Now is Best to Break Open
Fine China and Linens

Mary Mahoney

Tableware available at Mary Mahoney, Palm Beach.  Photo Credit: Jerry Rabinowitz

Treat Family Like Guests — Set a Fun, Festive Table at Home and Outside

by Ann Lally

Ann Bierbower Lally is a principal at Altima Palm Beach. A self-confessed tableware aficionado, her first job after college was advertising and PR manager at Wedgwood Fine China in New York.


Every experienced hostess enjoys entertaining at home. But how often does one pull out the “good stuff” when just family or casual guests are around the table? Or mix and match odds and ends? Many have combed their cupboards to cull the odd pieces for Goodwill or store what has not been utilized over the past months.

With a little imagination, however, one can inspire a revitalization and make every day a special event. That means breaking away from the rules and using your own intuition about what to keep, what to discard, and what to convert to everyday, or weekly table settings.

While it would seem practical at first to replace that extra plate, it may in fact not be the perfect solution. Many individual pieces are difficult to find or more costly than a new, fun set, or your pattern might be difficult to find. The same is true of glasses, particularly crystal. Filling in with white dinner way and glassware may prove more creative.

If your fine china has a white background, try balancing it with new white plates that mix well, or inexpensive, and dress a table up or down, depending on the look you want. They also complement existing linens, table accessories and serving pieces. (sources)

A set of clear glass plates offers flexibility, not to mention affordability.

New linens are another fresh way to enliven the table. They complete the look of your place settings by adding color and interesting patterns to mix and match. Solids are especially good for tying together a variety of tableware. Place mats and lines are available at (Palm Beach source).

Many manufacturers make “private label” white earthenware and glass. Once the shopping is done, those few personal touches tie the look together. Try a napkin fold or use a family heirloom as a centerpiece. Revamping a tabletop is as uplifting as renovating an entire home, only it involves a mere fraction of the time and the price, and a maximum of ease. Have fun, and Bon Appetit!

Entertaining with Mary Mahoney

Dress up lunch outdoors with elegant tableware available at Mary Mahoney, Palm Beach
Photo Credit: Jerry Rabinowitz

Visit Mary Mahoney look book for details on featured table settings.