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Hone Your Craft

This Family Knows a Thing or Two About Setting a Chic Table

Hone Your Craft BY katie nave freeman 06/12/2019


Monika Dalkin and her daughter Gaby are a dynamic duo in so many ways—including when it comes to setting a table. Monika handmakes her own warm, textured stoneware dishes, Gaby’s a cookbook author and the culinary whiz behind What’s Gaby Cooking, and they both sure know how to entertain. For Monika’s best tips on making a meal feel extra inviting, dig in!


“I suggest starting with a theme or an idea when setting a table—maybe it’s a color palette or a design style—and then create place settings that reflect that particular idea. One thing I’ve found is always a hit is using big platters and cake plates and filling them with pillar candles as a centerpiece.”


“My personal aesthetic is to mix and match. There are so many beautiful things at the ready, so I like to use as many as possible. Buy things you feel comfortable getting out often. I try to price my pieces very reasonably so they aren’t too precious to use! If something were to break, it shouldn’t feel like the end of the world.”


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Petals Platter
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$ 60


“I like to use my platters and bowls to display fruits and other produce. I also like to pair a small plate with a vase on top with fresh flowers from the garden. This creates a nice layering of color and texture.”


“I have a variety of small bowls holding things that I regularly cook with, such as fresh garlic, ginger, salt, and spices. That way they are always at the ready, and you can use them on the table, too, for salt and pepper or other toppings.”



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