Ina Garten’s advice for setting up a table for a dinner party is so Barefoot Contessa – “Don’t Obsess”



You want an Ina Garten table that looks like a barefoot Contessa having dinner? The trick, according to Garten, is not to agonize over every detail. While it might be easier said than done, the Food Network star has tips for setting a table the Barefoot Contessa style.

Ina Garten table arrangements start with flowers

Ina Garten | Amber De Vos / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Garten explained how she goes about setting a table in an early 2000s issue of House Beautiful. At the time, the 73-year-old had a column in the publication called Ask the Barefoot Contessa. She answered questions posed by readers. Along the way, she shared her feelings about nonstick cookware and, of course, table settings.

The Modern comfort food the author did not hesitate when asked to give advice on setting up a table. Garden table decorating ideas usually don’t start with the dishes or the occasion, but rather with the flowers.

“I tend to keep mine pretty simple. I usually base the color of the frame on the color of the flowers, ”she said. “Not a lot of different flowers, just a big bowl of something dramatic – orange tulips, hot pink peonies, or white roses with lime green lady’s mantle.”

From there, Garten revealed that she based her choice of tablecloths on what would complement the flowers. “To make the flowers look their best, I will use a lighter colored tablecloth, usually white, cream or natural Belgian linen,” she explained.

Ina Garten table settings usually include white plates

Ina Garten wears a blue button-down shirt in front of a wall of shelves

Ina Garten | Daytime Emmy Awards 2021 via Getty Images

RELATED: What Ina Garten Does When People Are Late For Dinner Is So Barefoot Contessa

White plates are a must have for those who want to feel like a Garten table setting. The Food Network star rarely steers away from white plates when setting a table.

“The plates are almost always white,” according to Garten. Why? Because “it makes the food more beautiful”.

As for napkins, she is interested in flowers again. Garten’s color choice depends on whether or not she wants to match the flowers or make the napkins stand out.

“The towels pick up on the color of the flowers or contrast with them. If I have blue hydrangeas, white cloth and plum napkins look great. If the roses are peachy in color and the fabric is cream in color, a large peach-colored towel is nice, ”Garten said.

RELATED: Ina Garten’s 3 Easy Steps to Planning a ‘No Kitchen Collapse’ Menu

The decor of the Garten table doesn’t match and, in fact, the longtime cooking show host prefers it that way. When it comes to silverware and glasses, the Barefoot Contessa doesn’t care if things don’t match up. Instead, she encourages people to “mix”.

“I have a set of silverware that’s half old and half new, and I think it looks more modern than your grandmother’s silverware,” she said. “For glasses, I like to have an assortment of heights – low water goblets, stemmed wine glasses, champagne flutes (if that’s appropriate). The light from the votive candles will make silver glasses sparkle.

The main thing is not to worry too much about the setting of the table because, after all, that is not the point.

“Don’t be obsessed; not all dishes and chairs need to match – if they’re the same color and shape, they’ll look great together, ”said Garten. “Remember, it’s about the friends, not the table setting.”

Here it is. Tips from Garten for setting a table. Looking for Barefoot Contessa table decoration ideas for Thanksgiving? Start with the aforementioned tips and see how Garten set his own Thanksgiving table.

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