With holiday celebrations on the horizon, save time when setting the table for a family dinner or friendly gathering by keeping all the basics for entertaining in one central and handy spot.
Use a unique, statement-making piece that belies its basic function. Here, an old kitchen cabinet adds character, texture, and warmth.
Designate one cupboard for drinking vessels, stemware, glasses, pitchers, and tea or coffee service items. If you have room, fit in a few decorative pieces for the table such as silver trays and compotes.
Use the back of the cabinet door to hang a place setting chart or other handy reference. In our case, a reminder of simple balanced meals. Never hurts to remind yourself to add vegetables to your grocery list.
Below, a wire stand elevates dessert plates above dinner plates. These wire racks make the most of the vertical space in this cabinet. Tea towels hang on a rail.
A lined basket holds candles and candle holders. Opt for a container with handles so that it’s easy to carry the basket to the table to set up your mood lighting. Always stock unscented candles for dining rooms, especially when entertaining—let the wonderful food aromas do all the work for you.
Stock a roll-out rack (installing an add-on is easy) with serving platters and bowls. It makes getting what you need much easier.
A long flat drawer will hold placemats, napkins, and tablecloths with minimum creasing.
A divided drawer keeps flatware sorted. Use a drawer insert to convert an open drawer to divided storage. If practical, line a drawer containing silverware with anti-tarnish cloth. You don’t want to add the task of polishing to your to-do list right before entertaining a crowd.
In addition to pretty table linens, keep a supply of service cloths on hand for cleaning up spills (always a possibility, especially when entertaining) or handling hot dishes.
In keeping with the furniture’s age, use vintage containers to store other supplies such as napkin rings or after-dinner sweets.
Old yellow-ware bowls on top of the cabinet offer additional color and interest to this well-kept heirloom piece.
How do you streamline your entertaining efforts during the holidays? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below or see your solutions on our Facebook page.
Photography by Chris Hennessey
© Caruth Studio