Above, a modern table awaits a dinner party in an interior by Ashley Darryl.
Fall signals the start of entertaining season, beckoning us indoors from the patio and outdoor gatherings of late summer. Whether you’re hosting a first-time housewarming or a back-from-vacation cocktail party, it’s time to refresh your home with a few party-perfect pieces that make entertaining easier (and more stylish). After all, before you know it, the holidays — and your relatives — will be here.
Ideal for: Hosts who love the informality of cocktail hour.
This small-scale table makes a great accent piece anytime, but shines at gatherings where drinks (or small plates) are the theme. They’re the ideal dimensions for resting a few cocktails without getting in the way of mingling.
Ideal for: Those who host groups, small and large.
Today might bring a visit from a best friend, while tomorrow might bring your extended family. You can gracefully accommodate both with a table that can expand to any size. Three leaves make it possible to seat everyone, yet will stow easily when it’s just the two of you.
Ideal for: Hosts who need an extra hand.
With its pull-out tray that basically doubles its size, this traditional table is a space-saving life-saver when you’ve run out of surfaces. Use the tray part to house napkins and flatware, and the top to hold a platter to create a tiny buffet setup.
Ideal for: Informal entertaining.
Guests have a tendency to gather in the kitchen, especially those who know us all too well. Instead of relegating your best friends to the dining room, have them pull out a chic seat at your kitchen island. After all, the focus is less on formality and more on wine (and gossip).
Ideal for: Entertaining in open floor plans.
The versatility of an open floor plan is fantastic for versatility, but can be tricky when it comes to entertaining. (Guests tend to wander rather than gather in groups.) A rolling bar cart is a movable “anchor” that takes the bar where you need it, helping you define the area in your home where you want the party to start.
Ideal for: Making an unforgettable impression.
Made by Martin-Guillaume Biennais (who was appointed Napoleon’s first goldsmith), these vermeil chargers help create an elegant atmosphere. Only the best will do with these 18 distinctive pieces.
Ideal for: Entertaining on the go.
Drinks and appetizers go from kitchen to table with ease thanks to the high-sided tray. When not in use, it makes a gorgeous accent for the coffee table.
Ideal for: Floral arrangements given as gifts.
It’s always good form to have a vase handy, especially when it comes to the most frequent of host gifts, the bouquet. Made of matte porcelain, this sculptural piece makes a striking statement piece on its own.
Ideal for: Craft cocktail aficionados.
A shaker is a must for many drinks. Why not choose one that reflects your refined sense of style? Plated in silver, this shaker has a sleek profile that brings an intoxicating Art Deco feel to any bar.
Ideal for: Those of us who experience April showers in October.
Yes, it’s sweater weather — but sometimes you also need a raincoat and umbrella. While jackets go to the closet, an umbrella can be safely stowed in an old-fashioned umbrella stand that’ll also keep your floor free from drips.