Creating Great Table Presentations

Table linen can be one of the things that stand out in a restaurant or a banqueting event, and can really be a significantly important aspect of a table set up. Of course one of the most important elements to consider when choosing and laying table linen is that it meets the tone of the reception.

Casual events are to be treated differently to formal events. You wouldn’t wear a check shirt to a black tie dinner, and you wouldn’t wear a tuxedo for a quick bite to eat. The table linen you choose reflects this too; so it’s an important element for you to consider. Formal events are more suited to elegant and simple colours, whereas the casual can benefit from a more easy going approach and the vintage or patterned look would fit right in.


The shape of the cloth depends on the shape of the table and you should always place an appropriately sized table cloth on a table of a similar shape. Of course, the rules here are stricter for formal events than for casual events, but it is an important factor nonetheless. In formal events, it’s best to make sure the linen falls around 15 inches below the table. If you want, you can even overlay different shapes or size of table linen. For example, if you use an oval tablecloth to cover the table itself, why not follow it up with a square cloth of a different colour on top? This adds a geometrical touch to the table as well as a little extra colour. Decide on the linen colour through the use of a colour wheel and some common sense and remember to keep the type of occasion in mind.

A wide variety of colours can be used once you’ve defined the colour scheme and tone of the event. But remember, the colours must complement each other. You could keep things simple and just choose one colour, or you could choose slightly different shades of the same colour. This can sometimes work great for the more formal events by injecting a bit of variety.


Runners are also a great way to break up a table and can really add an extra touch that stands out. Place a runner down the centre of the table. Perhaps consider one that complements the event at hand, for example red or green at Christmas. Two different colours can be used here to brighten things up if needed.

Using bright colours when choosing runners can really provide a wonderful contrast that brings the whole table alive.


For the more casual occasions, patterned linen is a good option and can really add some personality and style to the event. Why not choose floral or vintage checkered linen? This can be perfect for more family oriented events. Of course, the most important thing is that it meets the tone of the reception as well as looking good.

Table centre pieces can also be added to make the whole table look great. These can be anything from flowers, to fruit, from candles to candy! A whole range of objects can work well. Once more, try and ensure that it works well with the tone and feel of the event.