If you’re the entertaining type, then you’re probably in your element during the holidays. All the parties, the people, and the food are exciting to think about and plan for.
Personally, I don’t host parties — but I do attend them. My favorite parties are the ones on my dad’s side of the family, because back in Italy, in the valley where our ancestors were born, there’s a family vineyard — and sure enough, about ten people have ordered family wine and brought it to the party. By the end of the night, almost everyone is a bit too giddy to drive themselves home, so half the relatives take a cab to the nearest hotel, and the rest crash with the host and those who live nearby.
Regardless of who is hosting the party, they always have some kind of home bar. (I mean, we are Italian. We love wine. We always have some around.) The host stores their supplies somewhere else in the house, and the guests provide the alcohol, which they store in the bar. This way, everyone knows where to go when they want a drink. Once, a cousin asked to host the annual Christmas party, and my grandma wouldn’t let him when she found out he didn’t have a bar. It’s a serious thing.
If your parties don’t get quite as rowdy as ours, that’s totally fine (actually, it’s probably good). But having a home bar is a great way to send a silent message to your guests that they’re going to have a good time. It says that you’re a good entertainer and that you care about your guests. It’s also a great place to spice up your eggnog, or to give a friend some liquid courage to say hi to the lady by the ficus.
Whether or not you believe me, take note of the bars at the next few parties you attend. Is there a bar? If so, how do people react to it? What does it add to the party, and the room overall? You may find that a home bar is the best party accessory you can have.
In the past, I’ve talked about the importance of adding accessories to a room. One of my favorite accessories that can either make a bold statement or purely be for function is a Table Lamp! Simple, I know. But take a look at some of these room photos and notice how each adds personality to their rooms.
I love the tall, colorful lamps in each of these living rooms. They are definitely
statement pieces that help coordinate the colors and style between all of the furniture.
My parents have had much of the same furniture my entire life. This is especially true for the dining room, which has looked exactly the same for about 18 years. We’ve been eating at that dining set for as long as I can remember. But my favorite part is the china cabinet, which my dad inherited from my great-grandfather. We keep my mom’s ancestral teacups in it, as well as old family photos, fragile childhood keepsakes, and other delicate items passed down through the family. Every now and then I like to open the glass doors and look at what’s in there, because it’s like exploring some of my family history.
Obviously, it’s a really big piece of furniture; it’s solid wood. But I like that about it. It was built not only to protect delicate objects, like china and glass, but also to last so that multiple generations could use it. It’s sturdy and stable, which is exactly what you would want from a piece of furniture that’s going to hold some of your most fragile possessions. It doesn’t draw excess attention to itself, so it fits in perfectly with any Walnut-stained furniture. And it’s easy to care for, so I rarely need to dust it.
One day, I am going to inherit that china cabinet, and I’m going to fill it with memories and heirlooms. I’ll tell my kids about it and explain how it’s been in the family for almost a hundred years. I’ll put it in my dining room, where my children and grandchildren will see it at every meal. And one day, one of my descendants will inherit it and pass on the history of our family to their children.
However, if something terrible were to happen — like if there was a house fire, or a flood — and the china cabinet were destroyed, I would definitely buy a new one. I’ve lived so long with a beautiful piece like this that even though I would never be able to really replace this family heirloom, I would want to begin the legacy all over again. It’s important to have family history, and it’s special to start your own.
FurnitureCrate has some absolutely spectacular cabinets — ones that I would certainly consider buying if something happened to mine. They’re made of the best materials and with the best craftsmanship so that you also can start a family legacy with a piece like this.
Create a Lodge-Inspired Room with our Room Designer!
There’s a guy I know named Ted, and he has a very stressful job. He’s one of those “gotta get it done yesterday” kind of guys who still carries a phone on his hip. Ted’s always busy. I once said to him, “Teddy Boy (I call him Teddy Boy), you’re probably going to be too busy to even go to your own funeral!” We all had a great laugh about that, but I think it struck a chord with Ted. Later that night, he came up to me and said, “Say, Denny, what you said back there. You have a point.” “Look, bro,” I said to him (sometimes I call him “bro”), “it was just a joke. But yeah, you really are busy. Maybe a little too busy. I mean, have you ever heard of relaxing?” “Hey, you’re right, Denny. You’re right. Something needs to change.”
That exchange with Ted happened about a decade ago, and I can honestly say that he is a changed man now. Sure, he still has a stressful job and everything, but I really think he knows how to relax now. The last time I was at his house, he took me into his study. He pointed to a reclining chaise lounge in the corner and said, “See that? That’s the key to my relaxation right there.” “The chaise?” I asked. “It’s not just a chaise,” he said. “It reclines.” I took a seat and reclined back, and you know what? I think Ted’s on to something.
The Industrial style is still trending and many of our vendors used Furniture Market to showcase their products. I saw several dining tables with iron and metal legs, lots of bar stools and accent tables too! Check out a few of my favorites!
Every once in a while, I have an experience with a piece of furniture that creates a lasting memory. Once it was an ottoman that I was stranded on for two hours playing a game of “the floor is lava” with an extremely committed and persistent four-year-old. Another time, it was a green corduroy chair where I sat in a girlfriend’s grandparents’ basement for three hours while they spoke only in French. One time, I had a particularly peculiar experience with a tilted coffee table that gave me the unique opportunity to buy an acquaintance a new living room rug.
Three years ago, I was visiting a friend in Montana, a place I hadn’t been before and have since frequented. It’s a beautiful place, and if you haven’t been, I highly suggest going. And I know how much you weigh my recommendations. Anyway, I was walking through the home of a friend of a friend when my left ankle gave way. I don’t know how it happened, but I think I know why it happened. The host offered me his hand and told me to take a seat while he grabbed some ice. The nearest seat was a reclining chaise, and while I hadn’t ever sat in one before, it had a familiar comfort that eased my nerves. I spent the next two hours sitting on there until we left, and honestly, I don’t think I was ready to go. I was so relaxed, so comfortable. To this day, every time my ankle gives out, I always think of that old reclining chaise. I probably always will.