How to Host a Friendsgiving

What’s better than Thanksgiving dinner? How about two Thanksgiving dinners!! Family gatherings are important and traditional, but a growing trend is hosting a Friendsgiving, a special Thanksgiving-style dinner with your favorite friends.

Hold it before Thanksgiving to create a trial run for the big day, or after to make the most of leftovers or serve something completely different.

Here are some things to consider before hosting your Friendsgiving:

Consider potluck. Friendsgiving is the perfect time to hold a potluck, making it easier than Thanksgiving because no one person will be in charge of the entire meal. Assign specific dishes or a category, such as veggies or dessert. Or be bold and enjoy whatever dishes show up in hand.

Set a theme. Another dinner-planning idea is to choose a theme and have guests bring something that fits. For example, set a theme of Italian, Chinese farm-to-table or even deep-fried. This could be a nice break from your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Make sure to accommodate special diets. Check in with friends and see if anyone has food allergies or intolerances, or follows a special diet, such as vegan or Paleo. Then make sure you have enough on your menu to fill them up.

Think about drinks. If you are serving alcohol, plan how you’ll stock your bar. You can make it easy and serve just wine or beer. Or create a special cocktail for the day, such as a special martini or mixed drinks. Or set out what guests will need for the most common drinks.

Decide if you want a special décor. Thanksgiving dinner usually includes a special holiday tablescape with a centerpiece, place settings, napkins and place cards. Friendsgiving, however, can be as festive or casual as you wish.

Do you hold Friendsgiving? Share you favorite tips in the comments below!

Find the Dining Room that Matches Your Entertaining Style

The holiday season can also be called the dining room season. Whether you invited your large family or a small gathering of friends, it’s the time of year to celebrate with loved ones and that often involves bringing people together over food.

So is your dining room ready? And does it fit your personality? Your dining room should be a reflection of your entertaining style, and the pieces you’ll need are dictated by your personality.

 

The Socialite

Do you love large parties with dozens of guests, mingling and chatting with Michael Buble’s Christmas CD playing in the background? A dining room table will accommodate intimate gatherings, and you’ll need a nice buffet and bar to create a place for appetizers and drinks. A bistro or gathering height table in your kitchen is also a great addition, since that’s often where people tend to gather. Here are some options for the hostess with the mostest:

 

 

The contemporary feel of the NB2 Modern Dining Collection features sleek lines and a rich, dark finish. Upholstered chairs have a unique design, while the bar cabinet and buffet are embellished with gold hardware.

 

The Destin Five-Piece Gathering Set will be the perfect spot for guests to mingle in the kitchen. The glass top offers an open feeling, while the arched base feels special.

 

The Matriarch

Do you relish hosting your extended family once or twice a year for a traditional-style holiday feast? If so, you’ll want special pieces in an elegant style worthy of your semiannual affair. You’ll need a dining room table with a leaf (or two). A formal china cabinet or sideboard will also fit the bill. And consider a table protector to guard your investment, especially if you have small children in attendance. Here are some pieces that will fit your Norman Rockwell style:

 

The Cambria Dining Collection proves that formal dining doesn’t have to be boring. The trestle table features vase turnings and a distressed two-tone finish. The upholstered chairs offer that feeling of luxury and comfort. You’ll love the beautiful buffet for showing off or storing your heirloom china.

 

Or consider the Hartford Dining Room Collection. The walnut finish is rich and inviting, while the leaf expands the table to 90”. You’ll love showing off your stemware in the matching china cabinet and the dining chest provides a great place for tempting dinner guests with dessert.

 

The Laidback Hostess

Do you combine your everyday eating area with the space in which you entertain? If so, you’ll need a causal yet transitional dining set that would be as much at home during Saturday morning Cheerios with your kids as it would be on Christmas Day sharing a standing rib roast with your in-laws. Sturdiness, comfort and function will be key for you, so look for a table and chairs that are sold enough for daily use yet beautiful enough for showing off. Check out these dining options for the person who celebrates every meal in style.

 

The Sterling Collection from Gascho is handsome enough for company and sturdy enough for daily use. It’s an excellent example of solid wood construction, utilizing the finest selections of solid maple. An investment in Gascho is an investment in a family heirloom. You’ll love this piece for years.

 

Or consider Essex Dining Collection, which offers a fresh take farmhouse style. Its auburn and white finish look perfect in a kitchen, and its style is comfortable enough for a casual gathering with friends and family.

 

Get Ready for Entertaining Season: Folding Chairs and Tables

The holidays are the season for entertaining, and that often means you need more space at the dining room table. If your current table and chairs meet your needs every other day of the year, maybe all you need is a folding table and chairs for special occasions. Today’s styles and materials offer lots of options so you can bring home a set that blends with your décor. Check out these options that ship for free!

Folding Chairs

 

These chairs are made of wood for a stylish and sturdy seating option that you could use on a regular basis. Or fold them and store them away when not needed.

 

These white metal chairs have a stylish X-back, which adds a striking detail to your table setting. They fold for easy storage, but they’re also chic when in use.

 

Or go with the traditional-style folding chair in black with a padded fabric seat. A great value, these fold flat for quick and easy storage.

 

Folding Tables

 

Add a pop of color with a teal folding table and chairs set. This would be a colorful “kids’ table,” as well as a festive place to entertain friends.

 

Increase your guest list by having a large folding table on hand. Easily seat eight, or use as a large buffet for a holiday spread.

 

This Espresso Wood Table is made of wood and looks too pretty to be portable—but it is! The vinyl inset makes clean up effortless, and the genuine wood construction makes guests feel pampered.

Display Your Cabernet

Beer may be the big advertiser on Super Bowl Sunday, but wine is becoming the drink of choice for many of today’s adults. According to Fox News, beer sales are down 20 percent over the last 20 years while wine sales are up.

 

From merlot to malbec, pinot grigio and pinot noir, a glass of wine elevates any event to an experience in taste and sophistication. In fact, one of the most common hostess gifts is a bottle of vino. So where do you store yours?

 

Don’t hide bottles in a kitchen cabinet. Instead, showcase your collection in a wine bar or sideboard. Take a look at these four toast-worthy options available at Art Van Furniture:

 

Sheridan Server Wine Rack

 

Our Sheridan Server, in a fitting rich merlot finish, is a great addition to a dining room or gathering space. Store four bottles in its open wine bays, and keep your collection of wine glasses inside the two cabinets. The open shelving gives you a chance to display your decorative glasses or accent pieces, and a drawer conveniently holds a corkscrew, wine charm assortment and cocktail napkins.

 

Keegan Server Wine Rack

 

The unique Keegan Server and Wine Rack will also hold your wine in style. With a beveled mirrored back and warm cherry brown finish, it adds sparkle and grace to your room. Five bottles of wine are held in its wine bays. Storage capabilities also include a total of five felt lined drawers, two cabinets and one display cabinet with an elegant glass door. The top features a starburst veneer pattern for a surprising detail.

 

Tocara Wine Bar

 

The serious wine consumer will love the Tocara Wine Bar Curio. Two full-length glass doors showcase a collection of wine, champagne and martini glasses on glass shelves. A felt-lined drawer easily holds your corkscrew, aerator and foil cutter. Set up a bar on the curio’s pullout work surface, and organize, store and display your wine collection in three pullout racks.

 

Wine Cabinetzhang wine bar

 

Finally, add a splash of color to your room with our Asian-Inspired Zhang Wine Cabinet. Part of our Urban AV Collection, the piece is constructed using traditional Chinese joinery. One of a kind, it’s hand-painted in aqua and hand-distressed. It holds glassware inside its deep doors and dozens of bottles inside its wine bays.