Mismatched Holiday Entertaining

There's a lot to be said for all of these pretty tablescapes, but what we like even more around this time of the year is the mismatched, make-room-for-more jumble of just making it work when you get a large group together for the holidays.

Something about the imperfect nature of just making it work feels warm, spontaneous, and joyful. We can remember one Thanksgiving when we brought conference chairs home from the office on the subway to add to our meager four. We crowded eight of us in, put the leaf in the dining table (spread with two different tablecloths) and had the greatest time. It was imperfect and a bit close, but you know what? It was beautiful.

Some other instances of beautiful imperfections in holiday entertaining:

1 A large family gathering with mismatched chairs and place settings is colorful, warm, and vibrant. (Via My Punchbowl Party Ideas)
2 Invite guests to bring their own plates. That's what Outstanding in the Field does. (Via Re-Nest)
3 Free up a little tablespace by placing passed dishes on a sideboard, or even a dresser top covered with cloth. (Steven Randazzo / Country Living)
4 Set up tables throughout the house or apartment if you need to. That means the kitchen and living room, or even outdoors if you're lucky enough to have the weather for it. Just don't leave anyone out. (Love my Philly)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.