Set the Scene
Tips for choosing party and entertaining supplies
Whether you're having a backyard barbecue or an elegant holiday dinner, you love entertaining guests at home. Make every get together the best it can be with a few must-have products. Here's what to look for when shopping for party and entertaining supplies.
Folding dining furniture
You don't have to own a 10-person dining table to entertain friends and family. Folding dining furniture does the trick, and you can stow it in the corner of the garage or basement when not in use. Find folding tables for indoor or outdoor spaces in a number of shapes and sizes from small rounds to long rectangular tables. Chairs and tables in bright colors like orange, red, blue, purple and yellow add a fun and cheerful vibe.
Festive table decor helps celebrate any occasion, from taco night with the girls to a chic dinner party. Start with pretty linens like a fabric table runner and napkins, and add an eye-catching centerpiece. Picture a decorative bowl filled with colorful fruit, a collection of pillar candles or a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers in a crystal vase. A variety of dinnerware options include everything from vibrant fiesta ware to fine china.
Preparing food for a crowd can be a challenge, but electric cookware products can help. Choose a roaster oven for cooking a big holiday ham or turkey and a rotisserie oven for preparing easy chicken on a spit. A slow cooker makes an ideal option for game day chili or stew and an indoor grill creates cheesy sandwiches for dipping. For non-electric cooking options, consider a Dutch oven – a handy product for browning, braising, boiling, deep-frying and baking.
Make your home pop during a party with seasonal decorations. In the fall, welcome guests with a pretty pine cone wreath on the front door, and add cozy touches indoors like faux fur area rugs and cable-knit throw pillows. At Christmas time, trim a stair railing or mantel with pine boughs and holly, and add colorful stockings in bold buffalo plaids. Don't forget to light scented candles to fill the air with the fragrance of pine, vanilla, or apples and cinnamon. In the spring and summer, decorate your outdoor space with garden statues, bird baths, colorful planters and string lights.
Nothing caps an enjoyable dinner party like a good cup of coffee. Before you purchase a new coffee maker, think about all the bells and whistles you might need like a programmable clock, automatic shut-off, brew pause, a coffee bean grinder, a permanent filter and a setting for different coffee strengths. Decide whether you want an insulated or glass carafe and how large the container should be.
A dinner party isn't complete without dessert, and nothing looks and tastes more delicious than cake perched on an elegant cake stand. For a Bundt cake, consider a clear glass cake stand with a dome-style lid. Show off a prize layer cake on a melamine cake stand in a pretty pastel color, and purchase a three-tiered dessert stand to display iced cupcakes.
Serving trays and platters
When you're a frequent host or hostess, you can't get by without a collection of serving trays and platters. For casual fare like assorted veggies and dip, try round platters with separate compartments, and consider using tiered trays for elegant appetizers. Serve sliders or subs on a large sandwich tray, and load a wooden charcuterie board with tasty bites like cured meats, cheeses, crackers, olives, baby dills, dried fruits and nuts. To prevent damage when entertaining outdoors, look for trays and platters made from wood, metal or plastic.
When it comes to wine glasses, the style you purchase should depend on function and preference. Wine glasses come in clear or colored glass, crystal, or stainless steel, and they feature tapered or flared rims. Always consider bowl size when choosing glasses for red or white wines. A wider bowl allows red wines to breathe, which enhances their flavor, and a narrower bowl preserves the cooler temperature and flavor of white wines.
More party and entertaining supplies
Are you looking for additional party and entertaining ideas? Add even more fun to your festivities with these useful products:
- Bar carts for moving adult beverages from here to there
- Wine racks to keep your reds and whites organized
- Drink dispensers for easy access to juices and lemonade
- Coasters to protect your wood furniture
- Swizzle sticks for mixing cocktails to perfection