At your next get-together, try adding bright, bold colors and patterns to the party decor. These easy tips for your table―and a few personal touches―will let your guests know how much they’re appreciated.
Hostess tip: To get your creative juices flowing, begin by finding inspiration for your party’s color scheme. Find a table runner, place mat, or special vase to center your design around.
Don’t waste your time (or money) adding dinnerware or glassware that’s not going to be used. Stick to the necessities, and evaluate what you already own before heading out on a shopping spree. (It’s OK to mix and match.)
Here, multicolored bamboo place mats tie in the colors used in every aspect of the table setting. The solid-colored napkins and plates keep the scene from being too busy.
For a look like this:
Pixy Stix Placemats
Available at Pier 1 Imports
Autumn Boutis Napkins
$24 (set of 4)
Available at Williams-Sonoma
When it comes to place settings, keep it simple and focus on the details. These creative place cards, which double as napkin rings, are easy and inexpensive (less than $1 each!) to make.
1. Cut out colored shapes from scrapbooking card stock.
2. Write each guest’s name on a card.
3. Use a hole punch to make a small hole in each card.
4. Run a piece of ribbon (we used wire ribbon) through each card, and then tie them around each napkin.
Hostess tip: Check your local crafts store for discounted ribbon. Oftentimes, they will have bins of marked-down trimmings.
Don’t forget about the lighting over your table -- think of it as just another opportunity to add a punch of color to the setting. For a touch of whimsy, felt flowers (from Pottery Barn Kids ) with wire stems are wrapped around this light fixture.
Hostess tip: If you have a flair for crafts, consider making your own felt flowers, or try swags of berries or flowing ribbons over your table setting.
Embellish plain white chair covers with accents used on the table. A length of wire ribbon paired with a simple felt flower gives the seat a little something special.
Hostess tip: No chair covers (or chairs) on hand? Rent the items from a local party store. They’re inexpensive, and if you pick up and drop off the order yourself, you’ll save even more money.
To allow guests plenty of room to chat across the table, make sure your flower arrangements are not too grand. Here, a set of bud vases mixed with a larger vase creates varying heights of color.
Hostess tip: Instead of calling the florist for expensive arrangements, purchase multiple preassembled bouquets from the grocery store, cut open the bags, and mix up the flowers for a custom look.
For a look like this:
Emblem Round Footed Vase
Available at Vietri
Petite Bud Vases and Tuscan Accent Plates
Available from Southern Living at HOME