Get your home ready for holiday parties

‘Tis the season for entertaining! This year, instead of eating off paper plates when you hold your annual potluck reunion with friends, bring out the nice dishes, even if they’re mismatched. This is the time for that extra special touch to show your guests they’re welcome into your home. Small changes transform your space into one that people can have fun in.

1. Set up a beverage station.  A corner table can work as catch-all for everything your guests will need—glasses, cocktail mixers, water, ice, napkins, a wine bucket and other accessories. The sight of a tableful of beverages with lovely drinking glasses on the ready instantly elevates any gathering. Add glam by using a tray, adding a vase of fresh flowers, or even some candles.

2. Bring out the table linens. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to lay a tablecloth over a dining table—the impact it brings, however, is considerable. Even the simplest white tablecloth matched with cloth napkins can bring a bit more formality to any lunch or dinner setting. Mixing colors and patterns and thinking out of the box when coming up with schemes or themes can make your set up even more visually interesting.

3. Set the mood with lighting. Sure, not everyone has light dimmers, but adding inexpensive tea lights or votives to your home during a party can create a festive, moody, or romantic atmosphere. Using candelabras can also inject personality into your party. Antique-looking candleholders can offer a more traditional ambience while contemporary and colorful shapes bring you straight into the 21st century.

4.  Don’t be afraid of mismatched tableware. Maybe you have that fine china you got as a wedding present or special dinnerware you bring out when there are guests around. As you become more comfortable, it is also a good idea to explore secondhand shops for mismatched plates, or end-of-year sales at department stores and furniture shops for exclusive steals. Having different sets of tableware can help you create different experiences for your guests, depending on your party’s theme.

5.  Work with your table. You don’t need to invest in a 12-seater just to be able to entertain. Round dining tables can be perfect for intimate groups and small dinners, while long, rectangular set-ups encourage big group interaction with more private chats among those sitting next to each other. Square tables can limit guests to just four, but do consider that that may be just enough for a small space.


Have any home and organizing questions for the author? Email her at

Chinggay Labrador is a freelance writer and stylist, contributing articles on beauty, lifestyle and design to local magazines. Her background in architecture has her profiling trends and homes throughout the region. A travel junkie who likes to frequent Japan and Korea, Chinggay is the former editor-in-chief of Sparkling, a quarterly K-Pop publication and is also the author of “Popped and Popped, Too,” books based on the fun, frivolity and friendship centered on Korean Pop music.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

Latest News

  • Russian superhighway could connect London to New York AFP Relax - 18 hours ago
    Russian superhighway could connect London to New York

    Russia has unveiled ambitious plans to build a superhighway that, in theory, could make it possible to drive from London on one end to New York on the other. According to a report by The Siberian Times, the head of Russian Railways is asking the government to seriously consider his project dubbed the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development, the first modern transportation corridor that would link up the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. Plans call for the construction of a new high-speed railway and the …

  • 8 Signs the Girl You’re Dating is Not the One 8list - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 8:25 AM PHT
    8 Signs the Girl You’re Dating is Not the One

    Neeext! …

  • Trim the fat for happiness, says latest diet research AFP Relax - 20 hours ago
    Trim the fat for happiness, says latest diet research

    Diets high in fat can lead to not only weight gain and heart disease, but depression and behavior changes, according to a new study at Louisiana State University in the US. These changes come about due to the high-fat diet's affect on the gut microbiome, according to the study. They transferred the gut microbiota from mice that had been fed either a high-fat diet or a control diet into adult mice of normal weight that had been kept on a normal diet. Those who had received microbiota shaped …

  • Thai junta leader to fight forced labor in fish industry Associated Press - 7 hours ago
    Thai junta leader to fight forced labor in fish industry

    BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's junta leader has vowed to take legal action against companies using forced labor, after an Associated Press investigation revealed that fish caught by enslaved migrant workers was being exported from Thai ports to global markets. …

  • What Everyone Gets Wrong At The Gym Realbuzz - Mon, Mar 23, 2015 5:00 PM PHT
    What Everyone Gets Wrong At The Gym

    Not seeing results for all your hard work at the gym? It could be down to these common pitfalls …

  • 6 Foolproof Fitness Apps To Get You Into Shape Realbuzz - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 5:00 PM PHT
    6 Foolproof Fitness Apps To Get You Into Shape

    Imagine a world without your smartphone… it would be your worst nightmare, right? If you hate the thought of exercising without your phone, don’t panic – it can be a pretty nifty fitness tool! If you’re new to the apping world, you’ve got lots to catch up on. In an increasingly digital world, everything can be tracked, taught and shared at the touch of a button; enhancing your fitness plan more than you ever thought possible. If you’re curious to find out which apps could really make a …

  • 7 Health And Fitness Blogs To Read Before Summer Realbuzz - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 5:00 PM PHT
    7 Health And Fitness Blogs To Read Before Summer

    We find fitness inspiration from all corners of the Internet – social media, apps, expert articles. But one platform that’s really made an impact over the past decade is blogging. Personal accounts from health and fitness gurus are priceless. You get to hear genuine advice from ‘real’ people; people who are as excited, interested and passionate about the subject as you are. Rather then umming and ahhing, trying to decide whether that recipe’s really worth trying or if that new workout …

  • Lioness kept as pet in Pakistan gives birth to 5 cubs Associated Press - 20 hours ago
    Lioness kept as pet in Pakistan gives birth to 5 cubs

    MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) — It's a baby boom for the owner of a pet lioness in central Pakistan. The African lioness named Queen has given birth to five healthy cubs — double the usual two-to-three-cub litters among lions. …


My New Year's resolution is to:

Poll Choice Options