How many times we hosted a dinner at home and we doubted: "Should I put this fork?" "In which order should I put the knives?". It is much easier than it seems!
You will only need to remember those few precious rules:
1. The order of the utensils placed on a table is from outside to inside. The utensils on the outside will be the ones you will use first.
2. Knives and spoons go to the right
3. Forks go to the left
4. Only set the utensils you will use
5. Knife blades always look at the plate
6. Start your set up by placing the plates first
Based on the meal you are serving and on the type of event there are three different set ups. The first one is very basic and indicated for a one course meal.
You will position the fork on the left with the napkin and the knife and spoon on the right. You will only set one glass on the right side and a non-serrated table knife for butter with a small plate on the left side.
Informal Table Setting
The picture is quite self-explanatory but here are a few things to remember: you will put two forks that will be set in order of use with the one on the outside to be the first. Follow the same concept with the spoons.
At an informal meal, the knife can be used for all courses so you will only need one. The salad plate is placed on the left near the forks. You can also place a coffee cup on the right side of the table even though I personally prefer to serve the coffee (an espresso!) after the meal and without putting the cup and plate on the table (This is how Italians do!)
Formal Table Setting
In the formal table setting there is no coffee cup nor dessert fork and spoon. They will be brought later on during the meal.
You will set a charger on top of which the napkin will be positioned.
You will be able to use up to five types of glasses on the table. They are usually positioned in the order they will be used. Keep the water glass closer to the center. All other glasses will be removed at the end of the course they were used.