While I was at High Point Furniture Market in late October I received an email from Lindsey Roberts, a freelance writer for the Washington Post. She was looking for tips, suggestions and ideas for how to design spaces that allow for easy, creative entertaining. She wanted me to share with her specific pieces that you could incorporate into your home that could be multifunctional, depending on the type of entertaining you wanted to do. I love to entertain close family and friends in my home. Over the years I have worked very hard at making entertaining more enjoyable for my guests and for myself as well. So when Lindsey asked for my opinion on the matter, I was so excited to be able to share some of my suggestions for the types of home decor pieces that make entertaining easier. Here are my suggestions:

Bar cart – Bar carts are making a huge comeback. We found so many updated options while walking around High Point Furniture Market. They are available large, small and medium sized, in acrylic, metal and wood versions. There is a bar cart to fit any design style. The beauty of the bar cart for entertaining is in its many uses. It can, of course, be a bar. It can also be a moving appetizer, buffet or formal dinner serving table. It’s easy to move around so you can keep your guests mingling and moving during a party. When you are not entertaining, it can be easily accessorized to fit into any dining space.

The IRELAND S bar cart by Worlds Away is light weight and won’t take up too much space makes a perfect moving buffet or appetizer server for any get together.

This bar cart serves as extra storage for china and serving glasses when not in use. Even when its just being functional, it creates an attractive vignette in a small corner of the home. Design by Design Manifest. Photo courtesy of http://www.houzz.com/photos/727029/Naomis-House-eclectic-dining-room-philadelphia.

A Round Foyer Table – I have always loved this look. When we first moved into our house, the first item I searched for high and low was a round foyer table. I finally landed on a gorgeous table from Arteriors. In my home, my dining room and living room are separated by my entryway. The foyer table gave separation to the three areas. It is also a highly functional piece for entertaining. In my home, this foyer table has been used as a kid’s dinner table, a cake table, an appetizer table, a bar table and a goody bags table. It has set the mood for theme parties. The great thing about its shape is that it allows for easy movement around it.

The Arteriors Naomi Dining Table, with is funky, contemporary style would make not only a functional foyer table for the right space, but would also be an amazing conversation piece. It looks like a piece of art.

This is a photo of my own round foyer table, also from Arteriors though no longer available. Over the years it has served as extra dining space, a cake table, a goodie bag table, and serving space for appetizers and drinks.

Gate Leg Table – Though often seen in more traditional style homes, the gate leg table can be found for more contemporary settings and is an incredibly multifunctional piece. When it is closed, it can be used the same way a console table would be. It can hold accessories and can be decorated to fit into a space without taking up a lot of room. If you need a serving area, one side of the table can be lifted to act as a serving station for drinks, food, even as a cake or dessert table. When additional seating is needed for a larger dinner party, it can be opened completely. I recommend keeping extra folding chairs in storage – along with attractive dining chair slip-overs – for just these occasions.

A gate leg table is so functional to have because it can serve so many purposes. When down, it makes the perfect console table or buffet top. When open, it can serve as extra dining space, as a cake or larger serving area or as the kids table. Design by Loraine G. Vale, photo courtesy of http://www.houzz.com/photos/120682/Lorraine-Vale-traditional-dining-room-charleston.

Though gate leg tables are typically more traditional in style, companies like Calligaris are creating their own versions of this multifunctional piece of furniture. Shown here is their Extending Console Table which is perfect for a more contemporary/modern setting.