Use antique sheet to create a creative and sophisticated placemat. Tear two connected sheets out of a music book and spread open at each place. Vintage and antique music is readily available at thrift stores, flea markets and online auctions.
Top a silver charger with an ironstone dinner plate, then a silver bread plate. Then, roll a white linen monogrammed napkin in a simple silver ring. All of these pieces were purchased from thrift stores and yard sales, proving a fine table doesn't have to cost a fortune.
It's a shame for sterling flatware, especially family heirlooms, to sit in a chest unused. Bring it out for special occasions and holidays. Don't overwhelm your guests with all of the formal pieces; instead, add one or two quirky forks or spoons as showstopping conversation starters.
Formal dining doesn't have to be fussy. The mismatched glass goblets and loosely arranged centerpiece keeps this table from feeling too stuffy, while sterling silver, linen napkins and place cards keep it dressy enough for holiday dining. Strike a balance that's comfortable for you, your family and guests.