Holiday Entertaining: Thanksgiving Buffet Tips

Turning Thanksgiving dinner into a buffet-style extravaganza is a surefire way to ease tension when you’re home (and hosting) for the holidays, especially when the meal itself takes days to prepare. Spend less time cleaning and more time eating – and let guests fill up on as many waistband-stretching helpings as they please – with these self-serve tips.

Location, location, location.
Be creative with your table placement. If you have both a kitchen and dining room, it’s easy to create separate zones for serving and eating. If not, you can host the buffet on a wooden sideboard, a dresser, a desk – or even a door propped up on sawhorses and covered with a floor-length tablecloth. Just try to keep the table away from the wall so guests can access it from all sides, and set up the décor and serving dishes the night before.

Define your color palette and style it seasonally.
Floral arrangements need not apply. Instead, take cues from seasonal bounty and style the table with gourds, grapevines, or crab apple branches. You can also place clustered vignettes (try any combination of rose hips, artichokes, beets, eggplants, mini pumpkins, and sweet peppers) between your serving dishes for a dazzling, colorful spread. If you’re craving candles, choose the flameless variety – no one wants a side of smoking sleeves with their sweet potatoes.

To create additional serving space, stack vintage wooden cheese boxes or bricks wrapped in cloth napkins, then place your platters and décor on different heights to spur visual interest and increase functionality. Just keep it classy, not cluttered, and make sure everything is stable. You can even move décor to baskets on the floor, mantel, or side tables to make more room for the all-important food.

Continue reading “Holiday Entertaining: Thanksgiving Buffet Tips” »


November 21, 2012

Prep Your Holiday Table: DIY Napkin Rings

Planning ahead is the key to breezing your way through the holiday season. Once you’ve decided on your plates, serveware, and menu, it’s time to set the table – and crafting your own napkin rings is a simple and fun way to add personality and style.

Prep Your Holiday Table: DIY Napkin Rings

Photos courtesy of Miki Duisterhof via Eddie Ross (left, right) and Heather Rowley via The Creative Patch (middle).

Bold Texture
You can create a variation on these ribbon napkin rings to spruce up white or cream linens. Coordinate with your holiday table’s colors when you select your ribbon, trim, and burlap, and add buttons, lace, or vintage jewelry. If you love the idea of crafting with jewelry as much as I do, Eddie Ross’s vintage brooch napkin rings will help you outfit your tablescape in luxurious, textured style.

Thanksgiving Harvest
Bring a harvest feel to your Thanksgiving dinner table with acorn napkin rings. All you need is a drill with a tiny bit, some thin craft wire, and about ten acorns per place setting. Pair the rings with red or orange cloth napkins, then add acorns to your centerpiece to complete the rustic feel. You can also use some ribbon and a pearl for a different take on the same idea.

Holiday Hosting
As the go-to host, head into dinner-party season armed with festive wreath napkin rings. The small grapevine wreaths and holiday-hued ribbon should be available at any craft store. If your color scheme is more winter-themed – white, blue, or silver – try these jingle bell napkin rings to combine whimsy and class.

For the kids’ table, you can’t go wrong with Santa belt napkin rings – and they come with the added benefit of enticing youngsters with an arts and crafts project at the kitchen table while you baste the turkey or carve the holiday ham.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer 

What’s your favorite holiday-table DIY project? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @ruelala. 

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.


November 7, 2012

Five Tips for an Inspired Thanksgiving Table

November 1. Can you believe it? I swear last week it was summer. But alas, here we are – and I’m already starting to think about all the glittering, butterflies-in-your-stomach-inducing wonders of the holidays.

First up? Thanksgiving dinner. This year, impress guests with more than that expertly basted turkey thanks to these five tips for your best tablescape yet. (Trust me, Pinterest-perfect is possible. It just requires planning.)

1. Find your inspiration. Pinterest is rife with Thanksgiving tablescapes – from the simple to the lavish. Start a board online, or print out your favorites and create your own real-life “pinboard.”

2. Settle on a color scheme, then go from there. Bronzey brown, white, and silver. All white with touches of gold and cream. This year, I’m all about warm, spicy colors and shimmery metallics paired with cream or white, but don’t be afraid to play with bold color. Rich turquoisey blue really pops against a rustic farmhouse table.

3. Brush up on table setting rules. Remember what your mother told you: Forks go on the left, spoons and knives on the right, placed in the order that they will be used. Visualize it here.

4. Layer, layer, layer. There’s no rule against layering tablecloths. Try a neutral tablecloth underneath a gold or lush brocade runner. I’m also a firm believer that two (or three) plates are better than one. Start with a charger, add a dinner plate, then finish the look with a salad plate. Bonus points for varied colors and patterns.

5. Don’t forget the accents. Think place-card holders and candles. Find them in today’s Boutique or make your own. For place-card holders, stencil miniature pumpkins with guests’ initials or first names, or try a variation on these whimsical little animal figurines. Simply spray-paint turkey or bird figurines gold or white, add labels, and voilà. I also love these DIY gourd votives that Emily, one of our lovely Rue staff writers, taught us how to make.

Find everything for that perfect Thanksgiving tablescape – plus cuisine, cookware, and more – in our Feast of Thanks: Serve the Guests, Feast of Thanks: Let’s Eat, and Feast of Thanks: For the Cook Boutiques, opening Thursday, November 1, at 3PM ET.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

 

Pin It

November 1, 2012