Does hearing the term “place setting” give you flashbacks to cotillion as a child or Emily Post’s strict rules regarding the dos and don’ts of table settings? If so, you’re not alone. However, creating a beautiful tablescape and planning the ultimate dinner party can be easy and fun!
No matter if you're hosting a simple family dinner or volunteering to take over the annual holiday feast, making sure you have the right bowls, plates, and cups is the first step to creating a beautiful, modern table.
It’s not all about the food, however. The best modern dinner parties start with the basics: utensils, tableware, and décor. Whether you prefer a more modern or contemporary look, setting a beautiful table that exudes warmth and love is easy to achieve with the help of a few simple tips and the perfect place settings.
Hosting a Modern Dinner Party
Depending on the occasion and how comfortable you are as the host or hostess, planning a dinner party can be a daunting task. But, proper preparation is key. From making sure your home and family is presentable, to getting the timing right on meal preparations, it can be hard to focus on other essential aspects of dinner. Keeping in mind a few handy hostess do’s and don’ts can help you make your dinner party a successful event that guests will be keen to repeat in the future!
But, where to start as far as preparations go? From modern cups and modern bowls to minimalist mugs perfect for after-dinner coffee and dessert, investing in a few tabletop essentials can help you take your next dinner party from dull to delightful in no time!
Favorite Tips for a Modern Party
- Choose the color palette for your tablescape ahead of time
- Keep it simple
- Use live foliage and flowers as accent pieces
- Place your serving dish layout before the meal
- Choose the Color Palette for Your Tablescape Ahead of Time
Once you know you're hosting a dinner party, making sure you plan out what tabletop essentials you need to pull it off is an important step. When hosting an event in your home, you’ll want to pick useful pieces that coordinate with your décor and color scheme, making your table look flawless. For instance, if you prefer neutral color schemes, outfitting yourself with bowls, serving dishes, modern cups, and minimalist mugs in creams, browns, grays, and whites will blend in seamlessly with your linens and other décor.
If you prefer bold colors mixed in with your neutrals, beautiful minimalist mugs like these would be a great accent, thanks to their bright and beautiful gradient color scheme. You can even take it one step further by using a piece like this modern bowl to make a bold statement and design everything else on the table with it in mind. Your guests won’t look at a salad the same after being served from that showstopper!
- Keep it Simple
Above all, a dinner party is considered a success for two reasons: your guests felt loved and cared for, and they enjoyed good food in good company. Anything more than that is just icing on the cake. So, while it can be easy to attempt to get everything perfect and go on a spending spree the week before the event, keeping it simple is always the best way to go.
Our advice? Pick pieces you cherish, and that are practical and useful for more than one night. Mixing and matching colors and styles can also be an excellent option, giving you the freedom to change up your table from time to time.
- Use Live Foliage and Flowers as Accent Pieces
Nothing makes a table (or home for that matter!) feel more inviting than beautifully arranged flowers or greenery. Whether you plan to arrange these yourself or call on a professional, adding in a little pop of color at each place setting or as a centerpiece is an excellent way to make your table feel homier. These floral arrangements don’t have to be complicated, either. Try gathering a few of your favorite modern cups that aren’t in use and arranging a few blooms in them to add color and intrigue to your table at the same time.
Think daffodils in the spring, sunflowers in the summer, and ornamental cabbage in the fall. Always try to buy your florals from your local farmer's market or natural grocery store. That's where you'll find the best quality of flowers and foliage. That’s also a great way to know what's in season and what will act as the perfect accent piece to the rest of your tabletop décor.
- Plan Your Serving Dish Layout Before the Meal
Pro tip: The day of the event, layout your table a few hours before guests are due to arrive. This means setting the table well in advance, and if you choose to do a buffet-style meal, you should go ahead and place all the serving dishes you plan to utilize on the table, as well. This way, you can remove that third flower arrangement to make room for a bowl full of grandma's famous macaroni and cheese! Placing sticky notes into each dish can help you remember what you have planned and how much room you need on the table.
Remember, you want your guests to feel comfortable and at ease at your table, so make sure the table isn’t too overwhelmed with dishes, plates, modern cups, and bowls that your guests have a hard time maneuvering without knocking something over in the process!
Set the Table with Modern Bowls
Modern bowls are necessary for any great dinner party, especially buffet or family-style events. Not only does using large bowls for serving cut down on dishes, but it's also an easy way for guests to help themselves to a serving. We have a few modern bowls that we love to highlight, and to make it easier for you, we've broken them down into a few categories: neutrals, pops of color, and modern bowls for the kids. No matter what your color scheme or event theme, you have plenty of options!
Neutrals for Modern Decor
If you already have a lot going on at the table, thanks to a beautiful tablecloth or handcrafted rustic farmhouse table, going neutral with your serving dishes is an excellent choice. Neutral does not have to mean dull, however! A few of our favorite modern bowls feature beautiful Dutch-inspired elements like leather handles and wooden legs that say both sophistication and fun!
The perfect addition to modern décor, this handcrafted bowl has a uniqueness unlike any other thanks to the wooden legs and the eye-catching textures on the bowl itself. This beautiful piece comes in a creamy off-white and beige hue that’s sure to fit in with any modern décor or place settings you have on hand.
This beautiful ceramic piece has a one-of-a-kind look and feel, thanks to the unique glazing process it goes through at the hands of master craftsmen. Add in the leather handles that perfectly accent the neutral cream color, and it’s a great addition to any modern tablescape!
While these beautiful recycled cotton and paper mache bowls aren’t dishwasher safe, they are the perfect modern bowls to make a statement at your next dinner party as an environmentally-conscious centerpiece! Beautifully designed with nature in mind, these modern bowls feature a majestic soaring eagle, reminding you to look around and enjoy the beauty that life has to offer.
Pops of Color in Modern Bowls
Looking for something to pop a little more and invite oohs and ahhs from your dinner party guests? We’ve got some beautiful modern bowls that provide a tasteful and fun pop of color to any table!
These beautiful wooden bowls crafted from acacia wood and painted a few unique colors can brighten up any table and add a little fun to the soup or salad course. Perfect for daily use, but fancy enough for larger gatherings, these modern bowls are the perfect pieces to brighten not only your tabletop but your dinner party, as well. The beautiful, deep rustic violet hue would make a show-stopping addition to any dinner party, guaranteed.
If you’re looking for a colorful, Earth-friendly option, look no further than these coordinating bowls from ZUPERZOZIAL. Each bowl is made from bamboo, corn, and reinforced with melamine, making it biodegradable, but also sturdy enough for whatever life throws at it. Available in two modern color collections, you can mix and match which bowls you put on display depending on your dinner party theme and your table’s color scheme.
For the Kids
If it’s a kid-friendly event, it would be an excellent idea to incorporate some dishes that they can feel comfortable using, too! There’s nothing worse than having to worry that your modern bowls might be too fragile for your smallest guests.
Each dinner set not only comes with a bowl but also includes a plate and a cup, allowing even your smallest guests to feel like a VIP! Plus, you can incorporate the child’s personality into the dinner, as well, by choosing their favorite animal out of the curated designs available. From dinosaurs to flamingos, there is a set for every kid!
Minimalist Mugs for One and All
Minimalist mugs are anything but boring. On the contrary, these beautiful minimalist mugs may be simple by some standards, but they are also a work of art for guests to interact with right at your table. Whether you're sipping after-dinner coffee with dessert or topping off someone's nightcap, these minimalist mugs will keep everyone coming back for more!
Meticulously handcrafted in the Netherlands, these white glazed coffee cups are the minimalist mugs of your dreams! Perfect for a morning coffee or a nightcap after a successful dinner party, there is nothing that these minimalist mugs can't do. What they lack in color, these mugs don’t lack in style! The addition of the brand name, ONSHUS, printed on the outside of each cup in Braille is another thing that makes these minimalist mugs one-of-a-kind.
Each of the minimalist mugs in this collection features beautiful, vibrant colors created by a random flow of matte glaze at the hand of skilled artisans. The raw finish will leave you and your guests in awe every time you bring them out at a dinner party.
Modern Cups: Full of Possibilities
Elevate any experience with the addition of handcrafted modern cups, carefully selected to match your style and décor, while also adding a little personality to your next event. Even if you don’t have the most expensive wines available for your guests to choose from, having a carefully selected collection of modern cups can make even the most straightforward event seem upscale.
When we think of modern cups, we first think of these unique hand-blown water and wine glasses from ONSHUS. Both practical and elegant, these modern cups are sure to grab anyone’s attention because of their unusual shape—they’re not likely to be a very common sight at the average dinner table. Don’t forget the matching crystal decanter, too!
Even tap water will look like a work of art in these modern cups made by PUIK! These mouth-blown crystal glasses are diamond-shaped on the bottom, allowing you to set them down differently each time, reflecting light and liquid in a ton of exciting ways—and sure to be the talk of your next gathering! Pair these modern cups with their matching PUIK crystal decanter to complete the look. Perfect for on the bar cart for after-dinner drinks!
No matter what the occasion, picking out modern cups, modern bowls, or minimalist mugs that you love can make all the difference in your desire to host modern gatherings at your home. It doesn't have to be difficult, and with the right tools and tips, you can turn your next dinner party into a work of art in no time!