We’re not talking about your parents’ (or grandparents’) tablescape when we talk about traditional style. Sure, there are elements that feel nostalgic: There’s a place for the antique pitcher that’s been passed down your family line, and maybe you’ll want to drop a charger underneath your plates for some extra fancy vibes. But think of traditional style as more of an equation. You’re going to set out multiple pieces of flatware (a dinner fork and a salad fork), your tablecloth will have a pattern, and the glassware is going to be nice. Here, we used a classic Tartan tablecloth from Williams Sonoma. This table linen sets the scene to let your glassware, dinnerware, and silverware really shine without adding too much visual texture.
For the glasses, we opted for crystal coupe glasses and crystal highball glasses from Williams Sonoma. The silhouettes are classic, and the high-quality construction feels heavy in your hand (in a good way). To fast-forward the look a few years closer to present day, we added the Twist napkins from designer Sophie Lou Jacobsen. The swirl edges add just a touch of whimsy, especially when paired with Sophie’s metal squiggle pitchers.
Pro tip: Introducing a simple design in an unexpected material—like metal—can make the difference between a tired tablescape and one you won’t want to deconstruct after dinner. Another way to add some color and texture is to introduce a centerpiece: Go for a trio of small DIY floral arrangements or a bit of greenery at the center of the table. And definitely take the time to make some place cards (cursive is encouraged).
Modern: Color and sculptural shapes
If you’re going for a more current vibe, have some fun with the color scheme of your table decor and choose one that really speaks to you. Here we went with a sunny palette manifested in the wavy Edie Parker placemats, a soft peach tablecloth from Tekla, a Bilboquet Carafe from Sophie Lou Jacobsen, a quirky olive dish from Susan Alexandra, and a honey-hued bowl from Liquidish. These warmer moments are complemented by cooler objects, like a semi-pastel Our Place Perfect Pot in lavender and Material plates in Dune.