Test out your place setting. To set the table for a formal dinner, start with a charger, then stack up the dinner plate and salad plate. Lay out the forks on the left, knives and spoons on the right, remembering that guests will use the silverware on the outside first and work their way in. Pull out all the stops on a nonparty day and take a snapshot you can refer to, so you’ll stress less before the big event.
Choose one color or material to be the star of the table. Try a gleaming metallic hue for a sophisticated look or bright, clear colors for a fun, modern take; or go cozy and rustic with natural fibers. Whatever you choose, narrowing the palette will help make your table look more polished and intentional.