7 Tips for Winter Entertaining
When it comes to entertaining in the winter, I think all of our brains go to the same place… the Holidays. And while, yes, decorating and setting your table for whatever you celebrate this season IS super fun, I think we can also continue to have fun long after Santa has headed back to the North Pole. I used to get so sad when the holidays were over. There wasn’t anything fun to look forward to (according to me). But it’s still winter, and we can still have some fun with it! Plus, why not plan a little dinner party for you and some close friends AFTER the craziness has died down. It’ll be easier to grab a spot on their calendars anyways right?
So it got me thinking, let’s get you guys inspired for winter entertaining and share some ideas that will last you until the arrival of spring! I always have my go-to tricks and tips for entertaining, but I tweaked them a bit to help you this winter instead. I teamed up with Lenox who shared their Alpine collection with me which is perfectly suited for any party you are having this season. Read on to see how I incorporated this into my winter assortment and what other tips I can offer you for simple entertaining!
No. 1 - Make place settings simple but seasonal
The easiest way to add a seasonal touch to your settings? A little foliage. Pine, wood accents and some dried pieces were a great way to give that winter vibe to our table. I always pull a bit from my flower arrangements, forage, and have little bits stashed away (because you never know when you’re going to need it for a party!).
No. 2 - Stock up on unscented candles
Usually, I am against unscented (I believe in signature scents that remind people of you and your home!)… BUT, when it comes to food, keeping your candles unscented is usually a great idea as the scent can influence how you are experiencing your meal. Candlelight is a must though to set a cozy tone for any winter gathering. These glass votives are simple and mesh with any color palette, plus you can clean them out when they’re done and pop in another votive.
No. 3 - Invest in seasonal dinnerware
I LOVE our everyday dinnerware. But I do think that it can get overused quickly. So I think a fun way to mix it up for guests is to find seasonal sets that you love, and add it into your line up for dinner parties. The Alpine Carved Dinner Plate Set from Lenox can give that winter touch to any table. So we kept it simple and let the plate shine by adding only linens on top. These will be a great set to have around for years. I can even see it dressed up for fall gatherings next year! When you are planning on finding fun seasonal sets for entertaining, think about items that will be versatile, but are different enough from what you use for your nightly dinners.
No. 4 - Think outside of the box when it comes to your centerpiece
There are so many interesting vessels that you can use for your centerpieces and flower arrangements. You don't always need to stick to standard vases. I transformed the Alpine Wooden Salad Bowl into the perfect vase for our small gathering! I wanted a dark pop to keep the tabletop a bit moodier. The wood was a nice accent and tied in well with our white and blue palette.
When working with non-traditional items for your flowers, remember you can make anything work with a little imagination. I added 2 vases of flowers inside of the bowl, then tucked in additional greens around the edges to hide the vases. It ended up looking like a bowl of flowers which I loved. Once the flowers have wilted, toss in some pears or other seasonal fruit and keep on your dining table for a simple everyday centerpiece.
(Also shown here are the Tuscany Wine Glasses from Lenox. They are so large and dramatic!)
No. 5 - Add an unexpected way to add flavor
Salt cellars can add color to a table and are a unique way to let guests add to their plates. You can use almost anything (I’ve even seen beautiful shells used at summer weddings) which makes it a great way to present a theme. I wanted to tie the wood into the table without it becoming too heavy, so mini wood bowls were set on each plate. Think about how you can get creative here… as long as it’s food safe you can use it!
No. 6 - Add some personality
I loved the classic vibe I had going on at the table, but needed something that was playful. I added some fun cups that reminded me of leopard print. It tied in again with the wood, but also added some more interest to the table. Remember to bring your personality in too… those interesting touches are what is going to make people remember your tabletop!
No. 7 - Bring a pop to the table with inexpensive linens
I own sets of cloth napkins in almost every color because they are the easiest way to really get your color palette going on a table. I went with a blue shade to stick with the cool tones and winter vibe.
(Also shown above are the Champagne Flatware Place Settings from Lenox. Another way to bring metallics in without using the typical gold!)