The Beginner's Guide to Setting a Table (Plus Tips for Advanced Entertainers!)

I’m all for mixing up your table when it comes to dishware and linens—love that eclectic look!—but when it comes to setting the table, there are RULES, people. Your momma probably taught you when you first got to sit at the grownups’ table, but you probably forgot them in the hazy Ramen Years. So here’s a refresher on how to set a table.


The basic setup:

  • The fork goes to the left of the plate, the knife directly to the right of the plate (with the blade facing in) and the teaspoon to the right of the knife.
  • The napkin goes under the fork or on top of the plate.
  • Your water or wine glass goes above the spoon.

The more advanced setting:

  • Add a salad plate on top of the dinner plate, a salad fork to the left of the dinner fork and a soup spoon to the right of the teaspoon.
  • If you have two glasses, the wine glass goes above the spoons, with the water glass to its left.
  • The bread plate goes above or to the left of the forks, with a butter knife on top of it.
  • I’m not going to get all Downtown Abbey on you (step away from the ruler!), but it does look nicest when the bottoms of the silverware and dinner plate line up about an inch from the edge of the table.

P.S. Like this dinnerware? Click here to see the whole collection, and here for a chance to win your favorite place setting!


Can’t let International Women’s Day go by without a shoutout to 5 of the strongest, kindest, smartest, most hardworking women I’ve ever met.

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