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The second we hear “Labor Day weekend,” our mind goes to two places: First, all the great sales, and then the holiday season creeping up on the other side of summer. While the latter starts stirring up warm thoughts of get-togethers with loved ones, it may also induce a slight panic around setting the perfect dinner scene. But in a recent Instagram post, Nate Berkus shared that his job during parties is to set the table (his husband and fellow designer, Jeremiah Brent, is in charge of the cooking), and he dropped some key tips that have us looking forward to hosting. Here’s what he spilled.

Lay the Foundation by Hand

Berkus is all about that handmade vibe. And forget tablecloths—he swears by placemats, specifically the woven variety because they add warmth and texture to the tablescape. 

Play Dress-Up 

Cloth napkins are where it’s at, according to the designer. They add a touch of class, and when paired with the right rings (like the tortoiseshell choice in his post), they can turn any table into a visual feast. 

Bond Over Bread

Who knew these little plates could be so meaningful? Berkus always has one on the table. It’s not just for your favorite form of carbs—it’s a symbol of coming together over more than just a meal.

Make It a Medley

Don’t stress about matching glasses. Mix old and new, big and small, and interchange your wine and water vessels. The end result is like an orchestra that tells your personal style story.

Break Out the Goods

Berkus’s best piece of advice? Use your fancy things. He brings out his prized silver sets whether it’s a chill hangout or a posh dinner party. Life’s too short not to enjoy the good stuff.