Posts Tagged ‘Holiday Tablescapes’

So, you’ve got a houseful of guests arriving and are starting to go into panic mode because you want everything to be beautiful and wonderful and perfect!

Take a deep breath and relax! Remember, the most important thing about upcoming gatherings is building relationships not worrying about dust bunnies.

There are some simple things you can do now to help ease your stress load later this week.

If you will be serving your meal buffet style, here is an easy step-by-step guide to setting up a buffet table. And you can set it up now! No need to wait until the last-minute.

Start with a blank table. Get it positioned where you’d like to have your buffet. If you want the buffet to run down both sides of a table, make sure there is plenty of room for guests to get completely around it. I like to push my table against the wall because it gives me the opportunity to be a bit more creative with how I design the buffet.

Drape your table with a neutral cloth. You can use white or cream, but I like black best. It makes the colors on the table pop and come to life. It also hides spills and stains so your guests won’t worry because they can’t see it!  I use sheets a lot because they are inexpensive, easy care and come in a variety of sizes. Please ignore the fact I did not iron the wrinkles out of this sheet before putting on the table! Promise you will not tell my mother! Please!

Next, you want to add height to your table. Focus the tallest point off-center. I like to put it off to one side and create a bit of a “waterfall” effect. By that, I mean that your height is at the back and on one side and the height decreases as you come toward the other side and to the front. You want the highest point to be where  you will place your centerpiece. Think about what serving pieces you want to use and place height accordingly. For example, you wouldn’t place a huge platter on a small box. If you don’t have sturdy boxes, you can use stacks of books or even cooking pots turned upside down. As you can see, I’ve even used a little storage crate.

You are going to cover up your height elements (boxes) with another cloth that matches your base cloth. Hello beautiful black drape! Don’t worry about making it perfectly smooth. It won’t be. Embrace the lumps and wrinkles and give them a bit of a  fluff to look artistic.

Here is where your colors are going to start to pop. Choose a third cloth that goes with your theme, scheme or matches your serving pieces. The table I’m doing today is heavy on red with some cream accents, so I went with a traditional holiday plaid. You want to drape this casually over the table.

And the next thing you know, you’ve got a beautiful buffet ready to greet your guests. Go ahead and position all your serving pieces, tweak them to just how you like them and leave them there until you are ready to fill them with food. If there is a possibility you will forget what food goes in which serving dish, label them with sticky notes. You can get this table set up now and save yourself oodles of time the day your company is arriving. Just drape the entire table with another sheet to keep any dust (or kiddie fingers) from landing on the dishes.

Wasn’t that easy?

Now, go out there and create your own beautiful holiday buffet table!

Happy Holiday Entertaining!


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