This Fall’s Entertainer’s Must-Haves

Can you believe Thanksgiving is only a month away?!? As we quickly approach our favorite time of year, we’re taking stock of the butler’s pantry and linen closet and planning out all the detailing surrounding the main meal itself.

steve mckenzie’s has everything you’ll need to set, serve, savor and ensure success of your Thanksgiving meal! We’ve pulled together a quick list of this fall’s entertainer’s must-haves to prepare for a memorable get together, your friends and family won’t soon forget:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something Melamine 

For us, melamine is an entertainer’s dream… It looks high end, but is practically indestructible! And appetizer time is an ideal time to set these pieces out. Your guests will be milling around visiting, snacking, perhaps cooking and the last thin you’ll want to worry about is a chipped or broken dish. This chip and dip set and appetizer plate set by Le Cadeaux would be a beautiful start to your meal, and practical to boot!

 

Designer Candles

Gorgeous taper candles are an amazing way to really amplify your tablescape. Forget the boring white candles, these high fashion tapers will offer a while new dimension and additional sparkle. Made with the finest beeswax, these candles have a burn time of 11 hours, so your Thanksgiving dinner will be all aglow, as will the next day’s brunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfectly Poised Accents

You’ve got your china and your serving pieces all squared away. But, how about those tabletop accent pieces that say you’ve thought of each and every detail. It’s these pieces that help guests feel at home and encourage lingering… This small, 8″ tray by R. Wood Studio is so versatile – be it cheeses, olives or other charcuterie, these tiny nibbles are an ideal accompaniment to any celebratory meal, and this little dish is the perfect vessel! Next, a few smartly placed white marble salt cellars (yes, the gold spoon is included ;-)) will show guests no detail was overlooked and their comfort is paramount… down to ensuring perfect seasoning for each plate.

And there’s so much more we have to offer all the entertainers out there both in-store and online via the new steve mckenzie’s website. We’d love to have the opportunity to help you select the ideal pieces to make this holiday special or even pick the perfect hostess gift if you’ll be celebrating outside of your home!

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Our Top 4 Elements of a Tantalizing Tablescape

Recently, our own Jill McKenzie was quoted for a holiday tabletop article for the AJC by Merlisa Lawrence Corbett. The article shares some fantastic tips and ideas for creating the perfect setting for all of your holiday tables… And, as you’re surely aware, we’re in crunch time for holiday gatherings!

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In this luxe tablescape, we used Royal Crown Derby china, Baccarat glassware, Reed and Barton cutlery and vintage brass candlesticks.

So, if you’ll be hosting any seasonal soirees, read below to learn what our top four elements to any tantalizing tablescape are:

  • THE Tablecloth – it’s the base of your entire tablescape and sets the mood for the entire gathering. Anything from fine linen textiles to an antique quilt may be used. Just make it interesting and make it YOU.
    • An easy formula for a classic tablescape is to begin with a white or cream tablecloth then dress it up or down with runners, squares, etc. Le Jacquard Provence Strawberry square
    • Linens from Le Jacquard Francais, such as their 69″x69″ squares are a fantastic addition, when placed as a “diamond” in the center of the table. The offer wonderful color and interest!
  • Individualize Place Settings – add a personalized touch to your table by using different pieces at everyone’s place. And be sure to pull out the fancy china for these gatherings! After all, what are you saving it for?!
    • It’s also a smart idea to use little place cards, especially for a larger group, as this makes selecting a seat effortless and you can assist with the flow of conversation by specifically selecting who will sit where.

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  • Considerate Centerpieces – the formula for a sensational centerpiece is simple = keep it low or very high, not in between. You want to ensure your guests can see each other across the table!
    Teak and resin candle holder - use with taper candles or votives!
    Teak and resin candle holder – use with taper candles or votives!
    • Add a “wow factor” with fabulous candle holders and candelabras, mix in natural elements and create a few simple floral arrangements with grocery store flower or even greenery cuttings from your own backyard.

      Ivory and gold "fishnet" tapers
      Ivory and gold “fishnet” tapers
    • OR, if you have simple candle holders, a fabulous set of taper candles may be all you need to add a bit of oomph to your table!
R. Wood's Chartreuse colorway
R. Wood’s Chartreuse colorway
  • Unexpected Colors – add a third color into your holiday tablescapes to shake things up a bit… Try green, red and gold or green red a silver. OR, consider a unique hue of green. We love R. Wood’s super saturated chartreuse color, which really adds a lot of brightness to a tabletop.

*BONUS TIP: Set your table in advance – at least a day prior to your event. Take this opportunity to play around with your tablescape and even “audition” different centerpieces or serving pieces. Layout a place setting then walk away. As you move throughout the space, you’ll know how you like it or how it could be improved.

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This New Years Eve buffet is fit for a celebration, thanks to the beautiful Match Pewter, stunning (yet care-free) acrylic glasses and original works by Steve McKenzie.

As our favorite, festive time for the year quickly approaches, an organized mindset will be your best friend. So, get to organizing those holiday tablescapes now! See other inspirational ideas in the AJC article and for some hands-on assistance, come into the steve mckenzie’s showroom today, where our team can help guide you to a sensational seasonal tablescape for your gathering.

Tablescape Thursday: Thanksgiving 2015 Edition

With Thanksgiving only one week away (from today – ahh!) it’s time to start gathering everything you’ll need to create the perfect Thanksgiving table for your celebration.

This year, we’re focusing on setting up a buffet for a large gathering. Sure, there’s something to be said about family-style dining. But sometimes that’s not practical; and of you’re expecting a large group or plan on pulling together a potluck-style meal, a buffet may be just the right solution for you!

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However, even with a buffet, there are still some items you should find homes for on your tabletops (even if there are multiple dining tables for your soiree!). Those items should include a butter dish with softened butter, salt/pepper shakers, and a centerpiece of some sort – be it a simple sprig or two of greenery in a pretty Blenko water bottle, or vintage turkeys, such as the one pictured above from Steve and Jill’s beloved collection.

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Next, you need to consider the utensils… Will they be set on the table with napkins, or as a part of the buffet. If you opt to add them to the buffet, offer guests either a stack of napkins with forks, knives and spoons at the start of the buffet table or do a little work ahead of time, rolling the utensils in fabric napkins, so all guests have to do is select a roll and move on down the table.

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Finally, it’s time to think about setting out the food on the buffet. make space for all your dishes and offer some visual interest, consider using serving ware that will add height, such as cake stands or footed bowls, or create the height yourself by working boxes and books in under your tablecloths and setting a taller stage for some foods. Begin with your cold or room temperature dishes, like green salads, and work through warm sides, ending with the main event – the turkey! Near the bird, offer folks a cranberry conserve, or other tart relish, and keep the gravy warm in a small covered coup tureen or even chaffing dish warmed by candles.

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Bring out baskets for bread and various sized dishes for your guests to select from, weather they’re on their first, second or even dessert course!

And lastly, consider some decor items. Sure, the star of your decor may be the table centerpieces, but don’t forget the buffet table! Some skillfully placed candles, simple floral arrangements (or even bits of greenery and leaves worked in under your serving ware) will be much appreciated. If you’re looking to go all-out, bring in seasonal accessories, pine cones, and unique textiles, all with the goal of adding interest, color and texture without taking away from your fabulous food!

If you need help pulling together the perfect tablescape, or setting up your ideal buffet, come visit the team at steve mckenzie’s today and we’ll ensure your holiday hostessing is an effortless success!