If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I LOVE a good table setting. I don’t know what it is about them but getting a little creative and styling them is my jam – even when there’s no real occasion. Now, over the years, I’ve amassed a few different sets of dishes which allow me to mix and match to my heart’s content. Today, I wanted to share a few tips and some inspiration to show how you can genuinely create an infinite number of place settings when you buy with the purpose of mixing and matching.
Now, I pulled together 21 different table settings in less than an hour (yes really!) starting off with just 4 chargers, 4 larger plates and 6 side plates. Do you need this many sets? Not at all. But I just wanted to show you how simple it is to mix and match place settings when you start with a good cohesive base. Here’s what I used to create all my settings…
I try to make sure when I do buy a new set that it works with whatever I already have. You can see that I don’t necessarily buy fully matching sets and that for the most part, my side plates are all either add a pop of colour, contain a graphic pattern or they are a bit quirky and different. I also rarely buy more than 4 of any one kind of plate. This allows me to get a bit creative with my table styling so each setting can be slightly different but still coordinate.
Also, please bear in mind that I have purchased all of these items over the years and so most are not necessarily available anymore (sorry about that). However, my point is that if you find sets that work well together, then mixing them is something you can do endlessly and every time you want a different or new look for your table, you can just use what you have.
Now from these 4 chargers, 4 dinner plates and 6 side plates, I have come up with 21 different table setting combinations. I could have made more but I thought this was enough to make my point! Ha! And look! I made a handy gif!
So here are my top tips to mix and match your table settings…
Tip 1: Start with a Tight Colour Palette
One thing I think is absolute imperative for a mix and match table setting is that you need to work within a tight palette of colours – at least to start off with. Most of my plates have elements or combinations of gold, white and black. This allows me to mix them up and they all work together. You don’t have to go with this trio of colours, of course. You might love gold and grey and white or black and green and copper or some other combination of colours and finishes. It really doesn’t matter what you choose as long as all your choices carry that basic colour theme throughout.
I would also say to start off with a simple pattern or a plain plate then build on that with different types of patterns. If you have a floral, consider a stripe. If you have a very contemporary pattern or graphic, your next set could be something more traditional. Try to find sets that are different enough but still complement each other.
Tip 2: Bring in Additional Colour Later
I also have a set of plates that are very colourful which pick up on a lot of different colours to pull from and a set of smaller side plates in pink and gold. These additional sets allow me to mix and match a little further but I would always start with a base of relatively neutral shades that work well together and then add any colour later.
Tip 3: Bring in Interest With Your Side Plates
Once you have your main collections in place, you can start having some more fun. Side plates are always less expensive than dinner plates and can go a long way in adding additional pattern or colour. H&M is my favourite place for getting side plates because they do so many great ones and they are normally quite inexpensive. And, again, you don’t need to buy a fully matching dinner set every time. As long as they work with your existing plates, you can go a bit more quirky with them.
Tip 4: Consider The Mood You Want to Create
When mixing, think about the mood you want to create as each element you add will bring something different to the setting. Going for something casual? Consider things that bring a bit of a natural texture like my rattan chargers (similar here – affiliate link*).
Looking to dress it up? Maybe a set of glass chargers and linen napkins will be more appropriate for your setting.
Hosting a small get together with friends mid-week? Colourful paper napkins are perfectly okay. You can have a casual setting that still looks a million bucks!
Tip 5: The little details
Here’s where you can have a little fun. For many of these, I’ve used a few samples of fabrics I had (they are from Earthed and they are gorgeous!) to just add a little additional colour and texture to the table. I also had some peonies from my garden and a small houseplant that I’ve mixed and matched in there too. Use things you have around that will work with your setting. Add life with plants or flowers, add colour and texture with bits of fabric – they don’t have to be ‘proper’ tablecloths or runners – some folded fabric will work just fine. Use what you have to hand!
So those are my tips for mixing and matching your table settings! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did pulling it together! Are you a little obsessed with table settings as well? Do you mix and match as well and if so, how? Let me know in the comments!