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    Hosting and entertaining are easier with multifunctional pieces, like this Cross Country server from AspenHome.

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Hosting and entertaining are easier with multifunctional pieces, like this Cross Country server from AspenHome.


Multifunctional Dining Rooms

Looking to get more from your formal dining room? Check out our article on making the most of this space year-round.


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  • Furniture for Family Get-Togethers

    You've planned the hors d'oeuvres, entree, beverages and dessert—but what about the furniture?

    by Trisha McBride Ferguson

    When it comes to family gatherings, nothing's more important than the food. It's the center of most holidays and the cornerstone of nearly every social event. Of course, if you don't have a good way to present your meal and serve your guests, your event could be memorable for all the wrong reasons.


    Food, then Furniture

    Once your menu is complete, it's time to consider your furniture plan. To ensure the success of your next family gathering or holiday party, look closely at your dining room. Will your current furnishings help or hinder you when it comes time to serve? Now may be the time to add a few well-chosen pieces.


    For the Space-Challenged

    Whether you've got a small apartment or a spacious house, serving a crowd is one of the biggest challenges of holiday gatherings. No matter how big your space, your family is probably bigger. Sure, you can set up card tables to handle the dining overflow, but what will you do with all the food? Consider adding a sideboard to your dining room to help you maximize your table space. It will make your meal look great and make it easy for your guests to help themselves to second and third helpings of your culinary creations.


    Focus on Function

    To get the most from your dining room furnishings, look for pieces that are as functional as they are stylish. Sideboards are particularly useful additions that can be used throughout the year. They're perfect for buffet-style serving at meals as well as glassware and bar storage.

    And today's furnishings come with a bevvy of features that make hosting even easier. For example, the Cross Country server from AspenHome has a heat-resistant granite top and a built-in AC plug for warming trays and coffee makers—ensuring you'll never have to squeeze behind a heavy piece to find the outlet. 


    Create a Mood

    As you strive to put together the perfect event, think about the mood you want to create. Is it a relaxed, comfortable gathering of old friends or a lively party with an energetic vibe? Once you've defined the 'feel' that you're trying to create, you've got a direction to guide each of your choices. Whether you select energy-imparting bold colors to decorate your new sideboard for the holidays or opt for soft, soothing musical selections for your next dinner party—remember that your choices will set the mood.