Not enough matching pieces
The antithesis of a decorator here, I'm taking my queue from this forum and trying my setup beforehand. It's not going well. LOL!
I'm having 7 total for dinner tomorrow and, other than some new napkins, I don't have 7 matching *anything*! I'm having lots of food (multiple courses) and that requires tons of space on the table, so it looks pretty full even without the food service dishes, and I think that "busyness" helps. I added two wine carafes and they definitely improved the look of things. lol!
I have more than a few sets of dishes, placemats, napkins, etc., but they're all sets of 2 or 4, and the odd 6, and they don't complement each other very well. Some I buy or make, but many were given to me as gifts from my mother and sisters, so they seldom match well. :) The sets I've chosen contain different shades of blue and yellow, so they're the best of the available combinations, I think.
I decided to put 3 matched sets on one side, and 4 matched sets at the ends and other side. I'd probably alternate the different settings if it were an even number of people. My BF suggested that I give each person a completely different placesetting -- I think he was kidding, but you never know. LOL!
It's too ugly to take and post a pic. here. lol! None of my placemats work w/ the pretty bare table beneath, and none of my tablecloths work with the other combinations. I just thought of using oval paper doilies as placemats, but I'm going to see if I can get a tablecloth today. That should help.
Do you only invite as many guests as you have matched pieces?! and space?!?! lol! I have a *tiny* kitchen. On the bright side, a friend gave me a small spray of yellow roses and carnations yesterday, and since both dish sets have a bit of yellow too, they will work nicely after I choose a better vase and cut the stems shorter. :O)