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Designing Delicious: The Art of Setting the Perfect Dinner Table

Designing Delicious: The Art of Setting the Perfect Dinner Table

Do you ever feel like your dining experience is missing a little extra oomph? Well, what if I told you that you could elevate your dinner table to a whole new level of artistic, creative, and colourful bliss? Say goodbye to plain white plates, and let's embark on a journey to set the perfect dinner table that's as unique as you are. After all, life's too short for bland table settings! 


'buckle up, because we're about to spill the gravy on crafting unforgettable dining experiences' 


Full Dinnerware Set in rustic brown and blue colour, table set on a blue linen tablecloth with gold cutlery


So buckle up, because we're about to spill the gravy on crafting unforgettable dining experiences with handmade ceramics, dinner sets, and the art of layering. We'll also reveal a few tricks you might not have considered. So here are our top tips for wowing everyone when you set the table.


Tip 1: Say Farewell to Plain Plates - We're Not in the 1990’s Anymore!

Plain white plates, they're the 'Vanilla Ice' of the dishware world – practical, sure, but not exactly destined for the collector’s spotlight, nor is anyone collecting them for posterity. But, let's be honest, we're not here to discuss setting a fabulously plain table. No, we're here to help you uncover your character, tell your story, and create memorable moments. It's time to add some spice to your dining experience with dinnerware that's as unique as you are. With eye-catching stoneware and artistic, creative designs, your table transforms into a canvas for your culinary masterpieces. Embrace reactive glazes that add a touch of magic to every meal, where each plate, bowl, and platter is a unique work of art, setting the stage for a memorable dining experience. Imagine the conversations sparked when guests marvel at the individuality of their plates, especially when there's a lull in the chatter (cue crickets). It’s an instant conversation starter! Your choice of dinnerware isn't just about serving food; it's an extension of your personal brand, your beliefs, and how you feel about entertaining and hosting. It's an essential part of the storytelling at your table. So why settle for plain when you can dish up a slice of your unique style with every meal?



'Plain white plates, they're the 'Vanilla Ice' of the dishware world – practical, sure, but not exactly destined for the collector’s spotlight, nor is anyone collecting them for posterity.'


Handmade 3 piece dinner set on outdoor summer table in brown and rustic vintage inspired colours by Palinopsia Ceramics


Tip 2: Mix It Up, My Friend

Whoever said your dinnerware should match obviously hasn't tasted the joy of mixing and matching. Play around with different patterns, shapes, and colours to create a harmoniously eclectic vibe. Let your inner artist run wild as you craft a table setting that's uniquely you. 


'There's no rule book that states your dinnerware must bear the same brand or come from a single maker. In fact, it absolutely shouldn't be.'  

There's no rule book that states your dinnerware must bear the same brand or come from a single maker. In fact, it absolutely shouldn't be. Why box yourself in when you can expand your horizons? Mixing and matching isn't just about aesthetics; it's a conversation starter and a story waiting to be told. That's like limiting your playlist to just one song – you're putting yourself in a corner! By blending pieces from various makers and collecting items from artists' markets, you're not just setting a table; you're weaving a narrative. You can regale your guests with tales of discovery, sharing how you stumbled upon that hand-painted gem at a local market or how a unique piece became a part of your dinnerware family. It's all about sparking conversations and storytelling that make your dining experience truly memorable.


Reactive Glaze in blue on large low round platter


Tip 3: Let's Get Colourful 

When choosing your tablecloth, dare to be different. Avoid the mundane choices like white or gray or natural. Instead, opt for colours that complement the tones in your dinnerware, such as blues, yellows, or olives. Dare to be different, mix in a few bold patterns. Have a bold colour for the tablecloth and then contrast the plates and tablecloth with table napkins.  


Australian made mustard yellow pure linen tablecloth by Palinopsia CeramicsAustralian Made Olive colour Tablecloth  by Palinopsia Ceramics


Here's a fun hack: Most table widths are smaller than a roll of fabric's width, so head over to your local fabric store and snag about 2 meters of your chosen fabric. Fold the cut edges neatly and give them a good press with a hot iron then sew a clean seam across the edge. If you're not a sewing whiz, don't fret; you can opt for fabric glue. This DIY approach allows you to customise your tablecloth to perfection, which is especially handy when you're hosting a larger event with trestle tables. Don’t stop there, grab fabric paint and personalise each guest's napkin with their name or a special message. I know what you're thinking, who has time for this? Well, if you're after an intimate and truly memorable experience, get painting. 


Sewing custom tablecloth ideas by Palinopsia Ceramics 

Tip 4: Layers & Textures

Layering isn't just for winter clothing; it's a game-changer for your table too. Start with a textured table runner, or throw in a small cowhide for that rustic charm, hessian is a good choice. How about placemats? Add woven chargers, and then, the pièce de résistance, your exquisite handmade ceramic dinnerware. I once painted abstract motifs on a plain hessian in white fabric paint and it really complimented the scene.


Tip 5: Blooms and Blossoms - It's Flower Power Time

Now, let's talk flowers, because your table deserves a blooming good time. Mix and match wildflowers with exotic blooms. Create unexpected centrepieces using vintage teacups or mason jars. You can pick these up second hand for next to nothing. We tend to go with gum, I don’t always go bold with flowers, just something that will breathe a little bit of life into the table setting. Sometimes, all you need is a touch of lush foliage, and guess what? It's practically free and all around you. I'm so passionate about it that I've always got a pair of secateurs in my car, ready to seize any chance to bring a slice of nature to the table. Get some inspiration here. 

 Flower arrangements ideas on outdoor table setting

Tip 6: The Power of Renting Over Buying

Attention to detail is the secret sauce. Think about what emotions you want to stir and how you could do it. But here's the kicker: you'd be amazed at how affordable it can be to rent serveware and accessories for that one magical night. Check out a furniture hire business, like our go-to, The Event Artists and explore their treasure trove. It's like a playground for storytellers. The best part? You can transform your dining experience for as little as $50-100, depending on how much you choose to weave into your tale. So, let your imagination run wild and your dinner table dazzle – it's a story waiting to be told.


Gerald Touchard Private Chef dining Experience Northern Beaches and Palinopsia CeramicsEvent hire dinnerware and private chef dining experience on the Northern Beaches Sydney 

Tip 7: Light It Up

Ambiance is everything. Creating the perfect atmosphere isn't just about the tableware; it's also about the lighting. If you're suffering from the oyster light curse – those blindingly bright white LEDs that could practically double as surgical lights – it's time to stage a lighting rebellion. Start by plunging your space into darkness, then unleash the cozy cavalry of candles and twinkling fairy lights.



Embrace directional drama with spotlights and pendants, but remember, it's all about creating ambiance, not an interrogation room. Angle your lights discreetly in corners, play with colourful shades, or try paper lanterns.


 Two Candle holders and mood candle ideas for outdoor table setting

In the world of dining, setting the perfect table is an art form. Your choices in colour and handmade ceramic dinnerware gives you the power to create a dining experience that's as far from ordinary as it gets. Don't be afraid to get bold and let your table setting become a masterpiece in its own right. Because, really, why settle for the mundane when your dinner can be a gallery of colours and textures?

Shop the look and pick my piece here.


*Photography by Dom Cherry for Northern Beaches Private Chef Gerald Touchard 

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