When it comes to entertaining, it's all about the tabletop details — the plates, cups and silverware you have, as well as the runners, napkins and coasters you decorate with, can make or break your dinner party. Revamping your table settings can be as simple or intricate as you desire — from investing in new dinnerware to splurging on fancy barware, the possibilities are endless. Here's how to update your tableware before your next party.
What dinnerware and glassware do I need?
If you're starting from scratch, be sure to invest in all the right pieces, and then slowly expand out to the specialty items. Of course, a dinnerware set — including bowls, dinner plates, salad plates and mugs or teacups — should be your first investment. A matching set ensures a consistent, put together look, and it's also oftentimes cheaper than piecing a collection together one item at a time. After you have a nice new set of plates, buy a new glassware and flatware set to complement your dinnerware. Glassware is diverse, so be sure you have a wide variety that serves different purposes: water glasses, cups, coffee mugs, martini glasses, wineglasses and beer mugs to name a few. Once your basic collection is complete, you can move onto serveware, such as a serving tray, salad tossers, cake stand, pitcher and serving bowls.
How do I decorate my tabletop?
Because they often have bright colors and interesting patterns, your dinnerware and glassware can often be a part of your table decor. If your dishes aren't quite enough, you should rely on your table linens for some much-needed color. Patterned tablecloths, napkins, table runners and placemats are great for brightening up your dining table, and they often come in corresponding sets to ensure consistency. Napkin rings and coasters can add more texture to a space, while serving bowls, pitchers and trays can bring in interesting shapes.
What do I need for a home bar?
For the ultimate cocktail party, be sure to have a bar cart or wet bar nearby. Regardless of its size, your home bar should be stocked with a corkscrew, bottle opener, ice bucket, wineglasses, beer mugs, martini glasses and shot glasses, as well as a wine cooler and decanter for vino fanatics. To avoid adding water rings to your dining room table, have plenty of coasters ready and accessible.