Make more space for your hol­i­day feast!

These easy tricks will help max­i­mize your kitchen and din­ing area so you can en­ter­tain in style—with­out spend­ing a dime

Woman's World - - Contents -

Wel­come all your with loved ones invit­ing din­ing nooks

Too many folks to fit at your din­ing room ta­ble? “Just cre­ate small, in­ti­mate din­ing spots us­ing side ta­bles,” says for­mer caterer Au­rora Satler. “Place them near the walls of the room to keep the mid­dle open for min­gling, and put out food in smaller bowls so you can spread it out among the ta­bles, where it can eas­ily be ac­cessed.” Pre­fer a sit­down meal? “Drape a table­cloth over a card ta­ble and place it next to your din­ing ta­ble to seam­lessly ex­pand your seat­ing.”

Save on set­tings by go­ing “plate”-luck

“If you don’t have enough plates for ev­ery­one, con­sider ask­ing guests to bring one of their own,” says event plan­ner Teal Ni­chol­son. “Make it fun by hav­ing them choose some­thing spe­cial to them—any­thing from part of their grand­mother’s china to a rare flea-mar­ket find. Not only will this nix the need for you to buy more din­ner­ware, it’ll make for a great con­ver­sa­tion starter!”

Cre­ate serv­ing space with pretty box buf­fets

It’s easy to trans­form just about any sur­face into a serv­ing area, says or­ga­nizer Seana Turner. “Sim­ply drape table­cloths over boxes of vary­ing heights,” she sug­gests. “This tiered look isn’t just eye-pleas­ing, it lets you pack on the food with­out mak­ing your space look crammed.” Turner’s cheap- chic tip: “Wooden crates, like those that cit­rus fruits are sold in, turned on their side work beau­ti­fully as dou­ble- decker buf­fets!”

Ex­pand your counter with a cut­ting board

“Lack of counter space can be one of the big­gest chal­lenges when cook­ing a large meal,” says Turner. The fix: “Clear coun­ters of any un­nec­es­sary ap­pli­ances, even if you have to stash them in a closet. Then tem­po­rar­ily cre­ate ex­tra prep space just by plac­ing a large cut­ting board across your sink!”

Get more out of your with a “nap” oven

A tight squeeze in your oven? Just make a few dishes, like stuff­ing, in ad­vance— then take ad­van­tage of your tur­key’s “nap time”! “The bird needs 30 min­utes to rest af­ter you take it out of the oven,” says Satler. “While it’s cool­ing, put food that needs to warm up in the oven. This way, ev­ery­thing will be ready at the same time!”

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