Holiday Entertaining Tips from Designer Kim Seybert
Kim Seybert, a world-renowned designer spoke to Luxist and gave us her six favorite tips for throwing the perfect holiday gathering.
Seybert is widely credited with being the creator of "fashion for the table". She successfully translated her skills as an evening gown and cocktail dress designer to the home with the creation of Kim Seybert, her namesake company, for which she designs gorgeous and elegant placemats, napkins, napkin rings, table runners, tablecloths, glasses, bath accessories and home decor accessories. Seybert's extensive line of table wear and home accessories is available for purchase on the Kim Seybert website as well as at such luxury retailers as Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Barneys New York, and Horchow.
Seybert's designs often feature the same techniques she used when designing glamorous evening gowns. As a result, her designs are so stunning, they present an easy alternative to re-decorating a home. Seybert's spectacular napkin rings (see image below), for example, feature extensive beading and are so gorgeous they are often referred to as "jewelry for the table".
As a result, Luxist couldn't think of anyone better equipped to offer advice about how to decorate a beautiful table for the holiday season than the expert herself.
"The holidays are a time to open your home and entertain with family and friends," Seybert says. "If you are hosting a dinner party this season, here are some simple tips to make your next holiday party a memorable one. But remember, there are exceptions to every rule so don't be afraid to add your own creative touch."
Below, are Kim's six favorite tips for anyone wanting to host an elegant affair this holiday season---or any other time of the year.
- "Does my table have to match the dining room?"
I am often asked this question. The answer is absolutely not! You want to have fun with your table and if you limit yourself to a certain color palette it's hard to get creative and surprise your guests. For instance, if you have a blue dining room, you can still set a traditional red and green Christmas table and make it work beautifully.
- Don't be afraid to mix and match your china.
If you have 12 plates from one set and 12 plates from another, you can definitely mix them together. Try alternating table settings and use a dinner plate from one set with a salad plate from the other and visa versa. This is a great solution if you are expecting more people than the sets of china you have.
- Set your table in advance.
I always visualize the table scape in my head but once I actually lay it out, there's always something that needs to be tweaked. If you set everything out the night before, there will be plenty of time to make any necessary changes and adjustments.
- Can you use placemats with a table cloth?
I think you can go either way here. Table clothes are a fabulous way of adding more color to the room but if you have a beautiful table, feel free to show it off and just use placemats. For a messier meal like Thanksgiving, Christmas or if you are expecting children, you may want to use a pad and table cloth as an extra barrier and you can still use your placemats.
- How important is it to play music while entertaining?
Great music can always make your home cozier and more inviting. It is so important to take the time to put together a well thought out play list for the mood you want to set. Make sure your play list flows and is long enough so your guests don't have to listen to the same songs over and over again.
- What is more appropriate: a buffet or a sit-down dinner?
When you're expecting a big group for the holidays, it can be much easier to serve dinner buffet style. The great thing about buffets is that they are an excellent way for your guests to mingle. You can sit and enjoy your entrée with one person and have dessert with another guest.