Dining In: Celebrating the Art of Everyday Table Setting

In this difficult moment, as you are probably doing a lot of home cooking right now (or if not that then eating takeout), setting your table for the occasion can make a big difference in elevating both your meal and your mood, regardless of how informal this might be.

We are honored at Trefler’s to restore and conserve your family heirlooms, and our expert conservators take pride in repairing everything from serving pieces to porcelain to silverware. We feel strongly that these cherished items play a role at your family dining table throughout the year, not just on special occasions. Below are a few tips and reminders of how to utilize these pieces to create an inviting, everyday table-scape at home—one to rival any white-tablecloth restaurant.

1. Welcome your Heirlooms
Using family heirlooms at the dinner (or even breakfast) table is a wonderful way to carry on the tradition of breaking bread together. Whether it is a terrine passed down from your grandmother or a tea kettle that belonged to your great aunt, using these objects honors your ancestors and links previous generations to future ones. These pieces can even inspire you to re-create a particular recipe of someone dear, whether that be a blueberry tart baked in a particular dish or just your daily afternoon cup of tea served with a porcelain creamer.

2. Linens over Paper Napkins
All too often at mealtime we reach for paper towels and napkins, but using linen or fabric napkins is a far more pleasing and sustainable option. As well, using linen or fabric napkins adds visual and textural warmth to a table setting that will feel good to the touch. Switching out patterns and colors can evoke a different aesthetic each time, bringing a very welcomed sense of variation to our home environments in this difficult moment.

3. Ditch the To-Go Boxes
If you are ordering takeout, ditch the to-go box, and dress up your meal by transferring it to proper dishes. You’ll feel proud of yourself for making the extra effort, and it will absolutely taste better without the residual Styrofoam, plastic, or cardboard taste.

4. Wine Glasses and Crystal – Even Sans Wine
Whether you are having a cocktail, a glass of wine, or just plain water, using your crystal and glassware otherwise reserved for formal occasions adds a little extra to the evening table and may even encourage you to stay hydrated. Worried about chipping crystal or glass? Rest assured, glass grinding on nicked rims is an easy solution—one that we perform frequently for our clients at Trefler’s.

5. Serving Family Style with Serving Pieces (Especially those normally reserved for the holidays)
Create a visual feast, quite literally, by serving your dinner family style and enjoy getting to put heirloom serving pieces to good use. Not only does this encourage second helpings without a second trip to the kitchen, but also it offers terrines and platters a chance to shine.

6. Lighting Ambiance
At Trefler’s, we are always pleased to repair and polish heirloom candlesticks. Including these with your table setting adds such a welcomed sense of warmth to an evening. That said, we also see quite a lot of fire damage and wax-removal, so we always encourage safe use of candles in the home—that means never leaving them unattended.

7. Remember the Placemats and Tablecloths
We are big fans of the placemat at Trefler’s—and you can probably guess the reason why… Not only do they add an extra element of ornament and warmth to the table (marble and stone tabletops especially), but also they act as a protective barrier to keep your dining and kitchen surfaces safe from spills and scratches.

written by Nikki Stracka

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