Bucchianeri, author

And how many of us have wondered, "How DOES an unpretentious setting of the kitchen table look?" Since you may have read our recent posts on the importance of  Family Dinners and Manners for Kids, we couldn't neglect providing simple tips for setting the table. How difficult can it be, right? Well, it depends on how extravagantly you want your look to be. But there are some general basic “rules” that apply and, once learned, are pretty easy to remember:

  • Place the  dinner plate at the center of the place setting.
  • For  utensils, think of the word “FORKS.” Going from left to right of your place setting, utensils are placed in the order of their use.
    • For an overall picture, start with the F for Fork; O is for the shape of a traditional plate; K is for knives with blades toward the plate; S is for spoons. (We left out the “R” on purpose.)
    • Dinner forks are closest to the dinner plate; salad forks are to the left of the dinner fork.
  • Remembering the placement of the  bread plate and  drink is simple with the following hint: Form a lowercase “b” and “d” by making a reversed OK sign on your left hand (you’ll see it as the lowercase “b”) and a regular OK sign with your right hand (forming a lowercase “d”.) Place the “b” (bread) plate in the upper left corner of your setting; the “d” (drink) will be in the upper right hand corner.
  • Drinking glasses and mugs go above the knife.
  • Place the  napkin either on the plate or to the left of or under the fork.
  • Salad plates are placed to the left of the forks.
  • Soup/chili  bowls are placed on the plate. 
For a very simple place setting, follow the
F-O-(R)-K-S sequence above.


By simply switching out the napkin and placing it in a napkin ring at the center of the plate adds a touch of pizzazz.


    More pieces lend to a more sophisticated look
for any special occasion.


Decorations, Anyone?

Finishing your table with a few decorations doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Bringing in a little of the outside world like fresh fruit, vegetables, plants or sprigs, make natural accents that can spruce up (pun intended) any table. Just check them for unwanted crawly critters and be sure the plants are non-toxic! 

Because there is such a wide array of decorating preferences from the very simple to the beautifully elegant, each dressed table will take on a personality of its own. Be creative and try several things until you achieve just the right look.

The first table setting pictured below has a monochromatic color scheme, while the following table adds more splashes of color for a completely different look. The options are endless!

 Do you want to include your kids' help with your table? Let them show their own artistic flair by drawing or coloring pictures or designs on strips of brown or white paper that can later be taped around napkins for unique and original napkin rings. And with Thanksgiving coming in a few weeks, you'll wanna see these ideas for decorating your table with kids

Ready to get started?  We'd love to see pics of your place settings and unique table decorating ideas!  Please send them to, and we may showcase them in an upcoming blog.

Come back soon to read all about our Rustic Red Door Staff Chili Cook-off!