setting a beautiful table

Lacey: I need help. My in-laws are coming over for dinner and I’ve never really set a proper table before. I don’t want to go overboard, what do I really have to include?

Susie, Coco Blanca: When I grew up, setting the table was children’s work. But now that I’m a bit older (just a bit), I realize that the table can be my canvas. I paint with silver, china, and crystal. Flowers give it splashes of color. And place cards can bring surprise and humor. Now…I love to set the table. In fact, my girlfriends often chide me because I set it days before the actual party. My blank canvas lies silent, just waiting for me to add color, design, and personality.

But you must start somewhere…first the basics….silverware, plates, napkins, and glassware. You can then embellish from there. Depending on the occasion (formal or informal) you decide the colors, starting with your tablecloth. Accent it with contrasting napkins. I often tie a colored ribbon around the napkin to coordinate with the tablecloth, flowers, and candles. Don’t forget the candles. Even a casual dinner becomes special when you light candles. I make my own place cards using a pic art program from my computer.


When setting the table for family, it’s even easier. Make it fun, festive, and… have it completed before they arrive. That will make them feel special, letting them know that you want to entertain them and have them relax. There will be heightened anticipation of a delicious meal and warm conversation. Relax and have fun with it. Just last weekend, I had our family over. A sunny table lies below, happy and excited to host my loved ones.


Table 2

Table 3

Table 4

Table 5

  • The latest from Susie
With 22 years in business management—creating success and growth comes naturally.

Using the soothing color palette of a coconut by the sea—whites, neutrals and splashes of turquoise—Coco Blanca has created a trademark look. Her lifestyle boutique offers expert solutions for home design and women’s fashion—blending a clean, fresh, sophisticated, feel-good style.

210 South Union Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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