How To Ensure Your Dinner Table Isn't Cluttered Before Guests Arrive

Planning a dinner party may have you focusing on the menu, but that's not the only thing to keep in mind. You'll also want to pay close attention to what goes on your table setting. Otherwise you could wind up with crossed elbows, trouble reaching serving dishes, and even knocked over glasses of wine. Yikes! 

Alexis Necesito, Senior Private Events & Catering Manager of Cafe Landwer in Los Angeles, spoke with Daily Meal and provided some exclusive tips on organizing your table to avoid these mishaps: "My advice is to really work with your table size. If you have a smaller table, use smaller plates." 

However, it's not just about the table size. Necesito explains that consistency and eliminating any superfluous glasses and dishes are also key to avoiding a cluttered setting and creating an elegant spread. With just these small and simple tweaks to your layout, you can wind up with a welcoming and beautiful table to greet your guests upon arrival.

Consistency is key

When setting your table, you don't want to have too many mismatched items. Although these can be a trendy option, catering expert Alexis Necesito explains that "having mismatched plating makes it seem all over the place." She notes, "Having a nice set of go-to plates and silverware makes everything look pristine and put-together. Plus, they will last you years." You don't need to go for something fancy, either. Clean, solid color plates in neutral tones like white or grey with a simple gold rim can work just fine. They have the added advantage of pairing with whatever other decor you choose for the table.

Another tip for setting the table that she offers is to stick to a solid color tablecloth. While a patterned one may seem like a better choice, sometimes, this can create the illusion of a busier table. This will make your table seem more cluttered, and if you've already got a lot going on with your settings and serving dishes, this might not work in your favor. With a solid tablecloth, however, you create a clean look and allow your other table decor to stand out. Plus, it may be easier to match a solid color to the other decor or themes.

Get rid of all the extras

Another trick for setting the perfect table, advises Alexis Necesito, involves getting rid of unnecessary tableware: "Instead of having multiple wine glasses out, use a champagne flute when guests are seated and replace it with a wine glass when entrees arrive. Less is more." Champagne flutes also have the benefit of being narrower and taking up less space, making the table look less cluttered when your guests first walk in.

Additionally, if you're trying to set a formal table, you might feel the need to add charger plates. Necesito explains, however, that this might not be the best move: "They're bulky and outdated. I rarely see them nowadays." Similarly, she explains that placemats may bulk up your table and leave you with less space. What's more, it takes away room that could be used for other fun touches such as florals and candles. The good news is that with these tips and tricks, you should be able to create a clutter-free and elegant dining room table, no matter what occasion you're celebrating.