The Keys to Modern Table Setting Success

The Keys to Modern Table Setting Success

The Keys to Modern Table Setting Success


The presentation of your dining table can be just as important as the food that goes on it. Homepolish's Katherine Carter gives her advice for setting that beautiful modern table of your dreams.

Unlike traditional table settings which can feel cluttered and overwhelming, a modern table setting should extend further into the elements of design. Some may find modern table settings to be minimal in appearance, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s easy. In order to do this correctly, each piece counts, so invest in timeless pieces that you love! Every element implemented not only complements the whole, but also needs to stand out individually as a statement.

Photo by Amy Bartlam

The Placemat

Firstly, I suggest using a textured modern placemat. I really like the modern look, feel, and durability of the brand Chilewich. The product appeals to the modern design lover, and it comes in an array of different patterns and color options. The placemat is essential, playing the part of the frame around your plates and flatware.


Simplicity is the key when choosing dinnerware. I like using simple yet effective white dinnerware with a possible gold lining or very muted pattern. Most recently, I’ve been using a Carrara marble plate set, which is simultaneously minimal yet has a beautiful natural element.



When choosing flatware, it’s worth investing in pieces that are timeless yet neutral for your modern table setting. I use the matte black flatware set by Vera Wang. Again, each piece should make a stylish impact on your modern table.


Serviettes (aka napkins) can be used to really make the table pop with color along with tying in all the other elements. You can also introduce texture in the fabric such as a houndstooth or herringbone pattern. Incorporating exciting textiles in your serviette choices will really add an element of unexpected design to your modern table setting. And while you’re at it, have some fun folding the napkins into different shapes!



I suggest using stemless wine glasses as they are a perfect way to keep it modern and casual, staying away from the traditional stemmed wine glass look. Plus, when your guests get a little rambunctious, you don’t have to worry about glasses easily tipping over.

Final touches

Finally, you are ready to accessorize! But just remember to keep everything in that same minimal vein. Traditionally, flowers in a vase are used for dressing the table, but with modern table setting I find that potted cacti or succulents really pull the whole look together. (Think Palm Springs.)

Remember… less is more when creating a modern table setting. The quality of the pieces you invest in over the quantity will have your guests drooling over your setting just as much as the meal itself.