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Creating a beautiful dinner table

Household items can be used as centerpieces, conversation pieces

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Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 3:17 pm | Updated: 3:21 pm, Wed Nov 28, 2018.

Creating a wow-worthy dinner table doesn’t have to be expensive. Centerpieces that become conversation pieces might not require a shopping trip, because they can be created right at home. Inspiration can often be found by just looking around the house.

Start by using a unique table runner. For example, create a setting based on things which are older in nature or family oriented. Cut a runner from an old quilt that is no longer purposeful as a bed linen. To disguise the raw edges, trim them with lace, an easy project that does not necessarily require a sewing machine.

When an old quilt is not available, lineup doilies, lengthwise, to form a runner. It is fine if the doilies are not the exact same shade of white. Overlap the edges and stagger them slightly.

For a more formal table setting, use a piece of satin or velvet fabric. Measure the table and cut the fabric one-and-a-half times longer than the table, to leave the fabric rumpled instead of smooth. Fold the raw edges underneath or hem them. Next, choose a color that is complementary to the dishware, but bold enough to make a statement. For example, white, clear or neutral dishware allows for runners of seasonal colors, such as pink for spring, green for summer and white for winter and orange for fall.

On top of the runner place some time-honored costume jewelry, a few broaches, synthetic pearls, or bead necklaces from a past era. A clear vase could even be used to house bobbles and beads. Old jewelry that is no longer suitable for its intended purpose is perfect for dressing up a dinner table.

Another suitable item to place along the runner would be small framed photos of family and friends. Use frames that compliment the intended theme of old fashioned or formal.

With a formal appearance add a few candlesticks with tapered candles, a pair of ladies satin gloves or a ladies hat from yesteryear. For a table, displaying rustic charm, place a lantern or two, some mason jars or some decorative tin cans, or even some tiny teapots.

The important thing to remember about centerpieces is to avoid creating something that impedes conversation across the table.

When the dinner table is round, a runner is not the best option. The same ideas can be used except create a round piece of cloth in the middle instead of a runner.

The main thing to remember when creating a beautiful dinner table is you are only limited by your imagination.

— Marla Ballard’s Master of Disguise appears each Thursday.

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