Peppermint lattes. The Hallmark Channel. Mariah Carey. What do these three totally random things have in common? Ding ding ding, it's the Holiday season! That’s right folks, it’s time to pack away the Halloween decor and bring back everything reindeer and snowflakes.
Apart from pretty decorations and cute movies, we all know how hectic the Holiday season can be. Between finding the perfect gifts and the idea of hosting the perfect get-together at your house for your loved ones, this time of the year can also be downright anxiety-ridden. Where’s everybody going to sit? Is the table going to be big enough for everyone AND all the food? My dining room is so messy, WHERE AM I GOING TO PUT ALL THIS STUFF?? It’s okay. In the great words of Taylor Swift, “Breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, breathe out.” The functionality and beauty of your dining space doesn’t have to be a stressful factor. You got this, and we’re here to help you every step of the way with four easy steps!
Start your party right by decluttering your dining room.
Step 1 - Time to Declutter
Before doing anything, the best way to keep your cool when planning your Holiday party is to first organize and declutter. The documents you have sprawled on your dining table? Time to find a place for those. The dining chair that’s home to cardigans and jackets? (No judgment, we all do it). Hang those bad boys up in the closet. Anything else you have sprawled in the space without a home? Put it away! The aim here is to determine the true space you’re working with. Not only will you feel a little less frazzled, but it’ll also make it easier for you to decide what changes or updates you need to make to your space.
Curios and Cabinets
If you find that you don’t have the storage space you need in your dining area, a great option would be to invest in a curio or cabinet. Curios and cabinets come in many different styles and colors and are sure to be a match in your dining room. Use a curio with a glass door to beautifully display the bowls and mugs you bought that you haven’t gotten the chance to put away yet. Use a cabinet without a glass door as a giant junk drawer (it’s okay, no shame). You can even use these as a surface to display some of your holiday decor! However you use them, they’re great tools if you need additional storage space in your dining room.
Servers and Buffets
Now that you’ve decluttered, congratulations! You should now have a better idea of the surface area and general space you’re working with for your Holiday party. And now you can determine if the amount of food and drinks you plan to serve will be feasible once the big day arrives. If you’re looking around and thinking to yourself, “Hm, my massive charcuterie board is definitely not going to fit on this table,” then it might be worth investing in a server or buffet.
Servers and buffets allow you to serve your food without cluttering your table. Dining room servers hold the food in a way that will ensure that nothing is causing interference for entertaining your guests. You can also use a server to display your appetizers, snacks, hors d’oeuvres, and that incredible charcuterie board!
Congratulations - you’ve officially decluttered and made way for you and your loved ones to feast for the Holidays! But you’re not quite out of the woods yet. Is your dining table prepared to bear the weight of that Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham? Is it large enough for all your guests? Do you have enough seating? This is where our next step comes into play.
Is your dining room overdue for a refresh?
Step 2 - Time for an Update
Now that you’ve decluttered and can see all the details of your dining room for the first time in a long time, maybe you’re noticing things about your furniture that you haven’t thought of previously. Maybe that hand-me-down table from college isn’t looking too hot, or it’s a lot smaller than you remember it being. And now that you think of it, your chairs are a little rickety. You don’t want Aunt Marge to take a seat only to have a leg crack underneath her. Of course, this may not be the case for everyone! But, if you are in need of a new dining table and chairs, we have a few tips of what to look for when shopping for your dining space.
Space-Saving Dining Tables
First, when shopping for a dining table in this particular case, we recommend looking for a table with a butterfly leaf, drop-leaf, or one that is extendable or expandable. These kinds of features will allow you to have your day-to-day table, but also give you the option to make it larger, providing for more seating space and surface area. Or, if you’re not planning on having a plethora of food, they also make more room for your holiday decorations!
Seating for Company
Next, seating. If you’re looking to upgrade your dining room seating, you can either go for a chair or a bench. A chair will provide a classic dining experience - nothing out of the ordinary, just the comfortable seating you’ve come to know and love. A bench, on the other hand, is a seating option you might want to consider if you want to add a little spice to your occasion. Not only will a bench provide an optical illusion that’ll give the impression that there’s more space in your dining room, but if you really wanted to, you could squeeze more people onto a bench (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone). Either way, your guests will be impressed by your new furniture!
Less Stress with Dining Sets
Looking for the whole package? Try shopping for a complete dining set to really bring your stress level down. A complete matching set without having to worry about style and color matching? Trust us, this truly is the easiest way to go.
Okay, we’re making progress. Your dining space is looking spacious and gorgeous thanks to the upgrades you made. And now that you have the big pieces of the puzzle out of the way, you can pay attention to the fun stuff in the next step - It’s all about those details!
Elevate the entire event with unique place settings.
Step 3 - Set the Scene
Grab those runners and placemats, it’s time to decorate, baby! One way to really wow your guests at your Holiday party is with your table setting. Yes, it includes the plates and silverware. But to really take your table setting to the next level, there are many kinds of dinnerware and table linens you can use.
Nope, these are not little elves that run from one end of your table to the other asking your guests if they’d like more wine. If you’ve never seen a table runner before, it’s essentially a very thin tablecloth that covers just the middle of your table. Incorporating a table runner is a great way to add texture and a pop of color to your setting. If you’re going for a classier holiday look, then consider a neutral table runner with a slight shimmer. Or, if you’re going all-out holly-jolly, then bright colors and sparkles or even sequins may be the way to go. It’s all about your own personal style, so do what brings you joy!
We all know the plastic placemats we used as kids. You know, the kind with characters from your favorite cartoon smiling up at you while you eat your macaroni and cheese? Well, believe it or not, placemats are for adults too! Just, sans the cartoon characters. Not only do placemats provide an additional pop or color and texture like table runners, but they also are essential to the ease of your holiday cleanup. Because no matter how old someone is, they can still make a mess! Using placemats means less scrubbing your table from the butter that fell off of Uncle Richard’s bread and more mingling with your guests.
No table setting is complete without some kind of centerpiece! This is where accent pieces come to play. From (scentless) candles, to vases with greenery, to holiday statuettes, you can really let your creative juices flow when picking out what you want to highlight in the middle of your table.
So you’ve decluttered, updated your furniture, and set the mood with your table setting. You can consider a pro holiday party planner! You can stop here and get ready for your next gathering, or you can take your plan one step further.
It's easier to focus your attention on entertaining your guests without the worry of unprotected furniture.
Step 4 - Peace of Mind
You’ve put a lot of time, effort, and money into making sure your dining space is perfect for the holidays. Don’t let a mishap ruin your investment! You can protect the appearance of your new furniture with a protection plan. Say your new puppy got tired of his chew toy and decided to use the legs of your new dining chairs as a bone - with a protection plan in place, a certified technician will come to your home to help. And if they can’t, the item(s) can be replaced. Of course, a protection plan isn’t necessary, but it could definitely help you in the long run!
And there you have it. Holiday planning made little easier! Go forth and conquer the season!