On the first Tuesday of each month, Jennifer of Dimples & Tangles, Kris of Driven by Decor, Lisa of Shine Your Light, and Pam of Simple Details host a “My Five Favorites” series. For this month’s theme, favorite tabletop and entertaining accessories, I was beyond thrilled that they asked me to participate as a guest co-host. If you are a regular reader, you know tabletops and entertaining are my most favorite things ever as they provide plenty of opportunity to infuse all things “gracious living”. Growing up as a product of my mother and mother’s mother, I watched as they catered to each of their guests and made each gathering an “event”.
A few general “rules” I learned from them are:
- If you are expecting two guests, prepare for four. It’s always better to have too much than not enough.
- Take everything out of the package. Take an extra step to even pour condiments into individual bowls; your guests will appreciate the extra special effort.
- If you are preparing a buffet/food table, stage all of your serving pieces so you know all the pieces you will use and places they will go ahead of time.
I have followed the Five Favorites series for a while and each of these ladies always share so many incredible ideas, you won’t want to miss their five favs for this month. I will link to each of their “favorites” posts at the bottom of the blog. The entertaining elements I am focusing on today are collections of accessories and practices that I have carried with me through the years. If you come back to visit, and I hope you will, you will probably see some of these popping up pretty often 😉
I firmly believe if you style your food setup, you can make potato chips look fancy. Because I am all about the presentation when hosting, the majority of my kitchen cabinets have been taken over with serving pieces. A LOT of serving pieces. My favorites that have proven to be versatile time and again, both in display and functionality, are my appetizer boards. While I don’t keep much on my countertops, this wooden paddle board and this marble cheese board are permanent fixtures AND my go-to’s for serving apps around the kitchen island. You can use them to elevate bowls/plates, or, use them as the direct serving piece.
| From my recent ladies night HERE |
| From my Father’s Day Table for Pottery Barn HERE |
| From my summer home tour HERE |
Arguably, my favorite component of creating a new table is constructing the centerpiece. If faced between something sweet and modest or something over the top and borderline obnoxious, I will go for the big ‘ol, in-your-face statement every time. I’m not an artist. But, dreaming up concepts and pulling together tables makes me feel like I am. My recipe for a centerpiece is natural elements, a unique vessel, and lots of ambient lighting. When I’m working on a floral arrangement, I typically keep stuffing stems in until I think I’m done… then I add a lot more. 😉
| From my fall table and chicken tortilla soup recipe HERE |
| From my copper Christmas table HERE |
| From my pink flamingo ladies luncheon HERE |
| From my white vase challenge HERE |
Whether you have a bar cart (HERE), a tray table (HERE), or simply clear a space on your kitchen counter, a dedicated area for serving beverages is practical and fun. Setting up a little station/bar for your guests is a special touch that will remind them they are being hosted. And, who doesn’t like to build their own ultimate, customized drink? Think of a theme and go nuts with accompaniments.
| From my hot chocolate bar HERE |
| From my ladies night/chili bar HERE |
| From my MTO mimosas HERE |
| From my ultimate Bloody Mary bar HERE |
If you only have one set of dishes, make them white. Your napkins can easily do the work of changing up the look of your table with a simple switch-up. I recent shared a post on the difference one napkin can make (HERE) where I displayed a series of one place setting with the napkin as the only changing element. Some other reasons you need more napkins in your life? You can instantly add a fun pattern without committing to dishes, they are inexpensive, and, they are easy to store. I have about 30 sets and don’t regret a single one.
| From my Fourth of July table HERE |
| From my progressive dinner party and mango salsa tilapia post HERE |
| From Easter table HERE |
| From my peacock table HERE |
| From my napkin post HERE |
Yes, place cards are practical. But, the reason I love them is because they can dress up even the most casual tables. You can get creative with your place cards (they don’t have to be cards at all), but I typically stick to a simple white card stock with my go-to, Edwardian Script.
| From my Thanksgiving table HERE |
| From my Mother’s Day table and peach cobbler recipe HERE |
A sneak peek of an upcoming Gothic dinner party. Stay tuned!
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A special thank you to the wonderful hosts who invited me to participate in this month’s Five Favorites; you can check out each of their top tabletop and entertaining accessories by visiting them below.
For a full list of my tablescapes, you can visit my table gallery HERE. Each of my posts contain full product listings and sources.
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