It’s time to host a dinner party! But there’s a problem. Suddenly you can’t remember any of the information you learned about setting tables at your Finishing & Etiquette School! What’s that? You didn’t actually attend Finishing & Etiquette School because you’re not 90 years old? Well in that case it’s likely that you’ve never learned how to properly set a table!  Thankfully this is a skill that rarely comes up in every day life. However, when it does come up it’s important to know how to do it right. Lucky for you we have our resident designer, Kyle Schuneman, to help show you how to properly set your dining table!

Watch the video below to see the traditional and proper way to set your dining table.

Do The Math

First thing’s first! Set a plate in the center of each person’s place at the table. Everything will now be arranged in relation to this centered plate. Because, after all, the plate is going to be the center of attention for the meal.

S-P-O-O-N. That spells “spoon”. And the word “spoon” has 5 letters in it. You know what word also has 5 letters in it? “Right”. This means that a spoon should be placed to the right of the plate. This same trick applies to the fork and the knife, too. F-O-R-K = 4 letters. “Left” = 4 letters. The fork goes to the left of the plate! I’d spell out “knife”, but I think at this point you’ve got the picture.

man setting places on a wood table

Work Your Way In

Now you know that a fork goes on the left and a spoon and a knife go on the right. But what about the different types of forks, knives, and spoons? “Salad fork” has 9 letters, but that’s not going to do you much good at this point. The key to placing the different types of utensils is to arrange them in the order that they will be used. A salad is served before the entree. Therefore a salad fork is placed to the left of the main dinner fork. You’ll always work your way in toward the center of the plate. If there’s soup then you’ll place the soup spoon to the right of the main dinner spoon. A butter knife should also be placed to the right of a steak knife, since you theoretically won’t be picking up the steak knife until the main course.

It’s also a general rule of thumb to place the spoons to the right of the knives. This is purely due to the aesthetics of the table setting. It looks better to have the longer knives closer to the big plate. The sizes then taper off as they get further away from the plate.

plates with napkins and glasses on wood table

Place Drinks Responsibly

The final steps to setting the perfect table for your guests is to arrange the drinking glasses appropriately. The wine glass should take up residence next to the knives. If you need a fun way to remember this then consider the fact that you’ll want to pair your steak with a good wine. The two simply belong together. The water glass will then go to the left of the wine glass along the top rim of the plate. I suppose it’s responsible to keep your guests hydrated with water instead of only serving wine.

Last but not least is the napkin. Drape the napkin over the center of the plate. This will force your guests to actually pick it up and place it on their laps before they start eating. This is a civilized dinner party, after all!

plates, napkins and glasses on wood table

Closing Thoughts

Love the way your table setting skills look? We want to see! Share your pics with us @apt2b on instagram!

Don’t put the cart before the horse! You’ll need a dining table worth setting before you can even have a dinner party. Check out all of Apt2B’s fantastic new dining tables!

Want more home decorating tips from Kyle? Check out these previous posts!

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