Transform your tablescape into a whimsical, garden landscape with moss, available at your local craft store. Protect your table first with butcher paper cut to match the width and length of a moss roll. Unroll, adding a few pieces of double-sided tape between as anchor points. Line the edges with clumps of lighter-colored loose moss and finish with a cluster of fresh flowers for a flourishing affair.
I tend to host a lot of impromptu dinners in the summer. What can I do to make it look like they're planned? — M.F. Alpharetta, GA
Create an elegant and eco-friendly centerpiece for summer with a cluster of simple soy pillar candles and locally grown pears, apples or oranges. Swap out the fruit frequently to keep things fresh.
I would like to put an impressive centerpiece on my round table. There is a chandelier directly over it. Can it touch the chandelier? — R.F., FL
If you want your centerpiece to be the focal point and not the chandelier, you need space between the two, at least a foot of breathing room. A lush cluster of flowers in a unique arrangement would be eye-catching. Or try a grouping - five or more bold candlesticks or vases, for example, would work well with the chandelier.
Is it ever OK to mix glass and silver serving dishes together? — E.L., MS
Of course. Choose glasses and glass serving pieces with classic lines to complement rather than distract from the silver. This table is set for a casual garden party with a glass trifle bowl and dessert stand, silver wine bucket and an antique silver dip platter.
I really want an arrangement to complement my table. What would work best for the long and narrow design? There is no lighting directly above the table. â P.H.
A collection of candles would look beautiful on this piece arranged straight down the middle. Without much room to work with across the table, this will keep place settings from being crowded. For the holidays, spruce up simple candlesticks with a little sparkle or add an abundant floral or greenery garland.
How much space do I need around my table for people to move around comfortably?
— E.L. Cape Coral, FL
Factor in space for everyone to maneuver. All in all, you should allow 5' to 6' from the table edge to the wall or nearest surface, but definitely no less than 4' of space. Go to havertys.com/RoomPlanner_ to design your space.
I love the look of a round table, however the space where we have our table is more rectangular than round or square. Can we use a round table in that space? — H.S., TX
Add a buffet, server or china cabinet to one of the shorter walls of the space. This will make the rest of the dining area appear more square. You can also add an area rug under the table and chairs to distinguish the space.
I recently purchased a modern home and the kitchen eating area is a breakfast nook with a bay window. Would it look awkward if I decide to furnish it with a pub style table and chairs?
— S.C. Dallas, TX
Not at all. Pub tables are perfect if you enjoy throwing casual soirÃ©es and our new Midtown counter-height table would fit well with your modern style. Add the illusion of space with a bold wall color and curtains that start well above the top of the window frame.
My dining room wall is very long and I have a dining table with 12 chairs. I don't need a china cabinet. How can I decorate? — K.G., KS
To first add dimension to the room, you could add picture frame molding. This will segment the space so it won't seem so long and expansive. One large section and two smaller sections on either side would perfectly frame a work of art and two sconces to complete your wall décor.
How far should a chandelier hang over a formal dining table? — B.D., TX
The rule of thumb is to hang the chandelier 30" above the tabletop for an 8' ceiling height. For 9'-12' ceilings or opaque chandeliers, you could go as far as 36" above the table. You need enough space to hold a conversation without an obstructed view but still create an intimate dining space.
Choose the area rug to suit your dining space
Consider your room & your table
Choose a simple design or a contrasting color
Pair a bold pattern with a sleek set
To make a small space feel larger,
choose a round area rug
To define the dining area, choose a rectangular rug
The rug should extend at least 3' from
each edge of the table
Recipe for Hosting
Kitchen shelves can be a stylish and functional focal point. This is the perfect place to display the vases, pitchers, platters and bowls you would usually only get out for entertaining. Fill a trifle bowl with fruit or canisters with cereal, so they're always within reach. Why not display that classic stand-mixer and chic fondue pot you have taking up space in a cabinet? If you've got it, flaunt it.
Gather Around The Island
Families tend to gravitate to the kitchen naturally, so create a spot everyone can enjoy. If you have the space, a piece like our Southport kitchen island is the perfect center of conversation and essential to casual entertaining. Use it as a staging area for parties, where everyone can mingle, enjoy hors d'oeuvres and get a beverage before moving to dine outside or at the table.
Keep things effortless for casual get-togethers this summer with no-prep refreshments. Stock the fridge now with some eye-catching soda or sparkling water bottles and the pantry with instant snacks like trail mix or pretzels and you'll be ready at a moment's notice. Trays are key for transporting provisions between the yard and house or the game room and kitchen.