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1. Use tiered trays
The easiest way to double the size of your countertops is to use vertical trays and cake stands. Wrap a few shoeboxes in pretty paper and balance plates on top to create a two-tiered stand, like hotels use for buffets. You can also borrow cake stands – or make them from the plates and glasses you already have.
See how in this video:
2. Mix-and-match is better than matchy-matchy
If you don’t have enough matching chairs, plates, or forks, make it work by mixing and matching. It’s an official décor trend – as you can see in this gorgeous photo by twopairphotography:
Mixing and matching sets a relaxed tone people love, especially at pot-luck parties. A stylist’s trick is to mix in mainly white everyday plates like these with a few patterned special pieces.
It also helps to have one or two colours that appear in all the plates you borrow from friends, family and neighbors – these tricks keep the look clean and eclectic, rather than messy.
3. Serve a signature festive drink
It’s nice if people bring a gift of wine to your party, but if you don’t have the space for a giant bar, keep things simple but special with a signature festive drink. Mix it in a jug or a punch bowl so guests can serve themselves and you won’t get stuck being bartender all night.
We’ve got some great DIY cordial recipes here. Keep some beer in the fridge (or cool beer bottles in a bucket of ice in the shower). Add sparkling water and sodas for kids and guests who don’t drink alcohol, and you’re golden.
Text: Tara Barker