Entertaining Design Part 2: Simple Dinner Buffet

Thinking in design terms can make a simple dinner buffet into something special. In this photo, the most inviting part of this set-up is how well the look of the buffet table fits with the rest of the room. From the simple candle holder to the denim napkin laid out to hold the serving pieces, everything about the buffet mirrors the taste and style of the homeowner.

Let’s start with color. The reds, greens and golds connect the buffet to other elements in the room, making the buffet feel like part of the space rather than an uneven style element. The rustic console table behind the sofa provides a perfect setting for the food, allowing people to walk along and help themselves. Room on this table is limited, so the host chose to put a fall foliage floral arrangement on a side table where it can contribute to the mood without interfering with the food service.

One change would add to the overall functional success of this buffet. Instead of placing the forks and napkins on top of the stacks of plates, the host could have wrapped them together in individual serving sets and placed them vertically in a glass or pitcher. The table could have handled the space needed, and it would add another height element beyond the candles. This would also smooth out the serving process, which is important to consider with even a small buffet.

What can you do to make your next buffet create a feeling of welcome no matter the menu? Why not take a few extra minutes to consider the design side of your next dinner party?