Volume 1 | Issue 6

Page 18

You can enjoy Florida’s winter weather by hosting your party outdoors. Even if the air turns a little chilly, you can warm up the space with a decorative propane patio heater or seat your guests around a fire table.

DESIGNER Q&A with Claudia Leah



is the season to gather ’round the table, enjoying bountiful meals with family and friends in celebration of the holidays. As you make your plans, a well-designed and organized home can help alleviate the stress of party planning and guest arrivals so take some time to make sure your home is prepped for this exciting and busy season. Amid the flurry of preparations for a dinner party of any size, let’s not overlook one very basic requirement—a place for every guest to sit. Considering tables and chairs may not sound as exciting as dreaming up holiday tablescapes, your guests will be much merrier if they have a comfortable place for their derrière. If a new dining table is in your near future, choose one that has at least one or two insertable leaves to extend your dining area. The extra


leaves can be stored under a bed when not in use. Some tables even have leaf storage built in. Once extended, there is still the seating situation to address. The average dining chair is 16–20 inches wide. A general rule of thumb is to allow three inches on each side to avoid bumping elbows at the table. But before you pull out the mismatched, uncomfortable, skinny folding chairs, try a dining bench. Cozy by nature, an upholstered dining bench with a smooth or tufted back and even slight arms will give you more tableside seating options and can double as a standalone furniture piece when not drawn up to the table. Most holiday celebrations revolve around good food and festive drinks. If you don’t have a built in bar area, don’t worry—you can still have a well-stocked and well-organized drink station. There are a plethora of bar carts on the market to match any design style and budget

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