grey plates sitting on a table
Photography, Kate Sears

6 stylish place settings for entertaining

Entertaining maven Kim Kushner shares insta-worthy tablescape ideas.

Whenever I set my table, I always start with a blank slate. The “building” of the table setting generally begins with a crisp tablecloth. From there, you can add objects to create a layered scene of colour, textures and visuals.

An inviting tablescape doesn’t need to be complicated – a setting can be easily enhanced with a few additions of colour and texture.

Wild and Free

A white and gold place setting with eucalyptus leaves.

Florals introduce colour and texture to a table. Why buy lavish and elaborate bouquets when you can create a flourishing scene with fresh-cut flowers or herbs, such as basil or eucalyptus (as pictured) from the garden, or small plants in your home?

The Light Remains

A blue and white table setting with clustered candles.
Photography, Kate Sears

Arrange candles of various types and heights to add visual interest and a stunning glow to the table. Try placing individual candles sporadically across your entire table or grouping them in bunches and setting them out on trays.

White on White

An all-white table setting with flowers.
Photography, Kate Sears

No table setting is cleaner and crisper than simple white dishes on white table linen. This classic look never goes wrong and continues to be my go-to table setting time after time.

Odds and Ends

grey plates sitting on a table
Photography, Kate Sears

Take advantage of glass jars and loose vessels occupying space (or cupboards!) around your home. Even simply coloured bottles can make a great statement. You can add votive candles or decorative ornaments or fill the vessels with water and freshly cut flowers.

Personalize Your Space

A table setting with photographs in frames to the side.
Photography, Kate Sears

Unique keepsakes and family heirlooms can mark a meaningful event. Family and guest photos can evoke deep sentiments and add a truly personal touch. You could even customize each place setting to the individual tastes or likes of each guest.


A black place setting with bowls of grapes and other fruit.
Photography, Kate Sears

Fresh fruit such as grapes, figs, cherries and pomegranates can enhance the mood with deep colours. Instead of flowers, decorate the run of your table with fruit that looks beautiful and tastes delicious as well.

A book cover in a light frame.
Excerpted from The Modern Table: Kosher Recipes for Everyday Gatherings by Kim Kushner. Photography by Kate Sears. Copyright © 2022 by Kim Kushner. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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