How To | 7 Quick and Easy DIY Holiday Centerpiece Ideas

Products pictured: Satin Fuchsia Napkin, Ava Blush Charger, Lucca Ivory Dinner Plate, Jane Silver Salad Plate, Scroll Flatware, Pink Dixie Goblet, Sonoma Champagne Glass, Phantom Dining Chair.

 

1. Ornament Centerpiece

Disperse oversized ornaments around your table, line up smaller ones for a 3D runner, or fill up your vases or other tabletop containers with ornaments of any size or color. For a more eclectic look, grab a variety of ornaments from your own supply (all those bulbs who lost their hangers are perfect candidates) or head to a discount store to buy a case of cheap ornaments in coordinating colors.

 

2. Candle Centerpiece

Candles are one of the quickest ways to create a lot of holiday ambience. Place them in votives, mason jars, candlesticks, or just on their own throughout the table. Just be sure to remember fire safety tips when using real candles, or opt for LED candle lights for a safer option.
 

3. Natural Centerpiece

One of the most cost effective décor options is using natural elements that you find in your neighborhood. Collect pine cones, tree clippings, and cranberries to create a colorful and natural centerpiece. What you create depends on what you are able to find, but some ideas include arranging pine cones on a tray with battery-powered string lights, or float fresh cranberries and pine branches in a vase filled with water.

 

4. Candy Centerpiece

For a sweet spin, use some colorful candy in your décor. Most discount stores will have some type of festive candy you can pick up for a low price. Just pour them into some display bowls, vases, jars, or any clear vessels that you can place on your table.
 

5. Garland Centerpiece

Garlands of many different styles can usually be found for a very low price at most stores around the holidays. Run them down the center of a long table or shape them around a centerpiece on a round table.

 

6. Vignette Centerpiece

Create a festive scene on your table with a curated vignette of all things holiday. Mini trees, Santa figurines, and themed candle holders can come together for an eclectic centerpiece, especially if you are hosting on a round table. Use a tiered tray or a cake stand to elevate your décor and make it really stand out.
 

7. Wrapped Gifts

From colorful to craft paper, there is a wrapping paper to match your holiday style. Wrap some small and medium sized boxes, top them with a bow, and stack them in the center of the table for a fun and unique centerpiece. If applicable, you could arrange the gifts you are giving to your guests at the table so that everyone has something to look forward to after dessert is served!




How To | Create A Perfect Thanksgiving Seating Plan

Walnut Stained Farm Style Table, Lucca Ivory with Gold Band Chop Plate, Victoria Dinner Plate, Venice Amber Salad Plate, Harvest Oatmeal Napkin, Arya Flatware, Charlotte Water Glass, Charlotte Wine Glass, Charlotte Champagne Glass, Delilah Cloud Oversized Runner.

 

Why have a seating plan?

Putting together a seating plan and writing out some quick place cards is one of the simplest ways to elevate your Thanksgiving and make the entire evening feel more classy, put together, and intimate. When guests see a place setting just for them, it makes them feel valued and like you’re glad that they are here. Plus, the right seating arrangement helps the conversation flow for hours and encourages your guests to mingle with more than their usual crowd.

 

Some tips to keep in mind

When it comes to making your seating plan, you as the host probably know best where everyone should be seated. Use your judgement and really think about each guest’s personality traits and typical behaviors and how that might mesh with other guests. To start, make sure at least one host is at each table, and that they are seated somewhere with easy access to the kitchen so that getting up for drink refills or to serve up pie doesn’t have you squeezing past everyone’s chairs. Keep couples near each other at the same table, but don’t seat them right next to each other to encourage them to participate in a bigger conversation. If you have any left-handed guests, try to seat them on a corner to keep them from bumping elbows. And if you happen to have any guests who are excellent conversationalists and charmers, seat them near the middle of the table where they can interact with everyone and keep the conversation lively all evening.

 

Advice for the kids’ table

To avoid just seating everyone under 18 years old at one “Kids’ Table,” think about all the children in attendance and where they might do best. Younger kids who still need assistance with their dinner may do better seated in a high chair or booster seat between their parents. Some teenagers may prefer sitting with the adults as opposed to babysitting the younger kids at a separate table (but try to separate more than one teen so that they are encouraged to join in the adult’s conversation). If you are left with at least a couple of kids who are close in age and would be (at least mostly) well-behaved and self-sufficient at their own table, set them up with their own table and a couple extra activities to keep them busy throughout dinner and dessert (coloring pages with crayons, a box full of pipe cleaners, or simple games like tic-tac-toe).




How To | 5 Shortcuts to Make the Holidays a Breeze

Products pictured: Beechwood Farm Table, Faye Chop Plate, Lucca Ivory Dinner Plate, Lucca Ivory Salad Plate, Lucca Ivory Bread & Butter Plate, Presley Flatware, Cabo Palm Napkin, Smoke Dixie Goblet, Ledge Water Goblet, Ledge Champagne Glass.

 

Hosting a holiday dinner can be an intense whirlwind of juggling responsibilities and endless to-do lists. Here are 5 shortcuts to make the whole process a little bit easier.

1. Rent your tabletop

Your local event rental company will likely have suggestions (and maybe even sales) for festive holiday tableware. Not only will your table look amazing and like you put tons of thought and effort into it, but cleanup is much easier when renting your tableware. Just put it all back into the bins they came in and return them without washing. Table linens and napkins can also be rented to cut down on laundry and/or needless paper/plastic waste!

2. Clean smarter not harder

If you have the extra time to deep clean your entire home before your holiday party, then by all means get started! But for those of us with an overflowing to-do list, just focus on some major key spots to give the impression of a thoroughly cleaned house. In the kitchen: Get rid of any dishes in the sink and do a quick wipe down of the counters and front of the fridge. In the bathroom, make sure the toilet and sink are clean, stock the TP, make sure there’s soap and hand towels, and light a candle. In the living and dining rooms, clean up any clutter on the floors, counters, and tables, fluff pillows on the couches and chairs, and set the table.

 

3. Get some help

Assign jobs to everyone in the household as well as anyone who offers up their assistance. Even if their only job is to write out place cards, that’s one more thing you don’t have to worry about. Have someone go pick up the tabletop rentals and place them on the table. Ask another person to bring a salad. Delegating even the simplest tasks can make your to-do list seem much more manageable and your friends and family will enjoy feeling helpful.

4. Start prepping early

If possible, start planning and prepping for the holiday as early as you can. Completing even just a couple tasks well in advance will help relieve a lot of last-minute planning stress. Buy beverages and other shelf-stable menu items, clean up spaces that don’t get used very often, and do as much food prep as possible in the weeks leading up to the holiday.

 

Photo by Chris Potako.

5. Adjust the lighting

Some mood lighting does wonders to make your home feel cozy and festive, and it helps hide those areas you didn’t have time to dust. Turn off the bright overhead lights and go with softer lamps, string lights, and candles. Put on a perfect playlist and enjoy your celebration!




Looks We Love | Tips for Decorating Your Home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to get together to eat, drink, and celebrate the season. Set the mood for the autumnal celebration with these simple fall décor ideas.

Set The Table

Since the main event at any Thanksgiving gathering takes place at the dinner table, start there with all your fall décor. Create your centerpieces first and use leftover décor items around the rest of the house. Use table linens and cloth napkins and rent real china, flatware and glassware to give your guests the feeling of an extravagant feast while ensuring that cleanup will be a breeze. Plus you can feel good about reducing the amount of waste at the end of the night!

Shop Your House

It doesn’t have to have a pumpkin on it or say “autumn” to help create a cohesive Thanksgiving look! Hang your family’s flannels on coat hooks, move all your wicker baskets out in the open, bring out any extra blankets and pillows to create a cozy warmth, and check your bookshelves for anything in pretty fall colors to temporarily keep out on the coffee table or incorporate in your table centerpieces.

Go Natural

Fall decorating is all centered on the natural beauty of the season. So go outside hunting for natural décor elements, like pine cones, colorful leaves, and interesting fallen branches. You can also find natural décor at the supermarket. Pick up some colorful apples, squashes, and pumpkins at the store to display in places other than the kitchen. And bonus: you can snack on those décor items in the following week!

Bigger Is Better

Instead of trying to fill a large entertaining space with lots of small décor pieces, invest in just a few larger pieces. A fall-themed print on your wall, a display sign for your porch, or seasonal throw pillows and blankets on the couch will make a big impact without having to spend too much time, effort, or money.

Create Focal Points

Another way to maximize the impact of a few décor items is to create vignettes around your entertaining space. For example, if your fireplace mantle and dining table both scream fall, the entire space will feel transformed and you won’t need to add more décor anywhere else (unless, of course, you want to!).

Photo 1: Beechwood Farm Table, Faye Chop Plate, Lucca Ivory Dinner Plate, Lucca Ivory Salad Plate, Lucca Ivory Bread and Butter Plate, Presley Flatware, Smoke Dixie Goblet, Ledge Water Glass, Ledge Champagne Glass, Cabo Palm Napkin, Abbey Dining Chair.
Photo 3: Caprice Petal, Burlap Runner, Beaded Gold Charger, Victoria Dinner Plate, Jane Gold Salad Plate, Parker Flatware, Amber Dixie Goblet, Empire Champagne Glass, Sonoma Red Wine Glass, Wooden Planter Box Square.
Photo 4: Photo by Vanessa Lynne Photography. Light Wicker Charger, Ritz Dinner Plate, Cognac Luster Salad Plate, Smoke Dixie Goblet, Sonoma Red Wine Glass, Sonoma Champagne Glass.
Photo 5: Photo by Brooke Shannon Photography. Glass Plain Gold Rim Charger, Faye Dinner Plate, Faye Salad Plate, Cabo Palm Napkin.
Photo 6: Photo by Woodmancy Photography. Walnut Stained Farm Style Table, Lucca Ivory Dinner Plate, Lucca Ivory Salad Plate, Parker Flatware, Sonoma Water Glass, Ledge Balloon Wine, Gold Candlestick.




Trend Alert | 10 Tips for Hosting the Best Friendsgiving Ever

Friends•giv•ing (noun):

A holiday where you spend quality time eating, drinking and laughing with the family you get to choose – your friends.
Check out our 10 Tips for Hosting the Best Friendsgiving Ever:

1. Find The Right Venue

Finding a venue is the first step. Whether it’s someone’s home, a local hall or clubhouse for rent, or a nice park if the weather is expected to be nice. No matter where it is hosted, be sure to set the scene with plenty of fall décor, music for all to enjoy, and/or football if your venue has a TV.

2. Theme It Up

Whatever it is that brings your group of friends together, you could probably turn it into a theme for the occasion. Whether that means a mutual love of a sports team, a show, a band, or just good food. At the very least, you can always hit up the grocery store for some pumpkins and fall florals.

3. Set A Dress Code

Whether you’re looking forward to dressing up fancy or dressing down in your stretchy pants, it’s the hosts job to decide the vibe and be sure to put it in the invites.

4. Make It A Potluck

As the host, you should take charge of the turkey, or main dish. But don’t be afraid to assign side dishes, appetizers, desserts, and even beer and wine to your guests. They will more than likely be relieved to not have to come up with a dish on their own – plus this method greatly reduces the chances of being stuck with three different green bean casseroles.

5. Donate To Charity

As a way to feel good and do good for the holiday, organize a donation with all your friends. Ask everyone to bring a canned good to the event and have one person take them to a local food bank the next day, or ask your guests to bring some cash to give to your group’s favorite charity.

6. Send Proper Invitations

If you’re going for a more formal event, it’s nice to send out real paper invitations. Or, if your guest list is a little too large for that, you can send out e-vites via email. And of course there is always a good old fashioned Facebook event as well. Just make sure you establish a way to convey all the important details to your guests, like dress code, potluck assignments, and donation details.

7. Focus On Table Décor

If you are hosting in a home, some of the décor may be already taken care of throughout the house, so you can focus on the table itself. Nice table linens, basic centerpieces, and place cards for each seat give the table a put-together look with minimal effort. Consider renting tableware like china, flatware and glassware to make cleanup easier and for a more environmentally friendly option than disposables.

8. Prepare Activities

Friendsgiving isn’t just about the food, it’s about spending quality time with the people you love! Be sure to offer lots of activities for your guests to enjoy both before and after your meal. Board games, crafts, trivia, football, or whatever your friends would enjoy the most!

9. Send Home Favors

Not that anyone is likely to forget the Best Friendsgiving Ever, but a favor to remember the night is always appreciated. A goodie bag can be lots of fun to put together, and there are a lot of great ideas out there of what to include. From after-dinner mints or gum to mini succulents or “hangover kits,” get creative and be sure to leave some room in the bag for leftovers!

10. Be Ready For Leftovers

Speaking of leftovers, make sure to plan ahead and be prepared with plenty of to-go containers that guests can fill up and take home without needing to return them. You can buy packs of disposable to-go boxes, or pick up some cheap reusable Tupperware from a discount store for a greener option.

 

Photo 1: Linen Natural Table Linen, Fiona Olive Runner, Light Wicker Charger, Bistro Dinner Plate, Venice Amber Salad Plate, Royce Gold Flatware, Smoke Dixie Goblet, Sonoma Red Wine Glass, Sonoma Champagne Glass.
Photo 2: Black Satin Table Linen, Pebble Delilah Oversized Runner, Beaded Platinum Charger, Faye Dinner Plate, Lucca Grey Salad Plate, Faye Bread and Butter Plate, Fiddle Flatware, Frayed Grey Napkin, Linen Sea Grass Napkin, Kennedy Pebble Napkin, Smoke Dixie Goblet, Cosmo Coffee Mug, Ledge Champagne Glass.
Photo 3: Iron 3-Tier Tray, Maze Carrot Runner.
Photo 4: Walnut Stained Farm Style Table, Beaded Gold Charger, Jane Gold Dinner Plate, Jane Gold Salad Plate, Fiddle Flatware, Sonoma Water Glass, Sonoma Red Wine Glass, Sonoma Champagne Glass, Gold Candlesticks, Harvest Gold Polyester Napkin, Kennedy Canyon Napkin.




On Location | Modern Rustic Styled Shoot at Villa de Nardi

With its rolling hills, homemade olive oils, and wood fired pizza, Villa De Nardi provides the perfect rustic venue to dress up with modern touches in this styled shoot, featuring a monochrome color palette and metallic geometric accents.
Check the list below for all the participating vendors!
Photography: Gagan Dhiman
Venue, Olive Oil, Pizza: Villa De Nardi
Planning, Design, Florals: Tan Weddings & Events
Mobile Bar: Belle Aventure Mobile Bar Co
Videography: AshtonImagery.
Rentals & Linens: Celebrations! Party Rentals and Tents
Cookies: Batter Up Cakery
Catering: Gesche’s Gourmet
Guitar & DJ: Michael Sean Miller
Signage: Maedell Studios
Models: Sabrina Esposo & Raymond Tabios

Pictured Tableware and Table Decor: Lucca Black Dinner Plate, Lacquered Faux Marble Charger, Presley Flatware, Pint Glass, Benson Black Goblet, Iron 3-Tier Tray, Shot Glass, Faux Marble Trays, Metal Geo – Oblong, Mercury Gold Votives, Copper Mugs, Wooden Bread Board, Galvanized Tray, Martini Shaker – Nouvo Style.
Pictured Furniture & Large Decor: Gunmetal Dining Chairs, Market Pub Table, Draper Sofa, Harper Coffee Table, Luna Ottoman, Element Side Table, Norden End Table, Wire Spheres.
Pictured Linens: Frayed Grey Napkin, Linen Stone Runner, Borgata Shell Runner, Fizz Licorice Napkin.




How To | 5 Tips to Host A Halloween BBQ

If your family is a big fan of Halloween, one night of trick-or-treating my feel too short, especially when it falls on a weeknight like it does this year. To extend the holiday fun, host a Halloween BBQ over the weekend to give your costumes one more chance to shine and celebrate together with all your family and friends. Here are 5 tips for Hosting a Halloween BBQ.

1. Get Your Yard Ready

As the weather cools down and the leaves start changing colors, spending time outside becomes an enjoyable way to embrace the new season. Make sure your yard is ready for hosting with plenty of seating, lawn games for the kids and adults, and a fire pit for when it gets chilly (and of course for making s’mores).

2. Visible Décor

Hosting a Halloween event during the day also means you will need to up your decoration game to include the inside of your home and the backyard. To make it a little bit easier, it might help to start with a theme idea. Are you going with monsters, witches, haunted mansion, or classic fall? Whatever theme you choose, try to incorporate that look into your table decor as well, so your guests get a chance to be totally immersed. In the yard, you can get creative with what you have and put big monster eyes and teeth on the bushes, use decals on the windows, or hang ghosts in the trees. Lanterns or glowing jack-o-lanterns will keep the ambiance going once the sun sets.

3. Creative Foods

Another key element to any BBQ is a good menu. But with a Halloween backdrop, you have room to get really creative. A quick search on Pinterest will show you that there is no limit to unique, spooky, and festive food ideas, like jack-o-lantern cheeseburgers, Adam’s ribs, mummy hot dogs, jack-o-lantern bell peppers, and no shortage of Halloween dessert ideas (you can definitely find something to match your décor theme).

4. Festive Games

Set up some games for all ages to keep both kids and adults entertained all day. If you have the time, you can completely DIY some new activities, or just put a spooky spin on some classic games. To get the ideas flowing, check out these game ideas: Pin the Spider on the Web, Pumpkin Bowling, Halloween Tic-Tac-Toe, and some Halloween-themed activity printables.

5. Awesome Costumes

No Halloween party is complete without costumes! Encourage your entire guest list to don their best costumes before heading over. Host a contest to get everyone’s competitive spirit going and to make sure they all arrive dressed to impress!

Photo 1: Walnut Stained Farm Style Table, Black and White Stripe Runner, Grace Silver Glass Charger, Ritz Salad Plate, Benson Black Goblet, Belle Wine Glass, Gold Candlesticks, Silver Mercury Votives.
Photo 2: Vintage Folding Table, Caprice Tangerine Runner, White Lantern.
Photo 3: Black Satin Table Linen, Lindsey White Overlay, Black Lacquered Charger, Ritz Dinner Plate, Tiffany Plate, Red Satin Napkin, Benson Black Goblet, Ledge Champagne Glass, Ledge Balloon Wine Glass, Satin Black Napkin, Zipp Licorice Napkin, Smith Flatware.
Photo 4: Pillsbury
Photo 5: Taste of Home
Photo 6: Make It Grateful
Photo 7: HGTV
Photo 8: I Dig Pinterest
Photo 9: Loden Polyester Table Linen, Organza Spiderweb Overlay, Chrome Bird Nest Bread Basket.
Photo 10: Pipe and Drape with Caprice Tangerine and Black and White Stripe Runners.




Color Story | Pink Halloween

As our Pinterest boards (and our minds) are overrun with all things Halloween, we can’t help but notice that Pink Halloween ideas are among the most popular (and most adorable) décor ideas for this year’s holiday.

Switching it up

When you think about it, it makes sense. The tired old black and white scheme seems due for a change up, and the light pastel hue offers great contrast to existing decor. Whether you’re putting together a party for your kids and their friends, or you’re planning a soiree for yourself and your adult friends, a pink Halloween creates a chic look that’s both spirited and stylish.

Giving back

And, if you needed one more reason to hop on the Pink Halloween bandwagon, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So a pink party is not only very fitting, but it’s a great way to show your support for the cause. And as an added bonus, some stores may offer discounts on various pink items or give donations with your purchase during the month of October, so be on the lookout for promotions to save and support while you plan your Pink Halloween party.

Photo 1: Twinkle Twinkle Little Party: How to Host a Halloween Inspired Wine & Cheese Girls’ Night In Party
Photo 2: Caprice Dove Table Linen, Black Runner, Martini Glass, Benson Goblet, Wine Glass, Lacquered Faux Marble Charger, Maui Clear Dinner Plate, Platinum Salad Plate, Presley Flatware, Taupe Polyester Napkin, Linen Carnation Napkin.
Photo 3: Austin Cocktail Table, Molly Runner, Long Drink, Leyton Loveseat, Brigette Charcoal Pillow, Brigette Rose Pillow, Pipe and Drape.
Photo 4: Betty Blush Couch, Monroe Ottoman Mauve, Pink Dixie Goblets, Linen Carnation Napkin.




On Location | Oscar de la Renta Fashion Show 2019

Each year for the past 50 years, Oscar de la Renta and Saks Fifth Avenue host a fashion show on the shores of Lake Tahoe to raise money for the League to Save Lake Tahoe. This year’s profits broke records at $1.1 million raised for the league, which is working hard to Keep Tahoe Blue by “combatting pollution, promoting restoration, tackling invasive species and protecting Tahoe’s shoreline.” Celebrations had the honor of constructing the scene for this event, including an elevated runway and a Saks Fifth Avenue shopping tent, all on a sandy beach in Incline Village.

Check out the photos and video above to see more from this event.




Trend Alert | Oktoberfest Party

Celebrate the coming of fall with an Oktoberfest party! There’s a reason this German tradition is popular around the world – food, beer, and friends is always a recipe for a good time. Keep reading for 4 Oktoberfest party ideas.

1. Beer tasting

Get a sampling of German brews, make a stop at a local brewery, or just pick out whatever catches your eye at your local liquor store, and host a tasting party! Beer tasting glasses are larger than a shot glass but much smaller than a full pint. Line up a couple in a row for each guest and take them through each one, complete with descriptions and flavor profiles. At the end, make sure to have a couple extra on hand so everyone can enjoy a full pint of their favorite brew.

2. Food tasting

Maybe your crowd is the type that gives food the spotlight and beer comes in second. If that’s the case, concentrate on an authentic menu of bite-size German delicacies so your guests can try a wide variety of foods. Slice up bratwurst with sauerkraut, serve small dishes of German potato salad, set out sliced bread with beer cheese dip, and of course you can’t skip the soft pretzels with mustard!

3. Dinner party

For a more formal affair, host an Oktoberfest dinner party, complete with steins full of beer and a delicious German-inspired meal. Deck out your dining table with blue and white check linens to represent the Bavarian flag, with orange, yellow and red accents to incorporate those autumnal colors. Pumpkins, wheat, or seasonal florals make great centerpieces for an Oktoberfest table.

4. Biergarten

If you’re looking for a less structured, more beer-centered extravaganza, turn your backyard into a biergarten! Let the focus be a bar with either bottles or kegs of beer with pint or pilsner glasses. Make sure to set up plenty of lounge furniture, cocktail tables and barstools so everyone has a spot to sit back and relax. And finally, you can’t forget a snack bar! Keep it simple with pretzels, popcorn, and other bite-size appetizers.

Products pictured: Picnic Table, Kalvin Dinner Plate, Peacock Dixie Goblet, Light Wicker Charger, Kalvin Bowls, Kalvin Saucer, Market Buffet.