Guest Picks: For the Hostess With the Mostest
I love throwing parties. Period. For me, food, friends and beautiful dishes make a glorious trifecta. Last year I had a group of friends over at the ranch for an outdoor barbecue. I set up long tables in the pasture, which was awash in bluebonnets. It was a perfect day for me (if you ignore the fact that I sprained my ankle earlier in the day after falling off a ladder while hanging bunting along the back porch — I still had fun). This ideabook is a collection of items I've curated for throwing a party to make guests feel special and celebrated. — Anita from Cedar Hill Ranch
Damask Canapé Plates - $70
I love the beautiful pattern and pops of color on these plates. I can imagine using them for a Moroccan-themed party with lots of bold colors.
ChargeIt! by Jay 13-inch Gold Monogram Chargers - $44.99
I'm a sucker for a monogram, and look — that's my initial! I love these: bling and a monogram.
Castellane Tablecloth, 63" x 98" - $115
The pattern and color on this tablecloth would give instant party appeal. It just screams, "Let's have fun!"
Antique Silver Pitchers - $79
Silver — yes, please! It tells guests that they are special enough for you to go the extra mile for them. These silver-plated pitchers are new, but they come already patinated, no aging necessary.
Ceramic Beverage Tub - $69.99
With a beverage tub, guests can serve themselves. I've found that most of my guests prefer to self serve, so I always try to have a tub of assorted drinks available.
Carousel Cupcake Holder - $75
This merry-go-round brings out the kid in me. I find it so whimsical and think guests would love to grab a cupcake from it.
White Charger Plates - $65
Pretty platters can really add a festive feel to any meal or party. These ones have so much personality. The detailed edges mean that even when piled high with food, guests will appreciate how lovely they are.
PB Classic Linen Dinner Napkin - $36
My mother-in-law always insists that I use linen napkins when entertaining. I think she's right. The linen adds a sense of importance to any meal. And did you notice? These can be monogrammed.
Chancellor Rectangular Tray - $49
I love a little bling, and this aluminum tray will add sparkle to a party without the polishing required with silver.
Bee Glassware - Set of 4 - $55
Why use boring glasses when you can use something fun? These elegant bee glasses remind me of some vintage stems that I inherited.
Milk Glass Cake Plates - $35
Footed servers add height to a buffet table and give it a presence. I try to use several footed servers or bowls when I host parties.
Godinger Salt and Pepper Shakers, Eiffel Tower Set - $40
My love of all things French means that I try to add a bit of Paris to whatever I'm doing. These salt and pepper shakers would make the perfect conversation pieces.
Cream Patisserie Cake Carrier - $24.99
I love this cake carrier. It reminds me of a vintage one that my mother-in-law always used. At less than $25, I think it's a bargain.
Park Hill Collections Window Screen Pie Safe - $180
This pie server is reminiscent of an old-time pie safe. What can I say? They just had me at "pie."
Whitewash Chalkboard Place Card Holders - $29
Name cards also makes guests feel special and celebrated. If there's a card with your name on it, you'll feel a little extra special.
Great White Soup Tureen - $50
What is it about a tureen that makes me weak in the knees? I think everyone could probably use at least one of these. They're great for soups, sauces and stews. Sometimes I add a soup to my menu just so that I can pull out the tureens.
Iittala Dinnerware, Kastehelmi Footed Bowl, Clear - $25
This footed serving bowl is elegant and adds height to the table. I love the hobnail detail too.
Godinger Serveware, Jamestown Beverage Dispenser - $80
Self-service drinks are a must-have at my parties. I want guests to feel like they can grab a drink or refill whenever they like.
Pillivuyt Rectangular Roasters - $99.95
When serving anything from the oven, I try to use the most elegant baking dishes I can find. This classic white piece would be so perfect for roasting vegetables. And as my mom says, "White goes with everything."
Vintage-style Pie Servers - $19.98
A beautiful serving utensil makes a statement and adds detail that will not be overlooked. Guests may not remember each and every one of your special touches, but they will remember the overall impact and how you made the soiree really feel like a celebration.
Platinum Plus Brewing System - $189.99
My guests love my Keurig. I like it because it is self serve, and guests can get a fresh cup of coffee anytime they want. Personally, I'm not much of a coffee drinker (though I do love espresso), but my guests tell me that the coffee from this is delicious.
Next: A Pretty Backyard Dinner Party
Next: A Pretty Backyard Dinner Party