One of the most common (and efficient) ways to serve dinner to a group is with a buffet, especially if you can set up multiple stations.
Although a large seating piece is great for "the big game," at cocktail and dinner parties you'll want to encourage more intimate mingling.
It's better to select a round dining table instead of an angular one. That way, no one is stuck at a corner. Photo: Stanley Furniture
Details Set the Mood
- Lighting: Johnna Barrett of Barrett Design in Atlanta and Abu Dhabi calls lighting the most critical element to setting the right mood. For parties, she suggests dimming lights and using candles with protectors to add ambiance.
- Kitchen Concerns: This room is everyone's favorite place to congregate. If you have the chance to revamp it, Barrett suggests orienting the cooking area outward on an island, so the host can face guests.
- Themes!: Let your creativity run wild. Barrett suggests creating small themed vignettes by gathering decorative items, food and lighting together. This creates a special touch and draws attention away from your everyday décor.
Simple ways your furniture can make your home the ultimate party spot.
- by Jacqueline Rupp
Spaces designed for entertaining are a major real estate selling point. Yet, when it comes time to decorate, this aspect of your house can get overlooked. How can you make your home comfortable for everyday living but also fully accommodating for a large number of guests? It's easier than you think, so let's get this party started!
Good for Groups
Don't make the mistake of thinking you need a gigantic sectional in order to seat your friends. Although a large seating piece is great for "the big game," at cocktail and dinner parties you'll want to encourage more intimate mingling. Johnna Barrett of Barrett Design in Atlanta and Abu Dhabi, advises clients to space furniture into small groupings so that several people can gather in one area and have all they need: lighting, table and seating. "Look for furniture that's multifunctional. There are coffee tables for instance that also have a pull-out ottoman so you can seat four to six people on and around an item like this."
"Furniture no longer needs to be static," says Michael Nickel, owner of StoneLite Furniture. Nickel's furniture is designed to convert into many functional pieces in less than five minutes, and store away when not needed. "Our granite and marble panels have the beauty of natural stone but none of the major detractions of weight: You can put it together, take it apart, put in your closet and put in back together." Pieces like StoneLite are perfect for entertaining because you can add to them and reconfigure based on your current style and needs. Unique pieces are also great conversation starters. "I always thought a key part to entertaining is that interesting conversations need interesting people, and that interesting people need interesting rooms," adds Nickel.
Dinning in Style
For a formal dinner party, Barrett says it's better to select a round dining table instead of an angular one. "Then, no one is stuck at a corner and you'd be amazed at the flexibility it offers. You can fit six people comfortably, but squeeze in a few extra chairs and get ten people around that same table." She also suggests smaller-scaled dining chairs, which can be moved into other rooms when not at the table.
One of the most common (and efficient) ways to serve dinner to a group is with a buffet. However, Barrett says to step away from this tradition and opt for a more interesting presentation. "Multiple little stations allow you to avoid the line-up of guests waiting with plate in hand. Get creative with the serving stations, use pieces like consoles, a buffet, even a short media cabinet." For parties where only snacks are served, Barrett says to, "Scatter your appetizers all around the entertaining areas. Make a table for chips, one for hot appetizers and another for sweets. This will encourage people to mingle and get conversations started in a very natural way."