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October 29, 2015

5 Tips for The Ultimate Dinner Party

Halloween is in just a few days and that officially marks the start of entertaining season. Well for me at least. Hosting an elegant dinner party or an gathering or any sort can be expensive. However, your local Goodwill can really come in handy when you are planning your big holiday event.

Whether it is a Thanksgiving brunch, dinner  for the family, or maybe it is your turn to host the annual Christmas dinner, I am going to give you 5 great tips you can use to score impressive decor to plan your holiday soiree.



The current trend right now in flatware is gold, copper or brass.  I have been eyeing a few sets at a few big box stores and they are quite pricey. If you are hosting a sit-down dinner for a large number of people Goodwill is the perfect place to pick up flatware and transform them.


Depending on what your color scheme, the possibilities are endless.


I think the fun way to execute this is to mix and match the flatware. Sometimes I am all for matching and other times I am all for coordinating. In this case I think it will be great to simply coordinate the colors with different flatware pieces.




The flatware at my local Goodwill is around 20 – 30 cents. Imagine how many different place settings you can create with so little money.


The possibilities are endless. As always I must put out this note: Do not paint the actual piece that will go in your mouth. Also, different paints have different effects so many sure you are follow the directions on the bottle to ensure safety.

Speaking of. I think I am going to go this week and buy some flatware and play around with it and see what combinations I can dream up.


There are so many possibilities when it comes to table linens. One of my go to secrets is to go straight  to the bedding and the drapery department in Goodwill. Why? Because you can use sheets and drapes as table cloths.




You may not be able to find multiples of a drape or a sheet set that you like, so mix it in with a basic white table cloth for an eclectic look.

My tip for this is to choose a color scheme or them you want and then start collecting your pieces. It may take some time, but if you keep at it you will get everything you need.


Depending on the type of mood you are going for, you can really collect a lot of inexpensive thrifted chairs




Isn’t it surprising what you can really do when you actually plan a little bit? All of these chairs are mixed and matched, but they give such a great breath of life to these dining spaces.



Just in case you want a bit more color, you can always paint the chairs the same color. Any color. Any style. There are so many options. I wish I could go through all of them, but I can’t.

If you start collecting chairs now you can have as many as you need by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.


I entertain a lot and I also style dinner parties for clients in and outside of my design studio. I try to always start with the basics such as white plates and clear glasses. After I have those, I begin my search for what I can add to my table.

Let me put this disclaimer out, that not all styles are easily found at Goodwill or any thrift store for that matter, but if you are diligent in your thrifting, you will eventually stumble upon something that will strike your fancy.




Colored glassware is certainly a little harder to find nowadays, but it is not impossible. As you can tell from the curated collection by Casa De Perrin, a  high-end rental company in Los Angeles, there are so many out there to choose from.



Although I don’t do a lot of bright colors in my design work, I am definitely an advocate for using them, and with such low prices at Goodwill you can really create an excellent tablescape for the holidays.




Yes. We are bringing out all the fancy stuff. All of my tray and wine buckets have been thrifted. I have been collecting for many years. Although I think its time to cut back. lol.

If you want to really get a curated high-end look for your dinner party, make sure you start collecting serving dishes in both silver and brass OR you can choose whichever you like the most. The good thing about thrifting these pieces is that often times they are really cheap and you can use them over and over again.

I also like the fact that they can fit in virtually any decor style. Well maybe not modern, but who knows, we can start a new trend.

When you are collecting make sure you are buying all sizes. Small sizes are good for condiments and candies while the larger one are perfect for vegetables, meats and signature dishes. Once again I say start early looking for these pieces so that you can buy as many as you need, because who wants to finish us the potato salad and realize there is no place to put it?

Hosting a holiday dinner event doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. With just a few easy and early planning tips you can set an impressive table. 

The first thing you are going to want to do is check to see what you have in your own stash, after that make you way to the flatware department and start collecting your favorite patterns and stock up on as many flatware pieces as you can. Then visit the soft textile area and score some great linens to go on the table. Head back over to the plates and the glassware and add the ones you like to your cart. You may have to visit your favorite store multiple times to get everything you need, but look on the bright side, you were going anyway. lol.

Don’t forget to send us some photos of your table!





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