9 Tabletop Trends for 2012 Slideshow

Metallic Finishes

According to Drorbaugh, gold and metallic finishes and accents are still trendy. But in a nod to consumers’ scaled-down approach, the tones are less statement-making, and more subtle, like the rich pewter finish on Juliska’s dishware (left) or the muted, antiqued finish of these mercury glass candlesticks from Pottery Barn

Multitasking Tools

Buy once, use twice (or more). It’s the motto of the year. Use glass goblets instead of vases. Be sure to have a Dutch oven — it’s the ultimate multitasker (and we’re partial to Le Creuset). Use it to make soup, braise beef, roast a chicken, or even to bake a strata or pudding in the oven. Plus, when you’re entertaining a crowd, it makes clean up easier.

Drorbaugh likes the versatility of the coffee frother from Bonjour — it comes in bold colors; has a sleek, retro line; and it’s a lot less expensive than a whole machine (and that Starbucks cappuccino habit). It’s just the thing to wow guests when serving an after-dinner coffee.

Modern Shapes

While the classic lines of a wine glass aren’t out, modern lines are definitely in, like the curved angles of these glasses from Spiegelau, or the rectangular shapes of these dishes from Oneida

Tangerine Tones

It’s Pantone’s Color of the Year — Tangerine Tango. Accent the table with tangerine napkin ringsnapkins, and even serving utensils in peach from Ladies & Gentlemen.

Mixing Old with the New

Thrifting is back! Mix classic, timeless dinner plates with vintage salad or dessert plates in an assortment of colors, or mix an antique grain sack tablecloth, like this one from Etsy, with your everyday china to add statement to the table.

Antique Flatware

The classic patterns from decades ago are resurfacing so mix and match old flatware from the flea market. In the market for a new set of flatware? Choose a pattern like Michelangelo from Oneida. It's been in production since 1968, and according to consumer research, it's one of the most popular patterns purchased by the 20-something set. Or accent what you have with napkin rings made from antique flatware.

Vintage Glasses

Both antique patterns and vintage shapes are back when it comes to glassware. To go along with the old-school cocktail trend, so too are glasses designed for serving old-fashioneds and coupes for champagne. Patterned press glass is also big again, like these goblets from Juliska (left) and fleur-de-lys tumblers from Anthropologie.

Earthy Neutrals

Think beiges, taupes, warm greys, muted browns. They’re safe colors that are hard to tire of — and mix well with each other, making a simple, subtle statement. Same goes for natural materials, be it votives made of wood or woven placemats

White Plates with Colorful Accents

They will never grow old. But instead of mixing white dinner plates with coordinating white bowls, salad, and dessert plates, we’ll see the white mixing with statement-making colors, shapes, and patterns. Mix timeless white plates with vintage, and supplant white serving platters with odd-shaped bowls like these from Fiestaware, or brightly colored flatware like these from Mepra (left) as an unexpected accent.