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Photography by MAX KIM-BEE

go easy on the flowers

Cluster small blooms in a tiny vase for each place setting. For a splashy look, fill lofty, narrow vessels with towering stalks or leafy branches that spread upward.

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Photography by NILSSON MARCUS

lose the wine bottles

To avoid crowding the table with umpteen bottles of wine, use carafes that hold two or more bottles at a go.

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Photography by PAUL COSTELLO

utilize the whole room

After serving the main course, place the platters, on a nearby console, for easy second helpings.

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Photography by COSTELLO PAUL

keep things within reach

Position two large water pitchers near the table’s center, and install a sort of diminutive salt and pepper shakers set-up at each end. 

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Photography by BRITTANY AMBRIDGE

skip placemats and use a tablecloth

Placemats clearly define a dining space, so it makes it harder to “fake it” and squeeze in a few extra settings at your table.

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Photography by PENNEY JASON

go for a non-traditional place setting

Skip the broad traditional setting with silverware to the right and left of your plate. It looks fun and unique and saves you much needed real estate.

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Photography by BRITTANY AMBRIDGE

no family-style service

Skip the platters and compose each diner’s plate in the kitchen just like it is done in a restaurant. Or use a console or extra table to set up a buffet.

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Photography by LAGNESE FRANCESCO

ride the bench 

If big, bulky chairs are occupying more than their fair share of space in your dining room, consider using a bench along one side of the table to accommodate one or two additional guests.

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Photography by PAUL COSTELLO

establish a kids’ table 

It’s been done before, and usually youngsters prefer to be on their own anyway. For the holidays, if your guest list overwhelms your dining room’s capacity, consider creating a satellite table for the kids.