Effortless Place Setting Ideas

We’re approaching summertime in Sydney, when many a lazy weekend will be spent eating, drinking and laughing with friends. Wherever you are in the world and in whichever season, whether you are entertaining indoors or out and whatever tone you want to set, we’ve got some cute place setting ideas on hand to make entertaining a personal yet effortless affair.

These are four things we like to incorporate into place settings:

  1. Use different colours, textures and patterns
  2. Use what you already have
  3. Mix and match
  4. Use layers for effect

Beach Inspired
A fresh summer salad, seafood and wine are complimented beautifully with crockery in hues of blue, sandy beiges, natural seagrass textures and crisp whites. Bring the outside in with some twigs in a vase and add some weathered wood reminiscent of driftwood. Open up the doors and windows to let in the sunlight and breeze to bring this beachy look to life.

Shabby Chic
A high tea afternoon with cakes, iced teas and pastries are perfectly a tablescape of clear glass mixed with tones of pink and soft greens. Add some fresh flowers and use doilies as place mats and napkin holders. Try personalising the setting further with your own scripted style on the crockery. Or create a cozy candle knit and think about using your everyday items like some wool and yarn on display. Try out some of our sweet treats and spiced ice coffee recipe for entertaining ideas.

This look is slightly formal, yet approachable. It takes elements of French provincial style and through placing items in an unstructured way, you can take the edge off the formality. Play on the rustic country style by adding a basket, some flowers and mixing some solid colours with neutral tones. Crockery with simple or classic  prints add points of interest through the display.

This look can be elegant without the stuffiness for more extravagant and fine-dining type meals. The key to a formal look is to pick a theme and to create the initial impact. The practicality is irrelevant because after your guests are wowed, you can remove the bigger obstructions when it’s time to serve the meal. Here we have a rustic table with touch of provincial with ornate bird cages (which are actually candle holders), and any knickknacks you may have like bird ornaments and old books work well.

Just because you’re outdoors, it doesn’t mean the only options are disposable plastic plates and styrofoam cups. Consider re-usable melamine tableware, colourful fabric place mats and add some greenery like succulents to make the outdoors just as personal as indoors. A simple tray helps with carrying all your wares from indoors to out.

The simple, clean lines of asian inspired plates and bowls make for a lovely spread. Use simple textures and variations of the same colour tone and swing more to masculine looking pieces to achieve this look. On the left is very Japanese inspired setting and accommodates for a spread which includes some hot green tea, miso soup, starters  and mains. It’s a larger stack, but you will get through it all. On the right is another Oriental look that is easily achieved with the use of blue and whine china.

if you’re thinking of serving up something like a Morrocan feast then consider bold pattern and texture for a striking look. A crisp white napkin is offset with a contrasting piece like this faux peacock feather tied up with some twine.

This is a simple, elegant and effortless look with some natural earthy tones through the plates, the napkin and the hessian napkin holder (which is super easy to make). This look is great for a fresh and organic spread (like our organic bread recipe). Team it with some simple items like these herbs with glass bottles and brown paper tags.


If you have statement chairs and items in bright colours like these pops of yellow, then you can create quite a theatrical display. Sure you wouldn’t necessarily put a chair on the table (like this from a shopfront display), but you could create some organised chaos to make some real impact.
Place Settings; Individual and Effortless Entertaining - Pops of colour

If you have a look around your home, you will find that you already have most of the elements needed to create lovely place settings and tablescape. So it is easy to make that little extra effort with the little finishing touches that personalise the entertaining experience for your guests…  you will find that the effort will not go unnoticed.

Hillary and Dijon - Surangi

7 thoughts on “Effortless Place Setting Ideas

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