Angela Beck
Founder and Creative Director of Pomegranate Inc.

Published August 17, 2020

Whether the kids are going back to classrooms, gearing up for e-learning, or you’re prepping for homeschool (or a combination of the above), it’s back-to-school season… but this September is going to look a little different. One thing that’s a constant: family dinners. We’re big believers in them, whenever they can happen, and in whatever form they take. And we’ve always felt that an important element of dinner prep is involving the kids—to teach them that dinner doesn’t just magically appear on the table, to instill responsibility, to spend a few quiet moments together without screens, because an extra set of hands (even those belonging to sticky six-year-olds or sullen teenagers)—is always helpful. The perfect job: setting the table.

Yes, it helps if you have raw materials that bring you joy. We recommend our Porte Cochère placemats (or navy linen placemats to match) and matching napkins, which are three-season appropriate and feature a stain-forgiving navy blue border, and then encouraging these easy steps:

  1. Set out placemats so they sit in front of each chair, and make sure they’re not upside down! (Hint for kiddos: the topiary thingies should look like lollipops.)
  2. Put down the napkins on the left, folded in a rectangle. For extra credit, and a fun diversion, try some of these fancy folding techniques.
  3. Forks go on the left, on top of the napkin
  4. Knives go on the right, with the blade facing inwards. Kids will appreciate this: in medieval times, if a knife was set with the blade facing out, it was considered a sign of aggression against your neighbor. Back then, the same knives were used for eating as for fighting battles! Yikes! 
  5. If you’re having soup or anything else that requires a spoon, that spoon goes to the right of the knife.
  6. If dessert is in the cards, the dessert fork or spoon sits horizontally above the plate. (Forks face with its tines to the right; spoons face to the left)
  7. Water glasses go on the right above the knife.

Penelope, our beloved pug, is always underfoot when food is involved.

A quick, layered table with flowers from the garden.

And voila! Kids feel accomplished, you have one less thing to do, and you’ll all get to sit at a beautiful table. 

PS: feel free to print and tape this to the fridge! It can also be a good reminder for guests, babysitters, husbands, etc. 😂 😂 😂


Thanks for reading along,

Angela Beck