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Editor's Picks

6 Design Essentials for Holiday Entertaining

Classic Dinnerware

Patterned plates and surprising shapes are all well and good, but nothing sets the scene as elegantly as classic silhouettes and monochromes. MENU's New Norm Dinnerware, above, is a no brainer, with its rounded forms and range of subdued hues, but don't shy away from darker tones, like Ferm Living's earthy Neu stoneware, ideal for moody candlelit soirees.

Striking Serving Pieces

Presentation is everything. Get creative with ordinary gatherings by opting for serveware that does the job expertly, while stealing the show with good looks. Hand-tiled trays from GAN Rugs, above, are only one delicious option. Dessert served on iittala's exquisite Kastehelmi Cake Stand is a sweet treat, while MENU's Bottle Grinders know something about adding spice with aplomb.

Dazzling Glassware

Add sparkle to afternoon luncheons and late-night parties with a dazzling touch of glass. iittala's Ultima Thule glassware, above, lends icy elegance to even informal gatherings, while Tom Dixon's Tank Platinum collection gives a metallic edge to modern barware. For a dash of color, choose Zafferano's Venziano carafe and tumblers, glassware gems in emerald, amethyst and amber.

Luxe Linens

Paper has its place, but cloth is king. Ditch disposable napkins in favor of fabric table linens—and an effortless infusion of grace. Chilewich Linen Napkins are an understated wow in any color, while Ferm Living's Blend collection is versatile enough for both informal luncheon and formal dinner. Guests will find hand embroidered linen cocktail napkins by Tulusa downright intoxicating.

Nuanced Lighting

An inviting venue and flattering ambiance are essential to a memorable evening—and candlelight is a quick fix. A pair of iittala Nappula Candleholders on a coffee table, or a cluster of Tom Dixon Etch Tea Lights (above) on the dinner table inject both warmth and nuance in one fell swoop. Besides, is there anyone who doesn't look their best by the light of a flickering flame?  

Stylish Bar Cart

Invest in a pair of stylish wheels. Whether used for drinks or appetizers, a modern bar cart or trolley is a host's best friend for holiday entertaining. Versatile, mobile, and oh so eye-catching, a design icon, like Alvar Aalto's Artek Trolley 901, cuts a gorgeous figure whether static or on the move. Wheel in the golden Cheval Bar Cart by Jonathan Adler, and watch as guests line up for boozy refills.