When hosting serious feasts, table setup is often a challenge for me. Between the large plates of food and quick moving hands I sometimes get nervous about putting anything pretty out at all! My friend Giulia has a great solution. Here are her tips for setting a table for a feast:

1) Set the table without a table cloth. A wooden backdrop will give the entire table a clean look, and it results in less clean-up too.

2) Gather different textured plates, and don’t be afraid to mix the good stuff with the day-to-day dishes. This lends texture and interest to the table, without taking up any extra room.

3) While not all the napkins must match, coordinating their hues with the florals will bring a more cohesive setting to the table.

4) Decorate with small pieces – gold painted and white miniature pumpkins, votives, wooden bowls, and gathered fall flowers from the backyard are very flexible. They can be moved around whenever another platter joins the spread.

5) Pick out pretty food. Spend time picking out the best looking pieces, showcasing the beauty of each plate to the fullest. Try your hand at a little food styling! It will allow for a table that will brightly pops, and has plenty of room left to eat.

Photography and food styling by Giulia Doyle for A Subtle Revelry.