1 of 26 Deborah Jaffe
Fill tiny tin cups with fresh-cut blooms and place at each setting for sweet-smelling ambience.
2 of 26 Anita Calero
Start with a design theme (like cozy and rustic, complete with “log cabin”), then follow it through with all the elements―including napkins, centerpieces, and tablecloth.
3 of 26 Deborah Jaffe
Don't be afraid to mix patterns for texture and interest, like this happy blend of stripes and florals.
4 of 26 Michael Paul
Natural elements can be surprising additions, whether as centerpieces or tucked into a pretty ribbon fastening the silverware.
5 of 26 Lucas Allen
A whiteboard makes a clever charger-slash–place card―not to mention the perfect receptacle for dinnertime doodling.
6 of 26 Lucas Allen
Look to the craft store for inexpensive decorating materials, like red felt rectangles used as place mats, and matching lengths of ribbon.
8 of 26 Francois Dischinger
For an eye-catching place setting, rest a bold colored napkin in between stacked white dinner and salad plates.
9 of 26 Jonny Valiant
Even a casual setting can have a hint of drama, here supplied by geometric-patterned salad plates.
10 of 26 Anita Calero
Refreshingly different place cards for summertime entertainment: personalized flags anchored in zesty limes.
11 of 26 Francois Dischinger
A pretty table runner laid down the length of a table can serve as both decoration and place mats.
12 of 26 Formula Z/S
Get playful with seating arrangements by using alphabet magnets to mark each guest’s spot.
15 of 26 Anita Calero
Cut chalkboard paper into place mat–size pieces―and be sure to provide each guest with chalk.
16 of 26 Anita Calero
Ideal for windy outdoor dining, printed rubber bands prettily secure napkins and silverware to plates.
17 of 26 Lucas Allen
Sum up the evening for your guests in fun and imaginative make-your-own place mats.
18 of 26 Lucas Allen
Make place cards that are favors too, like this one using an inexpensive seed packet.
20 of 26 David Prince
A generously sized place mat in a graphic pattern serves up visual interest in a minimal arrangement.
22 of 26 Antonis Achilleos
For a little French-bistro flair, turn a colorful dish towel into a shared place mat.
23 of 26 Jonny Valiant
A properly set table has an array of glasses―one for water, one for white wine, one for red.
24 of 26 Marcus Nilsson
Use stamps to mark card stock with pretty designs for an instant place card solution.