Setting the Table like Ina Garten

It's no secret that I love all things Ina Garten!  Second to my mom, Ina's cooking and style has probably had the most influence on how I dream of entertaining.  I've noticed that Ina's signature table settings are different from most of the things typically seen on Pinterest.  So many ideas floating around are so elaborate and over the top.  Ina's table are the opposite.  They're beautiful but simple and not overly complicated.  They're elegant without being pretentious or fussy.  (I don't think guests want to sit down to a pretentious "fancy" table.)

A few things I've noticed about "Ina" tables:

Pick ONE TYPE OF FLOWER, and use that one flower in masses.
WHITE PLATES are great starting point for any table.  Smaller dessert plates can add color and pattern, but food shows best on simple white plates!
Try to LIMIT YOUR COLOR PALETTE to one or two colors overall.  One color in large doses adds more impact.  (Think linens or drinking glasses.)
Balance "fancy" items with earthy items.  When Ina uses her finest silver or fine china, she pairs these with simple woven rattan placemats.  Try not to use all of your expensive wedding gifts at once!

We're having friends over this weekend for Steak Night (one last party before the kitchen demolition begins!) and I'm going to try to keep these simple tricks in mind when I set the table.  I'll pull out my white plates (my favorite white plates are from Walmart) and look at Trader Joes for a single flower to use on the table.  I'll let you know what I come up with!

~ Mary Keller

Top image via Marianne Simon Design; second image via Scribd; third image via Apartment Therapy;  fourth and fifth image via Visual Vamp


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