Setting up a casual buffet for entertaining friends at home can be simple. I like to bring a table that I usually use inside- outside for two reasons. One, it feels homey and creates a unique look. Two, it allows your outside patio table to be used to actually sit down and eat with your guests. If you don’t have an extra table, you can use anything from an old dresser or a cardboard table and drape it in a nice simple ivory cloth. Use everyday items from your kitchen like cutting boards , cereal bowls and tumblers as food vessels. I put cheese and grapes on boards, olives in bowls and bread sticks in glass tumblers. Create 1-3 focal points and use varying height vessels to create a visual interest. I tried to keep this table in our neutral color palette this week of ivory and greens. The wood boards bring in a nice neutral color too. The terra cotta lanterns bring in that muted autumn color. Stacks of small square white plates and bamboo hors d’oeuvres picks allow guests to serve themselves. The big impact here is multiples and multiples of green grapes. When you need to make a simple, but big impact-use multiples. Notice how all the food is in our color palette too; it is either neutral brown (crackers), ivory/cream (cheese) and green (grapes & olives). There are pops of darker olives which actually pick up on the dark rims of the bowls. Again, (like I used yesterday with the mint) I used simple greens in a white vase instead of a large floral arrangement. It doesn’t take up a lot of room on the table and it allows your eye to travel across the table instead of just focusing on a big floral arrangement placed in the center. -Lynn Butler Beling
Credits: Photography, John Dolan. Prop Styling, Lynn Butler Beling. Glass tumblers, champagne glass, white square plates, terra cotta hurricanes and white vase all from littlebluedish.com.