5 essential tips for dressing up your table this holiday season

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Celebrate Everything by Darcy MillerBy: Darcy Miller

My favorite part of any celebration are the details that make it special and personal. These are just a few ways to make your table stand out:

1. Why not let part of the meal be the centerpiece? Whether it's antipasti arranged on platters and in bowls or a showstopper of a cake, you can have your decor and eat it too! My husband loves candy, so for his birthday, I decorated a long table with cakes down the center decorated with jelly candies.

2. Seating people with place cards can make for a more thoughtful dinner table. As the host, you can pair people together who you think might enjoy talking to or meeting one another. Have your place card be on theme, whether it's written on a leaf or a pomegranate for Thanksgiving or a tag on a mini Champagne bottle for New Year's Eve.

3. Everyone loves toasts, but not everyone has an easy time coming up with them. Include fun toast prompts on cards next to your place setting, or even on the back of the place cards. For Thanksgiving, it could be the one thing you're most grateful for or for an anniversary party, each guest says what they believe the secret to the couple's happy marriage is. If it's a New Year's party, guests can write down their resolutions on a little pad or paper—collect them and read them aloud as your guests guess who wrote what!

4. Instead of one large centerpiece that blocks your view across the table, I like to mix it up with smaller vessels—I'll mix scale with some bigger objects along with smaller ones. I like to use floral and non-floral elements together. Small arrangements or single blooms in bud vases can also be used as favors for the guests to take home. In between the flowers, you can mix in anything that goes along with your theme—for a Goodnight Moon-themed baby shower, I incorporated stuffed animals inspired by the book. To finish it off, add little bowls filled with sweets, dried fruit or nuts which guests can snack on, too.

5. It's easy to dress up any element of the table with a glass cloche. Think chocolate turkeys or your kids' hand turkeys at Thanksgiving or teddy bears, baby bottles or pacifiers at a baby shower—so many things can go on the table and become instant decor with a cloche. Cloches come in all sizes—even a small one over something little on top of a cake stand gives it that impact.

All of these ideas and more can be found in my book, CELEBRATE EVERYTHING!, out from William Morrow on October 25th. For more party ideas, follow @darcymiller on Instagram and visit the website at darcymillerdesigns.com.

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