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Effortless Entertaining

Effortless Entertaining

The travel plans are set, menus prepared, and decorations ready, but is your dining room? While the essentials of a great gathering require nothing more than excellent food and company, a comfortable space should be at the top of the list.

Before painting or purchasing, make a plan for effortless entertaining. Ask yourself, “How many people do you entertain at once? How do you plan to use your space? Will you need storage? Would you like an area to mix or serve cocktails?” With all of these thoughts in mind, the next step is to determine your ideal table. Your ideal table size is at least 36 inches deep to allow for place settings and serving pieces by 24 inches around the outside for each person you would like to seat. Select a shape that fits your needs. Rectangle tables are the most popular, as they fill rooms well and are good for both small and large groups. For an intimate setting of up to eight people, round and square tables offer a conversational atmosphere. Whether round and square, the larger the table, the harder it becomes to reach the items in the middle of the table as well as talk to others across from you. This is why round and square tables are best for smaller groups. To seat four people, select a 36-44 inch round or square; for 4-6 choose 44-54 inch and 6-8 select 60-70 inch. For groups larger than eight, consider a rectangular table instead.

Next, start laying out your options by measuring your space and implementing these basics to help you work from the outside of the room toward the middle. Measure the entire space first, then from your walls allow 42-48 inches to the edge of the table. This distance will enable your guests to sit and easily get up from their seats. The space remaining in the middle of your room is the maximum table size you can accommodate. Compare this size to your ideal table size and begin with the fun steps.

Once you have identified your perfect table size, you can focus on selecting the materials and style, as well as seating for your table. If you are ready to invest in your forever furniture and would like an heirloom piece, spoil yourself with Amish quality. Amish is not a style, but a standard in quality and craftsmanship. Handcrafted in the USA, Amish furniture is fully customizable in your choice of hardwoods, finishes, and styles. Wood is not your only option, as metal, glass, and marble are used to design rustic, contemporary, mid-century and industrial styles.

Table bases come in a variety of choices. Pedestal bases allow uninterrupted seating arrangements as there are no legs to interfere. Farm tables also have a central base, while most often you will find designs with legs. It is important to test the positioning of the legs with the type and amount of seating you are planning. To soften your room, add texture with upholstered seating and don’t be afraid to mix and match. Pairing a bench with chairs or materials like wood, metal, and fabric creates a curated feel with depth and dimension.

If your optimal table and room measurements allow for additional open space, consider addressing your storage or serving needs. This space could accommodate storage and food serving on a sideboard or cabinet. An armoire or hutch offers increased storage space in the same footprint. Craft cocktails and in-home bars are gaining in popularity; a bar cart fits well for small areas while bar cabinets and standing wine racks can fill larger spaces.

Finish your space with statement lighting and art, invite some guests over and find that your well-planned space offers effortless entertaining.

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