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7 Design Essentials for Holiday Entertaining

Elegant 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.


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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. A handsome backdrop, like W&P Design's Host Cutting Board, above, is only one delicious option. Dessert served on iittala's exquisite Kastehelmi Cake Stand is a sweet treat, while MENU's Platform Tray elevates both drinks & nibbles..


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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 Seletti's Kintsugi Glasses beguile with their edgy exotic beauty. For a dash of color, choose Zafferano's Venziano carafe and tumblers, glassware gems in emerald, amethyst and amber.


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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. Beguile your guests with hand printed linen Polka Dot Napkins by Tulusa, an artisan treat.


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Pretty Place Card Holders & Coasters

Few things impress dinner guests like novel tabletop decor, and you might as well go the full distance with pretty name card holders and coasters. Ferm Living has more than one option, and whether you spring for the Arch Card Stand or the solid brass Sphere Card Stand, above, you'll hear no complaints from guests. And Chilewich's Bloom Pressed Coaster Set is, quite simply, metallic magic.


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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?  


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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.


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