If you decorate your house for Christmas, then it should be pretty easy to throw in a few touches for a pre-pub-crawl party. Cover the table in a festive plaid tablecloth ($40), then place the food on a white serving platter, decorative tray — I love this reindeer one ($5) — or red bowl. Light candles and plug in the lights on your tree. Fill a bucket with ice and drinks and serve the cocktail in a punch bowl. Candy canes are a great party favor and a sprig of mistletoe is sure to add some excitement!
Last night I hosted a holiday dinner party, and while I checked out the seasonal serving ware from Sur La Table the other day, I simply couldn't afford it. However, that didn't stop me from creating a beautiful and festive table presentation. My quick and inexpensive ingredient? Tinsel! It comes in every color imaginable and a lot goes a long way. Wind around candles like I did, or create neat rows across the table. When it was dark and the candles were lit, the tinsel glowed and sparkled. It was perfect for a celebratory meal!
How are you decorating your holiday table? Share your suggestions with us below.
Keep things chic, simple, and elegant for a Hanukkah cocktail party. Make the menorah the focal point and let everything else fade into the background. Serve the latkes on a large silver platter and the crostini on a wooden board. Display the orange cake on a white cake stand and stack small square plates, like these one from Crate & Barrel ($20) near the food. Light lots of candles, arrange a bouquet of pretty flowers, and pick up disposable Hanukkah napkins from the local party supply store. Set a carafe with blood orange juice on the bar and place glasses (I love this 8-piece Sierra Set $11) in neat rows next to it. Don't forget to fill bowls with chocolate gelt!
How are you celebrating Hanukkah?
Every November, I dream of a gorgeous Thanksgiving tablescape with crafty handmade placecards. But with the menu planning, preparation, and cooking, there's never any time! If you find yourself too busy for Martha Stewart-esque placecards, here's a fun idea for dressing the table.
Have the kids go outside and find the flattest, most colorful leaves. Bring them inside and using a special marker and nice handwriting, write the name of each guest on a different leaf. Set in the middle of the plates and voilà: you've got an instant, easy, and seasonal placecard. Do you make placecards?
For our vegetarian Thanksgiving last week, we chose a forest-inspired table with a botanical motif, but since this menu is inspired by California’s unseasonally sunny weather, we’ll stick with a warm Autumnal palette of oranges and reds.
Each guest will have shellfish picks ($11) and crab crackers ($16 for two) for digging into the appetizer, and mini porcelain bowls ($24 for four) for dipping into the horseradish mayo. A cheery Le Creuset baking dish ($25) will serve double duty as a serving dish for the sourdough stuffing — we're all about minimizing cleanup! Fall-themed votives ($15 for three) will be scattered around the table to create a warm, inviting glow, and fun metallic placemats ($72) will liven up each place setting. Click on the items above to shop the rest of the look, and tell us if there’s anything you’d add!
Inspiration for a beautiful table setting can be found anywhere! This look was inspired by the forests of Southern California's Sierra Nevada. Shades of green are layered with browns and accented with wood and leaf motifs. Since the vegetarian meal features an edible cornucopia, I thought it would be fun to incorporate cornucopias into the decor. Aren't these woven ones ($50-$90) from Pottery Barn filled with pumpkins and squash delightful? Small details like Crate & Barrel's leaf napkin rings ($2) and World Market's birch pillar candles ($8-$11) provide an earthy rustic quality to the tablescape, while velvet ribbon and stemless glasses add a sophisticated lushness. Candles and a seasonal bouquet of flowers are a must.
How are you decorating your table this Thanksgiving?
The colors gold and white come together splendidly on a Thanksgiving table. Set the table with a gorgeous brocade cloth, I love this one with matching place mats and napkins from Waterford Table Linens ($42-$80), and place a gold charger (at $10, Charter Club's set of four is affordable) in front of each chair. Top with a white plate and elegant flatware. Serve the meal on large white platters and pour the cocktail in goblet-shaped wine glasses like these ones from Cooking ($31). Don't forget a pretty pie dish, mood-enhancing candles, and a bouquet of seasonal flowers.
How do you plan on decorating for Thanksgiving? Share with us below!
When hosting a dinner party with a holiday theme, like Halloween, it's very easy to come up with a decorating plan. Simply use the colors (orange and black) and symbols (jack-o'-lanterns, witches, ghosts, etc.) that are normally associated with the holiday. Plug in festive orange and black lights, and set out glittery silver skulls. Mix cocktails in a black cocktail shaker like this one from Pottery Barn ($15) and pour into snake-wrapped martini glasses. Serve the bats and cobwebs straight from the gratin dish and plate the scream cheese brownies on a ghost-shaped platter such as this one ($2) by Crate & Barrel. For a colorful spooktacular table, set with black plates and orange napkins. Glowing carved pumpkins complete the eerie look.
How have you decorated for Halloween?
With a few simple additions, one can transform an everyday dining room into a harvest-themed haven. Start by putting a festive wreath on the front door, guests will be in the spirit from the moment they arrive. Cover the table in a luxurious army green cloth and set with cream-colored plates. Bake the potpies in individual vessels like these Le Crueset ramekins (which are on sale for $10). Pumpkins and gourds double as decorations when arranged with pretty votives on the table. Place a punch bowl on a nearby banquet table and have everyone help themselves to a glass of kumquat-pomegranate punch. Serve the pumpkin rice pudding in clear glass bowls — I love this set of 12 from Crate & Barrel ($19). Don't forget mood lighting and a bouquet of fresh seasonal flowers!
Have you hosted a dinner party recently? How did you decorate the table?
Fresh and simple are the words that come to mind when I think of a no-labor Labor Day barbecue's decor. Host things casually outside and cover the table with a classic checkered red and white tablecloth like this one from Sur La Table. On a side table, set up an informal bar with a lemonade jar (this one is from Cooking) filled with Pimm's Cup and place glasses and an ice bucket nearby. Serve the burgers on a large tray and the salad in a red bowl. Light candles and fill a vase with white daisies. A colorful printed napkin adds an element of playfulness to the look. Are you hosting a Labor Day bash? Share your decorating plan below!