So, we’re right in the middle of the holidays and you, being this year’s hotshot hostess (or host), have already cleaned the house, strung the lights with care and planned the main course like an Iron Chef with the countdown nearing zero.</br></br>But, to bring it all together you need the <a title="Dining Tables" href="http://www.atgstores.com/furniture/kitchen-dining-furniture/dining-tables/" target="_blank">dining table</a> setting to be just right. Of all the possibilities, how do you decide?</br></br><strong>Simple vs. Complex</strong></br></br>You’ll often find that the decision is already made for you, so the first thing to consider is whether you have the time and money to get into something really complex. If so, there are lots of little extras that can make a table setting stand out:</br></br>- a centerpiece (of course)</br>- “fancy” <a title="Tableware" href="http://www.atgstores.com/cooking/cooking-dining/tableware/" target="_blank">tableware</a>, <a title="Flatware" href="http://www.atgstores.com/cooking/cooking-dining/tableware/flatware-and-utensils/" target="_blank">flatware</a> and <a title="Stemware" href="http://www.atgstores.com/cooking/cooking-dining/drinkware/stemware/" target="_blank">stemware</a></br>- napkin rings</br>- <a title="Placemats" href="http://www.atgstores.com/bed/cooking-dining/tableware/table-linens/placemats/" target="_blank">placemats</a></br>- table place cards</br>- table runners</br>- candles</br>- <a title="Table Linens" href="http://www.atgstores.com/cooking/cooking-dining/tableware/table-linens/" target="_blank">linens</a> (tablecloths and/or <a title="Napkins" href="http://www.atgstores.com/bed/cooking-dining/tableware/table-linens/napkins/" target="_blank">napkin</a>)</br>- chair cushions and/or slipcovers</br>- gifts</br></br>And, if you really want to impress your guests, you can even coordinate all these things!</br></br>But, let’s say that’s too much. If so – and if you’re anything like us, it is – you can give a point value to these 10 things (or however many options you may have) and go with the ones at the top of your list.</br></br><strong>Aesthetics vs. Utility</strong></br></br>Keep in mind that clutter is an appetite killer. Tables that are too busy are hard to enjoy, and tables with no room for you to put your fork down are even worse.</br></br>Let the size of your table combined with your list of must-haves from above determine the proper balance. For example, if a centerpiece is more important to your arrangement than <a title="Candles & Candle Holders" href="http://www.atgstores.com/decor/home-decor-accessories/candles-candle-holders/" target="_blank">candles</a> and you’re running out of room, cut the candles. Or, you can find clever workarounds, like affixing the place cards to the backs of the chairs or putting candles <em>in</em> your centerpiece.</br></br><strong>Store-Bought vs. DIY Décor</strong></br></br>And, of course, you can always save money by making your own place cards, <a title="Napkin Rings" href="http://www.atgstores.com/cooking/cooking-dining/tableware/table-linens/napkin-rings/" target="_blank">napkin rings</a>, centerpieces and even placemats out of found objects in your home. For example, butcher paper can make for a creative <a title="Tablecloths" href="http://www.atgstores.com/bed/cooking-dining/tableware/table-linens/tablecloths/" target="_blank">table linen</a> (especially at the kiddie table, so they can color on it) and ribbon will serve as a lovely napkin ring when you tie it into a beautiful bow.</br></br>Use these dining table setting tips and you’re sure to enjoy your company and your meal more than ever before.