Control tabletop clutter on the front end by defining the number of place settings you want to maintain before reaching for paper plates or calling a party supplier.
Choose a simple, undecorated basic form and add glasses and flatware that are harmonious. The on-line replacement service located in the southeast is a good place to window-shop.
Buy all the serving pieces of the flatware and at least twice as many glasses, bowls, teaspoons, and salad forks as your defined inventory. Buy one or two back-up units of each place setting in case it goes out of production. Doing so will double or quadruple the usable life of the pattern, and make the most of one irreplaceable cost of acquisition, your time and attention.
Scout thrift stores and on-line resources to develop an eye for inexpensive catchy, stylish table accessories that quickly pall. Cost per use is the real price of an item, along with the cost of acquisition. Three hundred dollar's worth of Swedish glass ends up a better value than a pretentious two-bit design from a big box chain. Use a canning jar, perhaps covered with a brown lunch bag tied with a bow, in lieu of a hollow forgery of style. -30-