Tag: mirrored

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.

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.”

Small Space Solutions: Dining Décor

Dining decor for small spaces

As more Americans are downsizing into smaller homes, this doesn’t necessarily mean that stylish dinner parties are soon to become a long-forgotten tradition. In fact, there are several ways that smaller homes can be designed and decorated to improve small living spaces and make entertaining more efficient.

  • Bars – Instead of the traditional oversized bar that takes up an entire wall of the dining area, consider opting for a wall-mounted bar. These are sleek and pair well with under the cabinet style lighting. Consider opting for glass cabinets for a modern, contemporary look.
  • Double Duty – Sleek entertainment units are perfect for great room areas that keep kitchen, dining and living rooms open for mingled conversations. Consider selecting a television consul that doubles as a faux fireplace.

Budget-Friendly Dining Décor

Budget friendly decor

With more Americans on tight budgets, 2014 is anticipated to be the year of do-it-yourself décor. With less Americans completing costly home remodels, the latest trend is focusing on defining spaces using inexpensive home furnishings.

Just Charger Plates offers a variety of budget-friendly décor that will help inject modern design into dining room areas.

Small Space Solutions: Dining Décor

As more Americans are downsizing into smaller homes, this doesn’t necessarily mean that stylish dinner parties are soon to become a long-forgotten tradition. In fact, there are several ways that smaller homes can be designed and decorated to improve small living spaces and make entertaining more efficient.

  • Bars – Instead of the traditional oversized bar that takes up an entire wall of the dining area, consider opting for a wall-mounted bar. These are sleek and pair well with under the cabinet style lighting. Consider opting for glass cabinets for a modern, contemporary look.
  • Double Duty – Sleek entertainment units are perfect for great room areas that keep kitchen, dining and living rooms open for mingled conversations. Consider selecting a television consul that doubles as a faux fireplace.
  • Expandable Tables – Select a small dining table that can easily be extended to accommodate additional guests. This makes it easy to entertain for large holidays or even host small dinner parties.
  • Chairs – One of the most ingenious designs to appear in homes is the morphing chair. When not in use it can easily be folded to double as a stylish room divider. Comfortable and sleek, guests will never know these stylish chairs pull double duty. Another option that designers are turning to is pop up seats. They fold flat for easy storage under couches or in closets, but easily pop up to form a small table or additional seat.
  • Pet Beds – Instead of having cat beds take up valuable floor space, why not combine cat’s love of high sleeping habits with a wall-mounted pet bed? Sophisticated and sleek, cats everywhere will be purring in posh comfort.
  • Flower Frames – Not the typical floral arrangement, many homeowners are turning to wall-mounted flower frames to serve as artwork and also double as a handy bouquet holder.
  • Lamps – Nearly every homeowner wants to place lamps in the corner, which why the ingenious corner lamp is perfect for these hard to reach angles. Neatly slipping into tight nooks and crannies, this lamp helps brighten small spaces while saving on much-needed space.
  • Convertible Storage – Perfect for people that are looking to maximize smaller spaces, convertible storage systems double as classic buffet tables, but expand to reveal an assortment of trays and shelves that will tickle any organizational fiend’s fancy. This type of storage is perfect for storing formal china and crystal. It can also serve as storage for glass charger plates, which are perfect for dinner parties.
  • Imitation Windows – Just when most people thought they’d heard of everything, this ingenious invention neatly hangs on dark walls and instantly gives the illusion of a well-lit window.
  • Ceramic Wall Units – Doubling as space dividers, these units are contemporary and modern. They are perfect for storing books, china and highlighting small artwork.

Just Charger Plates strives to help homeowners create inviting, warm spaces despite small size restrictions. They offer a variety of contemporary and traditional charger plate designs, including glass charger plates, square charger plates and even mirror charger plates.

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.

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.

Top 10 Dinner Party Hosting Tips

Contrary to the dinner party blue soup scene from “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” dinner parties don’t have to result in a mound of dirty tableware, a filthy kitchen and inedible dishes. Instead, imagine the scene from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” where Holly Golightly’s guests are having a fabulous time mingling, enjoying the company as much as the food.

There are some secrets to throwing a spectacular dinner party. By following these helpful tips, you’ll be well on your way to a delightful soirée!

  1. Recipes – A dinner party isn’t the time to experiment with new recipes. Stick with recipes that you’ve made at least once.
  2. Make Ahead Dishes – These are critical components to multi-course meals, allowing you to avoid slaving away in the kitchen while guests are having fun. Some dishes even taste better the next day, such as lasagna, enchiladas and sauces.
  3. High Quality – Opt for delicious bakery breads, quality olive oils, olives, pickles, roasted peppers and even an assortment of delectable cheeses, such as aged cheddar, Brie and a rich blue cheese. If your budget can afford it, opt for Mothais Sur Feuille (a tangy goat cheese), St. Eadburgha (a mild cow cheese), Appleby’s Cheshire (an artisan      cheese with rich earthy flavors) and Comté Androuë (a nutty cow’s milk cheese).     
  4. Delegate – If guests offer to bring something, don’t hesitate to accept. Whether it’s a bottle of wine, side salad or dessert, having a  variety of delicious foods makes for a great dinner party.
  5. Tableware – For formal dinner parties, opt for charger plates. Just Charger Plates is a website dedicated to selling a variety of charger plates, ranging in shapes from round and square to octagonal. Additionally, they offer a myriad of colors and materials, including acrylic charger plates, glass charger plates, mirrored, metal, melamine, faux wood, rattan and even faux leather charger plates. Even the simplest of dishware can be dressed up with a sophisticated charger plate design.
  6. Bring the Outdoors In – If you have fresh herbs and a small garden, consider incorporating these bountiful ingredients in your dishes for a special touch to any dinner party meal.
  7. Culinary Choices – Consider selecting a dinner party menu that reflects a region. For example, consider exploring Indian cuisine, French cuisine or even Moroccan dishes.
  8. Plan – Planning ahead and making a detailed game plan wil help you maximize your time. Make sure dishes are planned accordingly so they have ample time to cook.
  9. Skip Dinner – If you have a hearty assortment of appetizers, you can forgo dinner for a more leisurely cocktail hour.
  10.  Go  Outdoors – If your home is smaller and can’t accommodate a significant number of guests, consider embracing the outdoors. The bottom line is that dinner parties are about having fun and the outdoors gives guests ample      space to boogey down, laugh and enjoy the comradery of friends.