When entertaining at home, you simply must stock up on homewares that will let you entertain guests at a moment’s notice. While it is essential that you have a well-stocked pantry filled with bottled goods and basics that can be whipped open and served from bottle to buffet in minutes, you also need the proper servingware so that you can make your guests feel at home, no matter how unexpected their housewarming might be! After all, the hallmark of a good hostess is that her house is always ready for visitors, no matter what. We’ve compiled a list of quick entertaining essentials to help you prepare your homeware arsenal.
1. A good cheese platter.
A cheese platter is a thing of wonder when you need something quick, easy and delightful. It is versatile, because you can serve a variety of appetizers on it, like cheeses, fruits and crackers. It makes a wonderful serving tray, especially if it is decorative yet chic.
2. A beautiful tablecloth.
The great thing about tablecloths is that you can make any surface look guest-ready in a jiffy. We recommend going for tablecloths that will fit the theme and style of your home effortlessly.
3. Some good wine.
When guests come calling (however unexpectedly), you should be ready to entertain with taste and style. So have two bottles of red, and a couple of white wines in your bar cart, especially when you are caught off guard with visitors.
They are great as decorations when not in use, but oh so essential when guests arrive! For an easy centerpiece, group some votives of varying heights together on a nice tray for the coffee table. On the dining table, make sure you have either candlesticks on simple candelabras or simple but elegant tea lights in glasses (which look lovely flickering amidst the family-style dishes).
5. Cocktail glasses and cocktail fixings.
These are best kept handy in your bar cart, for when guests need to have a bit of fun!
6. Decorative dinner napkins
Paper dinner napkins have become ever so chic these days, and are available in the entertaining and homeware sections of most upscale department stores. Buy those that blend in with the colors of your homewares and linens, and keep them handy in the buffet console.
7. Citrus fruits.
Why citrus fruits? First of all, they are related to one another and will look fine in a bowl as part of your instant centerpiece. Secondly, they are versatile! You can place a glass chopping board and a pretty knife on the table so guests can slice a lime or a lemon for their cocktail or drink. If you have oranges, these can be added to your cheese platter repertoire.
8. Good music.
Finally, set the tone for your impromptu guest night with some well-selected playlists pre-loaded into your iPod dock. Great music — maybe some light jazz or easy going instrumentals — are like the ribbon on gift to your party.
Were these tips helpful? If you’d like to share your own tips, fire away in the comments section below!