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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.

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.

Photography by PAUL COSTELLO

utilize the whole room

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

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.


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.

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.


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.


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.

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.