From setting the table the night before to using black candles on the dining table, entertainers extraordinaire share their best ideas for throwing an elegant, easy bash.
1. Go Overboard on the Candles
"Go heavy on the tea lights. Rather than 10, I would do 40," says designer Thom Filicia.
2. Make a Playlist
Music is an essential part of a party atmosphere. "Play a mix, from bossa nova to big band to disco. Start mellow, build, bring it back down," says Filicia.
3. Create Flow
"Pass hors d'oeuvres so guests will circulate," says designer Frank Delledonne, who often entertains in his New Jersey living room. He also advises to use serving bowls that are from different sets. "If they match, it will look like a catering hall."
4. Consider a Buffet
"I come from a huge Italian family, and they come over all the time for family dinners," Delledonne says. To feed a crowd, "Serve buffet-style, with food that can be eaten in one forkful."
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