We firmly believe that there is no wrong way (and therefore no "right" way) to dress a table. The days of having to pull out an etiquette book to set the table for lunch with friends are long gone. That said, we do think there is a MODERN way to put together a table and you can get the look in 5 easy steps...
1) Keep the color story simple. Pick a few colors that really speak to you and build up your collection of linens over time. If you stick to the same color story, they will always work together, so you can freshen up the look with one new item while still using all of your old standards.
2) Try a grouping of small interesting items instead of one large centerpiece. We think this is totally key to creating a modern looking tablescape and it works especially well if you go for a monochromatic feel to the grouping, as shown in this photo.
3) Mix those patterns! If you follow step #1 (keep the color story simple) this one is a no-brainer. Mix up those patterns for an eclectic, interesting look.
4) Consider runners instead of tablecloths or placemats. This is an updated look which also lets your tabletop be part of the beauty.
5) Break the rules. We don't think your guests will mind if the mood strikes you to get creative with the napkin or silver arrangement.