Whether you have a formal dining room or you’ll be entertaining “Florida-style” on a sun-soaked lanai, there are a few things we always recommend for effortlessly and comfortably hosting a holiday gathering.
Invest in Comfortable Seating
As a host, there is no greater compliment than your guests lingering at the table and loading up their plates with second – or even third – helpings of the meal you’ve spent hours preparing. Encourage people to sit and chat a little longer by providing comfortable seating with adequate back and arm support. Test your chairs! If you don’t feel good sitting in them, neither will your company.
Let Your Furniture Breathe
It can be tempting to crowd just a few more seats around the table when you’re hosting a big meal, but there’s nothing worse than guests having to repeatedly move their chairs every time someone wants to head to the buffet for dessert. We suggest leaving at least a few feet of space around every side of the table for easy maneuvering.
Somewhere along the way, we got the idea that hosting at the holidays meant pulling out the good china and entertaining in a way that may not feel natural or authentic to our everyday lifestyle. If you aren’t a fancy or formal person, your holidays needn’t be either. Embrace a casual, comfortable style of entertaining where nothing is too precious and guests don’t need to feel intimidated about using the wrong fork during the salad course. At the end of the day, entertaining is about welcoming others into your home and making memories together.
If your dining room isn’t big enough to host the party, get creative! Rearrange your living room and set up rented banquet tables dressed in beautiful table linens. Bring varying tables sizes and shapes into your living space and dress them in matching tableware so they feel cohesive and connected. You could even take advantage of Florida’s temperate Fall temperatures and host your gathering outdoors. When in doubt, dim lighting and plenty of candles and fresh flowers can hide a multitude of sins!