The Perfect Host

Design Tips

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Perfect Host

Photos courtesy of Dan Davis
Photos courtesy of Dan Davis

With Halloween behind us, we are officially into the holiday season. Many of us will be hosting friends and family in the coming weeks, so we thought it appropriate to ask a few of our designers for some of their top entertaining tips:

“It’s not just about the table. Bring color or thematic pieces to the buffet, or even the next room. This makes the event a little more grand, and invites guests to explore a little more. For a French-Rustic themed table, I used copper colanders and all green flowers and vegetables. We also placed a copper fish steamer on a coffee table in the next room. In it, we placed an orchid, green moss, and carved out green apples to hold tea lights. The host served champagne in this sitting area before they all sat down to the table.” – Dan Davis, Dan Davis Design

“Try to tailor your décor to match the personalities of your guests. We did a table setting recently for a kid’s event. This whimsical setting could be a great way to switch things up and decorate for the holidays. Menus were ‘cootie catchers’, glasses were milk bottles, fun stuff!” – Barbi Krass, Colorworks Studio

“Plan ahead! Setting the table a day ahead will provide you with extra time to prep the perfect meal. I tell my clients to use their nicer items that may be locked up in the attic, but these items often need to be polished. I do all my silver polishing three days ahead so it's all ready, to avoid last minute stress. I also suggest minimizing the table centerpiece a bit. As a former floral designer, I tend to get carried away with elaborate florals. So I lower the flowers in bowls instead of tall vases, and opt for tea lights around the base. It gives the same lovely feel without the obstructive view.” – Linda Winborn Minster, Linda Winborn Designs

“When it comes to the holidays and entertaining, my favorite part is setting the table! The china and crystal come out as well as things that have been passed down through the generations. I offset the "formality" of it all by adding Christmas tree stumps from the previous year.” – Tanya Hamilton, Studio Tanya Interior Design

“When hosting family and friends, I dim the lighting to set the tone – it has been tested and proven that people look best in candlelight! I’ve also learned that favors never go out of style. They don’t need to break the bank either. Try something as easy as visiting a local nursery and picking up succulents, planting them in pretty pots, wrapping them up nicely, and placing them at each table setting. They act as an organic, pretty memento from the day/event.” – Corey Damen Jenkins, Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates

“I like to incorporate natural elements to my designs when hosting. For Thanksgiving this year, I plan to incorporate some beautiful gourds, which have become increasingly more available in recent years. To celebrate the true meaning of the holiday, I’m planning on covering the table with craft paper to allow my family members to document what they are most thankful for this year.” – Jill Schumacher, Rariden Shumacher Mio

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