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Expert lighting tips for entertaining


As you plan holiday parties, don’t under estimate the not-so-subtle power of lighting. The right lighting helps set the stage for an event. I love utilizing candles to create the perfect atmosphere and buy them all year long so they’re ready to go when I need them. Here are a few of my tips on how to create an illuminated soiree.

For the table

Tapered candles are elegant and add a classic flare to your table. I always like to have at least one vignette of tapered candles as they last throughout the dinner and create beautiful light. Take two great candelabras that hold many tapered candles and place them on a runner in the middle of your table with live greens or seasonal fruit surrounding or between the two. This iron candelabra from Anthropology holds a dozen candles and will provide a dramatic scene on any table.

On your buffet

After spending the day cooking, you want as much room as possible to display your hard work on your buffet table. To create the ambiance while leaving more room for the food, stick to tall, thin candleholders. Set one on each side of your buffet table and a few more in between. I love these hand-blown glass candlesticks by Juliska. They help create an eclectic look whether you like contemporary or antique, and the glass will sparkle in the candlelight. Feel free to mix up the sizes and shapes for a more interesting tablescape.

Coffee table

Now that you have a couple of ideas for your dining room, let’s think about your entertaining spaces. One or two larger hurricanes or lanterns can add a bit of drama to a room. Place either on a coffee table or fireplace mantle to enhance the room’s lighting and atmosphere. I like this natural branch lantern because it interesting and unexpected.

For all around

Using tea lights or votive candles, sprinkle votive holders around your home when entertaining. Feel free to add them to your dining table for a romantic glow while eating, around your other candlesticks on you buffet table, and all over your living room. I always like interesting details and that holds true when it comes to votive holders. My current favorite is mercury glass votive holders because of the way the light looks on the glass. Try these from ABC Home or this trio of silver votives from Z Gallerie.

Candles are the best way to create a party atmosphere. You can never have too many! As long as you have candles, you can’t go wrong.

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