Gone are the days when meals were relegated to gathering around the kitchen or dining room table. These days, our eating and entertaining habits take us all around the house, and the major manufacturers of tabletop products are introducing lines geared toward accommodating this new lifestyle trend.
According to HFN’s review of the recent Tabletop Show in New York City, instead of highlighting traditional dinnerware, classic brands like Mikasa and Lenox showcased serveware in all categories – and just about every medium – that could easily travel from the kitchen to the living room, family room, patio or wherever family and
guests happen to be congregating for a meal…or nosh, as is more often the case.
Brands focused on versatile items that allow consumers to eat anywhere, like appetizer plates, serving dishes and utensils, and all-purpose pieces that embody both functionality and design. The idea is to offer products that can stylishly travel from the kitchen to any room in which we choose to gather and dine.
With that in mind, HFN reported that new lines at the Tabletop Show featured an array of items that reflect consumers’ new dining habits, such as trays, cake stands, large platters and bowls, salad tongs and serving spoons, small appetizer forks and spoons and dessert-only collections, in a range of mixed materials and finishes.
So if you’re hosting an upcoming event at your home, rethink your game plan for seating everyone around the dining room table and consider one of the following ideas. The less formal, more relaxed tone may lead to more intimate interactions among guests, and more fun for everyone involved…especially you:
Use the dining room table as a buffet station. If you’re making a full-course meal, set everything out on the dining room table, using warming dishes as needed, and stack casual dinnerware and flatware so guests can grab and go, choosing a spot wherever and with whomever they choose.
Choose small plates. People aren’t just moving away from the dining room, they’re moving away from big meals. So choose to serve a variety of small plates in various areas of your home – the center island in your kitchen, the coffee table, – allowing guests to nosh and mingle at the same time.
Screen time. Whether it’s catching up on your favorite series with friends or movie night with the family, make watching TV an event by serving casual eats in the family room. Get everyone their own tray to help balance the meal on their lap, or serve simple finger foods with small plates.