Tag: gold

Expert Tips: Dinner Party Appetizers

Party Appetizers

With holiday dinner parties just around the corner, this article highlights helpful expert tips for choosing standout, delicious dinner party appetizers.

  • Guests – For hosts that know their guests likes and dislikes, consider serving a variety of appetizers that appeal to select tastes. However, it’s always fun to experiment and throw in a few new appetizers to help expand guests’ food repertoires.
  • Event Details – Tailor the appetizers to the event. Is the event a bunch, luncheon, afternoon tea or a more formal dinner party? The time of day will help hosts determine if they should serve family or buffet styles and cold or hot foods. For example, midday gatherings can offer quiches, tea sandwiches, vegetable spreads and petite desserts. Evening events accommodate both hot and cold appetizers, cheese courses, olives, mixed nuts and small finger foods.

Choose Your Own Dinner Party Adventure

Dinner Party Adventure

Dinner parties are an imaginative adventure enjoyed by hosts and guests alike. Whether it’s throwing a themed dinner party or a culinary adventure into the unknown, there are several different types of traditional dinner parties.

  • Basic – Most dinner parties are informal. These types of dinner parties are perfect for friends, family or large gatherings. Whether it’s roasting chickens, grilling steak or sharing a big batch of New Mexico-style chili, informal dinner parties are simple. These types of parties may also involve passing dishes around a family-style table or having guests casually serving themselves from a buffet. Basic dinner parties are informal and homey. Traditionally, there are no wrong meals, but dessert usually consists of home-baked cakes, cobblers or pies. Simple dinner parties are often potluck-style, with hosts supplying entrees and asking guests to bring side dishes.

Hosting a Valentine’s Day Dinner Party

Valentine's Day Party

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, nothing is more romantic than throwing a special dinner party for friends, family and loved ones. Whether it’s having a couples’ party or a mixer for singles, Valentine’s Day is a classic gift-giving holiday celebrated worldwide.

Hosting a Valentine’s Day dinner party doesn’t need to be a daunting task. By following this simple checklist, hosts will be on their ways to throwing splendid Friday night Valentine’s Day bashes.

Table Manners for Today’s Modern-Day Guest

Table Manners

The days of formal dinnertime etiquette are gone, but there are some general tips that guests should follow when attending a dinner party. To highlight today’s modern etiquette, Just Charger Plates offers helpful tips for guests.

  • Basic Rules – There are still basic rules that guests should follow, which includes not eating until everyone is served, always asking for someone to pass food instead of impolitely reaching over guests, informing hosts in advance about food allergies, trying everything on the plate to be polite, saying “thank you” and “please” while avoiding speaking with a full mouth and waiting to depart the dinner table until everyone is finished eating. Always compliment hosts, even if the dinner party does mimic a blue soup disaster straight out of “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”

A Guide to Surviving a Formal Dinner Party

Surviving a formal party

Formal dinner parties can be intimidating, but as long as guests know what to expect, these affairs can be fun-filled and entertaining.

To survive formal dinner parties, follow these helpful tips.

  • RSVP – Once the RSVP arrives, it’s polite to respond as soon as possible, preferably within a few days or a week after receiving the invitation. This helps make it easy for hosts to plan venue, meal and drink accommodations.
  • Dress – Dressing appropriately is a vital part of being a good formal dinner party guest. If the event is formal, then a suit and tie are likely appropriate, but if the event is casual, it’s still important to appear professional. This means leaving yoga pants at home and donning an outfit that is classy and tactful. This also shows appreciation and respect towards hosts.

Unique Home Centerpieces

Centerpieces are the star dining room attraction. Garnishing “oohs” and “awes” from impressed guests, many hosts with allergies look for alternatives to traditional vases of flowers. While flowers wilt away and die, hosts may wish to consider more budget-friendly centerpiece alternatives.

Just Charger Plates offers the latest centerpiece trends and ideas for hosts this holiday season, exploring unique and one-of-a-kind designs.

  • Candleholders – Instead of having traditional candleholders, consider grouping a variety of styles and shapes that blend, sans candles. Selecting a variety of heights also adds dimension to dining tables.
  • Bowls – Consider placing a statement-style bowl in the center of a table. Whether it’s a functional bowl filled with fruit or one that that highlights leafy metal designs, these low-style centerpieces are perfect for conversations and lengthy dinner parties.
  • Trees – For the holidays, a sculptured tree design makes the perfect centerpiece, giving rooms a festive touch. Coming in a variety of colors, including metallic shades, these types of centerpieces look ornate, yet simple and tasteful.
  • Figurines – Far from the elaborate figurines displayed in grandparents’ houses, centerpieces can easily incorporate one to three oversized figures that are modern and contemporary. Whether it’s metal figurines or ceramic colored pear-shape designs, these look especially charming as centerpieces.
  • Candelabras – Today’s candelabras are far from traditional designs and can incorporate bold metals, glass or even wood.
  • Branches – Pussy willow branches literally define fall and winter. These nestle beautifully in bell jars and look elegant, especially when placed near a stunning crystal chandelier.
  • Forced Blooms – These are beautiful in the springtime, capturing the essence of plum and cherry blossoms.
  • Sculptures – Long rectangular tables look stunning with dual sculptural arrangements. Consider choosing a variety of modern colors, such as green hues with punches of red or ivory.
  • Orchid – Potted orchids last for months, providing abundant blooms.
  • White – Dark tables look stunning with an assortment of white sculptures or candleholders. Consider adding sculptures of varying heights to give dining areas much-needed dimension.
  • Terrariums – The latest trend on Pinterest, terrariums come in a variety of sizes and shapes, highlighting stunning greenery and rocky pebbles. Easy to maintain, these offer a year-round centerpiece attraction.

Just Charger Plates offers a wide assortment of table décor, with a special focus on dinner chargers. Available in a variety of colors, materials and shapes, they offer glass charger plates and mirror charger plates, which look especially stunning on dining room tables.

Decorative Tablescapes for Holiday Parties

Whether it’s casual or dripping in opulent elegance, tablescapes set the mood for holiday get-togethers. Understanding the importance of impressing guests, Just Charger Plates features stunning ideas that will help wow guests with spectacular style.

  • Cottage Comfort – Mix a dash of old-world style and combine it with a dollop of cottage charm and hosts will impress guests with an array of peaceful yellow and green hues that blend with bouquets of bold, cheery sunflowers and baskets of ripe lemons and limes. Pairing well with goblets and an antique crystal chandelier, this style will leave guests in awe.
  • Modern – To create a modern tablescape, consider painting curly willow or contorted filbert branches a soft white. Pair this with glowing white circular lighting and a contemporary piece of artwork, and dining rooms will take guests’ breath away.
  • Monochromatic – Instead of decorating with traditional red and green holiday fare, consider exploring a monochromatic theme that highlights white crocuses, silver dipped pinecones and silver charger plates. This makes rooms look stunning, elegant and exceptionally modern.
  • White – Hosts can’t go wrong with all-white table settings. Creating a magical winter wonderland, white is elegant, charming and most importantly, appetizing!
  • Holiday Style – To embrace the essence of the holidays, the right chandelier can easily accommodate beautiful strings of glass ornaments. Giving a cascading bauble effect, similar to that of a renowned Dale Chihuly sculpture, this spectacular tablescape is sure to turn heads.
  • Formal – A formal table setting is always a party classic. Formal colors include gold or silver paired with ivory and elegant crystal. Just Charger Plates offers an assortment of stunning charger plates, perfect for formal table settings. These colors can easily be combined with more ornate antique styles to reflect a Victorian appearance, which looks especially delightful in historic homes.
  • Metallic – On fire this season, metallic hues are dominating home trends. Pairing well together, metallic copper, gold and silver blend with delicate winter ivories, defining classic, contemporary table settings.

Decor should blend with the plate settings. When purchasing dishes, consider a neutral color, as this can easily be dressed up or down. A basic, yet classic, white porcelain dinner plate pairs well with gold, silver, black, red, blue, purple, white, brown or pink, making it extremely versatile for all occasions year-round.

Just Charger Plates offers a wide selection of charger plates, which instantly dress up standard white dinner plates. Available in a variety of shapes and materials, they offer hundreds of unique designs, perfect for formal, casual or holiday events. For hosts that don’t want to commit to a certain color, glass or mirror charger plates are the perfect neutral accessories for tablescapes.

Holiday Table Settings: Elegance for All Occasions

Just Charger Plates offers excellent holiday ideas for decorating table settings. Whether it’s celebrating with new, classic or eclectic themes, charger plates offer the perfect accompaniment to meals.

  • Classic – White-on-white table settings are always elegant and classic. Consider pairing these with traditional crystal stemware, classic flatware and classic colored round charger plates. Gold, silver and even burgundy look especially good with these classic designs.
  • Old and New – Mixing styles creates a unique textured pattern that updates classic plates with modern flatware and more contemporary glasses.
  • Table Textures – Consider filling hurricane glasses with shells and sands, surrounding these with tea lights or pillar-style candles. If placed near an ocean setting, consider adding rich touches of wood tones and green colors to help meld these celebratory seasons into one that embraces nature and festive décor.
  • Gold and Green – Decorative accents should be placed over buffet tables. Consider adding beautiful laurel wreaths with gold candelabras. If using pillar candles, consider dressing them up with a decorative bow.
  • Glamorous – Some festive occasions, such as New Year’s, just require more glamour. Considering adding fur throws to chair backs, helping keep guests cozy and warm all night, especially if a party is under a pristine, starry night.
  • Silver – Adding touches of silver, especially to chandeliers or even decorative vases of varying heights with silver ornaments adds a textured, classy look to holiday events.
  • Favors – Give guests something to take home after a festival evening. Consider gifting small ornaments as party favors, giving guests holiday memories they can take home.
  • Twinkling – Breathe new life into linens with old glamour, shine and twinkle. Think Hollywood style meets the 21st century.
  • Luxury – Consider adding festive colors, fabrics and patterns, laying them with whimsical crystal, festive china, antique stemware and circle charger plates.
  • Colorful and Casual – Vibrant hues, clean lines and the subtlest details help make any space look modern, casual and super chic.
  • Color – Holidays take on a new twist when paired with copper and metallic greens, a stark contrast to the common red and green holiday themes. Consider incorporating square charger plates into tablescape designs.
  • Fruit and Ornaments – Centerpieces look amazing when combined with fresh fruit, greens and shimmery, metallic ornaments.

General holiday tips include always using candles to create a warm, glowing atmosphere. Decorate spaces that guests see, which includes the living and foyer areas. Instead of using traditional-style tablecloths, incorporate a table runner with metallic-colored shine.

Snowy Winter Dinner Parties

Areas that are abundant with snow give hosts and entertainers little choice but to embrace the essence of season – chilled environment, abundant snow capped trees and fresh air. Outdoor heaters offer much needed warmth to patios and decks, opening backyards to winter dinner parties.

Consider finding an antique table at a second-hand store. Painting a table a bright, vivacious color adds much needed warmth and color to snowy winter afternoons and nights.

Hydrangeas make lovely snowy arrangements and go well with most monochromatic table settings. Embracing the nuisances and imperfections of nature is part of having an outdoor tablescape that is charming and reflects the beauty of the holidays.

Sheet music is a tasteful way to add inexpensive décor and tablemats to outdoor tablescapes. In fact, sheet music is available at flea markets and garage sales for mere dollars. An additional tip for reuse is having the sheet music laminated for extra durability and protection from stains.

Using an assortment of vintage-style napkins and flatware helps to add a classic, yet natural look to outdoor dining areas. Consider adding touches of greenery and flowers to napkins and simply tying them with twine.

Fabric napkin brooches are the latest trend in tableware. By simply purchasing inexpensive fleece scarves, hosts can easily create these do-it-yourself designs.

  • Using a variety of leftover fabric scraps in coordinating colors and cutting these into long strips, is the first step in the brooch making process.
  • Pile these strips, one on top of the other, tying them tightly with a jute-style twine.
  • Mess the strips up slightly, arranging them until they look like haphazard flower-style brooches.
  • Select an attractive button and sew it in the center, or simply glue the button with a hot glue gun. Mother-of-peal style buttons look good in the center of flowers.

These brooches look especially well as wrapping for inexpensive fleece scarves, which offer a great party favor to guests, keeping them warm in the chilly night air.

Dinner tablescapes look charming when paired with glass charger plates or silver charger plates, helping to reflect the snowy landscape. For an even more unique dinner setting idea, Just Charger Plates recommends exploring mirror charger plate options. These come in a variety of styles and shapes, including beveled mirror round charger plates, mirror square deco styles, beaded mirror, mosaic styles, round blocks, scalloped edges and gem-cut.

Must-Try Fall Dining Room Trends

This season’s fall dining room trends offer a perfect balance between chic and casual. Whether it’s embracing modern, whimsical, formal or contemporary designs, the following features advice for renters and homeowners alike.

  • Lighting – Adding interesting lighting makes any dining area a conversation piece. Whether it’s the traditional crystal chandelier or embracing a rustic style that includes repurposed spoons and forks, unique lighting enhances any meal.
  • Rustic – No longer associated with minimalist cabin styles, rustic furniture includes oversized wooden tables that feature reclaimed wood or even slat designs. To instantly dress up rustic tables, consider adding contemporary chairs for an edgy look.
  • Benches – The latest dining room trends embrace stylish benches. Whether it’s barn-style benches or church pew designs, benches comfortably seat more people and are an excellent alternative to individually placed chairs.
  • Formal – Instead of embracing the all-matching trend, mixing furniture styles with a variety of secondhand finds makes dining areas welcome and comfortable.
  • Glamour – Not just for walls, mirrored tables make an excellent decorative accent. Mirrored tabletops also reflect light-colored ceilings.
  • Accessories – Super-sized accessories are the latest trend this season. This includes oversized frames, big mirrors, bold artwork and even colorful chandeliers.
  • Mix and Match – Adding neutral colors, such as beiges and grays, pair well with eclectic dining room patterns, such as orange hue zigzag designs.
  • Old and New – Antique and contemporary designs seamlessly meld into a single fashion statement when combined with an old-style table, modern chairs and bold, bright pillows.
  • Floral Arrangements – Adding a central focal point, such as a bright, bold floral arrangement placed near a modern lamp makes any dining event inviting and warm, especially over the holidays.
  • Pillows – For kitchen nooks that feature built-in benches, consider adding bright, bold bench pads and color-coordinating tableware and pillows.
  • Curtains – If living rooms feature splashes of colors, opt for neutral color drapes such as white or ivory with minimalist grey designs.
  • Wall Lighting – Adding sconces to dining room areas mimics a soft candlelight glow.
  • Tableware – Coordinating tableware and dinnerware ties a dining area together with a tasteful design theme. Everyday white dinnerware can easily be dressed up with decorative charger plates. Charger plates are placed under dinner plates. Depending upon the type of charger plates, dinnerware can appear casual or more rustic. For example, gold charger plates give a formal look to casual dinnerware, whereas rippled glass charger plates give a casual feel that features an elevated, yet contemporary design. Charger plates come in a wide variety of materials, ranging from faux leather, rattan, faux wood, metal, melamine, mirrored and glass to acrylic.