As someone who has been to her share of holiday parties this season (and might have thrown one or two,) I am constantly looking for advice on how to make tablescapes (yes, I used that phrase) and the like more exciting. As per usual, you should turn to the experts, which means that FSB’s good friend Robert Verdi is here to rescue us from boring party details.
The man is an idea generator and he’s provided this hilarious entertaining video that will be ever-so-helpful when you start looking for entertaining ideas from now through the end of the winter entertaining season (which is what – the Oscars?)
And here are the fabulous ideas laid out for your, blog post style:
Scattering rose petals on a table makes for a really romantic (and cost-effective) way to decorate your table.
You can blend ice finely then pack them into snowballs to keep drinks cold. Also, here’s a slice of genius: tired of your beverages getting watery? Freeze ice cubes the same as the beverage you’re drinking (like Coca-Cola, my singular daily addiction – and I mean that, no one is paying me to say that) so your drinks never get watered down. It’s a must-do for mixed drinks.
Vintage, mismatched plates make for a gorgeous table setting. You can literally head down to your local Salvation Army, flea market or thrift store and gather fun, quirky ones for cents on the dollar.
Brown paper bags cinched with a pretty ribbon make for a great hostess gift or holiday item, especially when it contains Williams-Sonoma Hot Chocolate. I mean, yum.
I don’t have kid,s but I do have adorable godchildren who would totally be in for this: using butcher block or craft paper, let them create homemade placemats. Even if you do have kids, I would get in on this because, let’s face it, Crayola Crayons rule.
Desserts do not – I repeat, DO NOT – have to be complicated. Serve cupcakes (or mini cupcakes) and put a candy bar out for people to decorate their own with all sorts of sprinkles or, you know, they could just eat the candy. Whatever works but it’s fun! If you’re around NYC (and even if you aren’t) I have to shamelessly insert my own plug here for the Mother Of All Things Amazing, Dylan’s Candy Bar. I mean, they do ship after all.
Instead of boring old placecards, go ahead and take your guests’ photo when they enter with a Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera (we all swear by these now) and use that for their placesetting assignment. You can also punch a hole it in later and use the photo (and others you take during the party) as tree ornaments or house decor.
If you’re like those of us here in Manhattan, you’re obsessed with the haute design cookies from Tasty Morsels. Yep, that Coca-Cola ornament is a COOKIE, designed by the company’s amazing artist. You NEED these tasty visual marvels for your next shindig, just sayin’.
Cost-effective and so lovely: core red apples and insert tapers for an elegant (and natural) centerpiece. You’re welcome, America.
Conversely, pomegranates make for a gorgeous natural centerpiece and you can sprinkle them on everything from salads to soups to frozen beverages or – if you’re like them – eat the entire bowl once your guests have left.
Please do enjoy and feel free to share with friends. You can also do what the rest of us do when we’re in a style or entertaining pickle, which is chat him up on Twitter at @robertverdi, using the hashtag #rvtips. Not kidding, you will be simply mindblown at what this man can come up with in less than 140 characters and within mere seconds of asking him.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!