|Image: Southern Living|
To start off, I found this great diagram on how to properly set a formal dining table. It's always nice to have a reference to go to when you can't quite remember whether the soup spoon goes beside the dinner knife or on the other side of the teaspoon. Martha Stewart also offers some table setting tips, here.
Next, decide how you are going to dress your table. Table linens serve as an important base for building the rest of your table on and offer an opportunity to introduce color. For a bold holiday table, vibrant reds, oranges, and browns can be used to create an autumn scene. If you prefer a more simple, understated table, select neutral linens (think browns and creams) as a base and add color with your accessories.
|Image: Pottery Barn|
|Image: Better Homes and Gardens|
|Image: Apron Strings Aflutter|