Table Decoration Ideas | Table Setting Ideas

6 Chic Ways to Style Your Sustainable Stainless Steel Tableware

By Manasa Mantravadi



Time to Read: 9 min

Mealtime is a perfect way to come together with friends, family, and loved ones! Table settings become a great way to spruce up mealtime, making it more fun and allowing you to show your guests your personal style. 

About Ahimsa

Founded by a pediatrician and mom of three

Stainless steel is the only kid-friendly material recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics 

We are guided by a Scientific Advisory Council comprised of environmental and medical experts, guiding us in creating the safest products, following the latest science and promoting policy to protect human health and our planet

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Modern Table Setting Ideas with Sustainable Stainless Steel Tableware

Dining is a multisensory experience that goes beyond the food – it involves the visual appeal of your table setting, and stainless steel plates provide the perfect canvas for elevating your dinner presentation. Not only are they practical and durable, but their sleek and modern aesthetic makes them the perfect choice for those seeking a beautiful yet long-lasting. Below are 6 chic table setting ideas that I personally like to use to style my stainless steel plates.

1. Minimalist Elegance 

To cultivate an ambiance of timeless elegance, consider keeping your table setting simple and clean. Opting for a neutral color palette, such as pristine white or light gray, for your tablecloth and napkins provides a versatile canvas that allows other elements to shine. 

This minimalist backdrop serves as a perfect foil for the star of the show – a single stainless steel plate placed thoughtfully at each setting. This intentional choice not only emphasizes the clean lines and sleek design of the stainless steel but also allows its reflective surface to take center stage. The contrast of the neutral backdrop with the gleaming stainless steel plate creates a modern and sophisticated atmosphere that seamlessly transitions between casual gatherings and formal affairs. This is a simple, modern table setting idea that elevates the entire dining experience by highlighting the plate and its contents.

2. Explore Contrasting Textures

While stainless steel plates boast a sleek and shiny surface, there's a world of possibilities to explore when it comes to textures. Mix and match different textures to add interest to your table setting. You can get creative as you pair smooth stainless steel plates with textured linen napkins, rustic wooden chargers, or perhaps a tactile table runner. 

The contrast between the cool, polished surface of the plates and the inviting textures of these complementary elements transforms your dining setup into a visual feast. So feel free to experiment with a variety of textures – smooth meets rough, shiny meets tactile. The combination of different textures adds a touch of personality to your setting and creates an engaging atmosphere by virtue of the contrast between the plate and the materials underlying it.

3. Embrace the Rainbow

When it comes to enhancing the allure of rainbow stainless steel dishes, integrating a harmonious array of colors into your overall table setting is the key to creating a visually captivating and cohesive dining experience. Start by selecting table linens, such as placemats or table runners, in solid tones that complement the spectrum of hues in the dishes. Consider incorporating vibrant, complementary colors or contrasting shades to add depth and visual interest.

Extend the color palette to your choice of glassware, selecting colorful glasses or stemware that harmonize with the rainbow theme. This enhances the aesthetics and elevates the overall vibrancy of your table setting. To further accentuate the spectrum, experiment with colorful napkins or napkin rings that echo the tones present in the rainbow stainless steel dishes.

Floral arrangements or centerpieces featuring an assortment of fresh, colorful flowers can add a natural and dynamic touch to the table. Choose flowers that mirror or accentuate the colors of the dishes, creating a cohesive and beautiful table setting. For a finishing touch, consider colored candles or candle holders that complement the rainbow theme, casting a warm and inviting glow over the table. With rainbow stainless steel plates, you have a wide variety of options to choose from in the realm of tone and hue, so get creative and you’ll end up with a modern table setting idea to take pride in.

Stainless Steel Mealtime Essentials

4. Utilize Reusable Napkins

When you first bought stainless steel plates, it’s quite likely that sustainability was a key priority. This folds in perfectly with elevating your dining setup to a whole new level of chic, pairing reusable napkins with sleek stainless steel dishes is a trend that effortlessly merges style with sustainability. Opt for napkins crafted from organic cotton or recycled fibers, showcasing your commitment to eco-conscious living. 

When it comes to styling, the possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Fold these napkins into elegant shapes, such as a simple pocket or an intricate fan, adding a touch of sophistication to each place setting. Choose napkin rings that complement the modern aesthetics of your stainless steel dishes – metallic accents for a sleek look or nature-inspired rings for a rustic charm. 

Experiment with colors to set the mood, whether it's vibrant hues for a lively atmosphere or muted tones for a more serene feel. This is a modern table setting idea that blends perfectly with Ahimsa’s core values, using entirely sustainable materials while elevating the aesthetic appeal beyond what alternative dishware materials would allow you to do. To take it up a notch, place a basket of reusable cloth napkins within reach, encouraging your guests to use reusable napkins rather than their disposable counterparts. 

5. Embrace Seasonal Elements

Adjust your table setting according to the changing seasons and embrace the elements in nature. In the spring, incorporate pastel-colored accents and floral arrangements. As summer arrives, embrace the vibrancy of the season- think bold hues and a touch of beachy charm. Stainless steel dishes are also perfect for pool parties during the summer as you won’t have to worry about broken dishes around the pool and they help with retaining the temperature of your food and drinks. 

In the fall, opt for warm and earthy tones with seasonal foliage and rustic charm. During the winter, try incorporating warm, rich tones, plush textures and hints of sparkle. The stainless steel plates provide a timeless backdrop that effortlessly adapts to the evolving seasons, creating a dynamic and visually appealing dining experience no matter the time of year.

6. Metallic Mix

Let the versatility of stainless steel take center stage in your table setting and embrace other metals to compliment the dishes. Go beyond the ordinary by introducing the warm glow of gold or the rustic charm of copper as complementary elements. Try this: gilded cutlery, napkin rings with a hint of shimmer, or candle holders that are rich in metallic hues. The dynamic combination of these different metallic tones transforms your dining space into a haven of sophistication and glamor. The stainless steel plates, with their sleek foundation, become the perfect base, allowing the metallic accents to shine and infusing your dinners with a sense of elevated style. It's all about creating a dining experience that's not only beautiful but undeniably chic.

To make these table setting ideas go even further, you might try experimenting with our stainless steel bowls, giving a depth that plates can’t, creating a rich tapestry of shapes while you experiment with color.  

Styling your dinners with stainless steel plates opens up a world of possibilities, and the key lies in experimentation and creativity. Whether you prefer a minimalist, monochromatic, or a colorful approach, these plates can adapt to various styles and themes. Experiment with different textures, colors, and arrangements to revitalize your dinners and create memorable dining experiences. With a touch of creativity, your stainless steel plates can be more than just dinnerware – they can be a statement piece that enhances the overall aesthetics of your dining space, making each meal a celebration of style and sophistication.

Now that you’ve got your table setting ideas, you may be wondering what kinds of food should go on your children’s plates. Be sure to check out our mealtime guide for a list of ideas, sorted by the ages of the children you’re serving. 

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi is a board-certified pediatrician whose dedication to children’s health drove her to launch Ahimsa, the world's first colorful stainless steel dishes for kids. She was motivated by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ findings on harmful chemicals in plastic affecting children's well-being. Ahimsa has gained widespread recognition and been featured in media outlets such as Parents Magazine, the Today Show, The Oprah Magazine, and more.

Dr. Mantravadi received the esteemed “Physician Mentor of the Year” award at Indiana University School of Medicine in 2019. She was also named a Forbes Next 1000 Entrepreneur in 2021, with her inspiring story showcased on Good Morning America. She serves on the Council for Environmental Health and Climate Change and the Council for School Health at The American Academy of Pediatrics. She represents Ahimsa as a U.S. industry stakeholder on the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for the Global Plastics Treaty, led by the United Nations Environment Program. Dr. Mantravadi leads Ahimsa's social impact program, The Conscious Cafeteria Project, to reduce carbon emissions and safeguard student health as part of a national pilot of the Clinton Global Initiative.

She is dedicated to educating and empowering people to make healthier, more environmentally friendly choices at mealtime. Her mission remains to advocate for the health of all children and the one planet we will leave behind for them through real policy change within our food system.

More Mealtime Essentials

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use stainless steel instead of plastic? Is stainless steel better for health?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report in July 2018 suggesting ways that families can limit exposure to certain chemicals at mealtime, including “the use of alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible.” The report explained that “…some additives are put directly in foods, while “indirect” additives may include chemicals from plastic, glues, dyes, paper, cardboard”. Further, “Children are more sensitive to chemical exposures because they eat and drink more, relative to body weight, than adults do, and are still growing and developing.” While stainless steel items meet the recommendation to avoid plastic products in children, Ahimsa® products have the obvious advantage of not breaking like glass.

Is stainless steel better for the environment than plastic?

According to the Steel Recycling Institute, steel can be recycled over and over and over again without losing its integrity and requires less energy to recycle than to make anew. Most plastic unfortunately ends up in landfills and it is estimated to take 700 years to decompose. Our special coloring process that allows Ahimsa® products to be fully metal is environmentally friendly, so it does not produce toxic run-off into the ecosystem.

Will Ahimsa products break or peel?

No. Our steel is durable, so it won’t break or shatter with everyday use, like glass. And it won’t peel, like other colored stainless steel products you’ve seen. We use a special process that allows the colors to naturally occur in the metal.

Which Ahimsa products are best for my little one(s)?

Our products are meant to last, you can use Ahimsa at ages 1, 8 and 18! We thoughtfully design our products to be safe for little ones and our planet while reducing consumption. Once your child outgrows the Starting Solids Set  and can use regular cups and utensils, the training cup is the perfect size rinse cup in the bathroom, the infant spoon doubles as a tea stirrer and the bowl is great for snacks or as an additional compartment to our modular divided plate. Our plates are great for any age as they encourage choosing a variety of healthy foods at each meal and help visualize portion sizes easily. It’s the lasting beauty of stainless steel - grows with your child and reduces waste.

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