Designer Q&A: Great Design Makes for Merry Guests
with Claudia Leah
’Tis the season to gather ’round the table, enjoying bountiful meals with family and friends in celebration of the holidays. As you make your plans, a well-designed and organized home can help alleviate the stress of party planning and guest arrivals so take some time to make sure your home is prepped for this exciting and busy season.
Amid the flurry of preparations for a dinner party of any size, let’s not overlook one very basic requirement—a place for every guest to sit. Considering tables and chairs may not sound as exciting as dreaming up holiday tablescapes, your guests will be much merrier if they have a comfortable place for their derrière.
If a new dining table is in your near future, choose one that has at least one or two insertable leaves to extend your dining area. The extra leaves can be stored under a bed when not in use. Some tables even have leaf storage built in. Once extended, there is still the seating situation to address. The average dining chair is 16–20 inches wide. A general rule of thumb is to allow three inches on each side to avoid bumping elbows at the table. But before you pull out the mismatched, uncomfortable, skinny folding chairs, try a dining bench. Cozy by nature, an upholstered dining bench with a smooth or tufted back and even slight arms will give you more tableside seating options and can double as a standalone furniture piece when not drawn up to the table.
Most holiday celebrations revolve around good food and festive drinks. If you don’t have a built in bar area, don’t worry—you can still have a well-stocked and well-organized drink station. There are a plethora of bar carts on the market to match any design style and budget and since you can wheel them through your home, they keep the party mobile. On the other hand, a stationary bar cabinet can function as a beautiful design piece when not in use. Cabinets also close, hiding unused glasses and bottles which is great if you like a cleaner look or don’t want to spend the time to make sure every bottle and glass is organized and neatly aligned.
Hosting overnight guests? Little things like blackout window treatments, extra throws and a roomy reading chair will mean a lot but won’t compensate for an uncomfortable bed. Invest in the best mattress you can and take your guest room for a trial run. Sleep in it a few nights. Check the temperature and lighting throughout the day and sound levels at night. Adjust where necessary. If you don’t have a separate guest room, don’t despair—sleeper sofas have come a long way since the days of squeaky springs and bars down the middle. Memory foam mattresses and patented platform systems like those in the Comfort Sleeper® from American Leather® ensure a restful night for your guests.
Adding furniture pieces to your Christmas wish list is a job for your experienced interior designer. High quality items are not quick ship items. Order now to outfit your home beautifully and comfortable for the holiday and winter season.
Claudia Leah, one of Naples foremost interior designers, is known for her extensive design expertise, international background and extraordinary customer service. Claudia provides complete design services to prominent clients in and around Naples, Florida.
239.431.5936 | www.claudia.decoratingden.com