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Summer Tablesetting

Martha Stewart Living Television

One of the joys of summer entertaining is finding new ways to set a welcoming table. It seems complicated but it's really simple if you mix old with new.

Oilcloth
Oilcloth used to be a heavy canvas or cotton fabric rendered waterproof with a coating of linseed oil and paint. Today, it is made of plastic or vinyl woven with cotton. It's colorful and waterproof, which makes it an ideal material for a summer table.

Space
The decisions you make about the location, decoration, and table settings all reflect your personal style. Table settings should not be too fussy or unnatural.

Dishes
Keep in mind that a table should be harmonious. Think of how the colors of your food might contrast with or complement your dishes and think too, of how the colors work together on their own.

Flatware
Bakelite is a plastic that is actually quite versatile. It can take on the appearance of new plastic or wood or mimic the look of expensive natural materials such as tortoise shell and ivory.

Napkins
The placement of a beautiful napkin can add a decorative touch.

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