I'm Dressing Up My Dining Table to Make Meals Feel Special—These Are My Faves

Photo:

@trinekjær

Like almost anyone breathing, I miss going to restaurants. I miss the days of sporadic lunch dates with friends and getting to catch up with family over large plates of jerk chicken on Sunday. And of course, there's the added convenience of not having to dirty your own dishes and deal with cleaning them later.  While most of us are getting reacquainted with our own kitchens now that dining in has replaced dining out, that doesn't mean you still can't have a restaurant ambiance.

Since making most of my meals at home, I've tried to spice things up with my collection of plates, flatware, and drinking glasses to recreate the dining out experience right at my dinner table. And so far, it's been working out pretty well. The cooking part still requires some getting used to (takeout entices my lazy side way too often), but I can say that I firmly enjoy the process of sitting at a beautifully decorated table to eat my meal–even if it happens to be only a slice of bread. The key to setting up your tablescape is to make it a reflection of you. Find unique items that you love; trust me, it will make daily meals feel all the more special and experiential. From pretty tablecloths to quirky vases that will zhoosh up where ever you eat, you'll find it all here. Keep scrolling below to see what I have in my online shopping cart right now. 

Candles belong within two camps: those only meant to be seen, and those meant to be burned. As you could probably tell, these fall into the latter category. Unburned they look like basic white candles, but after burning, evolve into this colorful drippy mess that's aesthetically pleasing. 

If you're really trying to capture a restaurant-worthy experience, please don't use paper towels. Yes, you'll actually have to throw these in the laundry, but the payoff is worth it.

I always recommend opting for drinking glasses in unusual shapes. Morrocan Beldi glasses have been on my wishlist for the better part of this year. You'll want to order the largest size as these run small.

A jazzy backdrop for all of the inevitable food pics.

A saturated dose of color to house all of your produce. 

All I want for the holidays is this weird, drippy candle holder. You've likely seen this in the background of several Danish it-girls, and it's certainly an item that's rare to find in stock.

Jugs like this are super versatile because you can either stick in a fresh bouquet or use it as a vessel for orange juice during weekend brunch.

Food really shines against a classic white plate. And since the aim is making it feel as though you're dining at a cool restaurant, you'll want to go for a modern stacked version. I've seen plates like these used at trendy eateries all over the Lower East Side. 

The flatware set I'm currently saving up for.

FYI, this isn't a candle you want to burn. Among your plates of food, a joyful pink candle creates a mood-lifting centerpiece.

You may not be entertaining this year, but a gorgeous cheese plate is perfectly acceptable to eat solo.

Because the bottles of natural wine won't open themselves.

Ready to display all of your pasta carbonara creations.

Fabrek is the Danish mecca for charming pastel home objects like this handcrafted mug.

Bored of your dining table? Before getting rid of the one you have, layer over a tablecloth. It's a cost-effective hack to bring instant elegance. 

Is a glass cruet absolutely necessary? No. But at least it really sells the illusion of being in a real restaurant. 

If you don't own them by now, Ferm Living's ripple glasses come highly recommended. While the brand's drinking glasses are hugely popular, don't overlook their wine goblets. Whether it's a $5 bottle of wine or a $500 bottle, these will ooze elegance just the same.

Set the mood with some candlelight during your meal.

This is definitely more of an investment item, but it's one you'll treasure for a lifetime. Use it to store salt or sugar for the table. 

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