Build a Better Buffet!


With the Holiday Season upon us, especially Thanksgiving we tend to entertain larger numbers of friends and family with larger amounts of food!   We set up folding tables and chairs all over the house for our guests to sit and enjoy each others company as well as the delicious food.   Any time your guests need to use a knife with a meal, they need to be sitting at a table; you can’t expect them to cut food on their laps! 


More than likely you’ll be serving off of the kitchen counter or a side board in the dining room due to the number of guests.  Thanksgiving or any holiday meal generally has large sums of food and many serving pieces.  How do you make the most of your counter space?  How do you create a buffet worthy of the dishes you have prepared and of your guest palate?

May I suggest that you make a dry run just as I did today while taking pictures for this post!  What you’ll see below is how I plan to serve up my Thanksgiving Dinner to 20 friends and family members. 

Let’s start, by taking a look at the counter surface, we all tend to have many useable items on them from blocks of knives, to kitchen utensils, etc.  

It is possible for you to clear everything off?   If not, what can you clear off?   Think about placing the items you don’t need, on top of your washer and dryer.  You aren’t currently using washer or dryer making it a safe place to put thing for the time being.

Next you’ll need two tablecloths.  I chose a pattern and a solid, in an oblong length.  The better investment would be solid tablecloths vs. patterned one.  Here is why, patterned tablecloths are busier on the eye, and you really want the dishes you prepared to be the focal point and not the tablecloth. 

Are you wondering why do you need a tablecloth to drape on the counter top?  Why two clothes?  First, you may not able to remove items from the counter, and you may not have anywhere to put these items.  By using a table cloth, the eye has told the brain where to look and where to stop, keeping the focus on the food.

Two tablecloths are needed to hide the unsightly of a cardboard box, a stack of books, or an upside down stock pot.   I am sure you are wondering why I would be using these items.  Because a flat table is a boring table, because you gain added valuable space by using books, a pot or a small box!  More importantly, but raising food at varying heights, you are giving the eye a place to rest, to slow down and take in the beauty of the feast that lies in front of them!  There are so many positive pluses when you choose to create a better buffet!

Now the fun begins, I know that with the two varying heights and the items I chose to use, they are sturdy enough to hold platters of food.  The white one will hold the Turkey and the butter yellow will hold my Sweet Potatoes Puffs.  

Next I have selected a covered casserole dish with a beautiful iron caddy   I brought in a tray with 3 small bowls to hold my Cranberries and sat it in front of the covered stack of books.

Another stand will lift a bowl of salad and look at the space that I opened up on my counter by using a stand, I have add more space to my counter top for other dishes.

This Three Tiered Step Out Stand is one of my favorite pieces, and I use it often.   On this one stand I will place a bowl with Stuffing, one with mashed Potatoes and the middle one will hold the gravy.   

Below the gravy is a small iron basket with a votive candle.  I plan to have it lit, keeping the gravy warm for the entire meal.  Does anyone really want cold, lumpy gravy?

Back at the other end of the counter, I have placed a two tiered stand, to hold stacks of dinner plates.   That will signify to my guests where to start the buffet.


I’ve added a green platter with a smaller bowl for Olives, since the bowl doesn’t take up the entire platter, guests will be able to place serving utensils on the platter keeping the tablecloths tidier.

A clear glass hurricane was placed on the buffet to hold Rolls.

I love place card holders as they are perfect additions to a buffet, telling the guests what dish lies in front of them.  You can also let them know if the dish contains nuts for those that have food allergies. 

By choosing the serving dishes, and utensils before the big day,  you now know what you may need to purchase for the dinner.  Now let’s add some interest for those feasting their eyes on the buffet, yet who may be waiting in line for their turn.

The Frame Work Urn holds seasonal gourds and pumpkins bringing in the colors of the season and adding warmth and depth to the buffet!    Along with the Galveston Memo Board with a heart felt message from the homeowners to their invited guests.

Fall leaves, small Indian corn, garland of sunflowers, all adds additional layers to this buffet providing interest, beauty and layers of depth, delighting the senses of all those that are there to partake in the meal! 

Truly a beautiful way to show your friends and family how much they mean to you!

I’ve set up to other areas, one is the beverage area, which is not part of the buffet and there by keeping the flow of those yet to dish up their plates, moving! 

The other is for the Dessert, why not set out those works of culinary art?   Think about using your coffee table in the living room for a Dessert table, or a book shelf in a book case, perhaps a fireplace mantel!  Think outside the box and move your guests around your home.   Nothing would delight them more than to be able to get up and move!

Investing in quality iron stands, serving pieces and utensils will provide you will unlimited possibly for years to come.  Making entertaining a pleasure when your guests oo and ah, fussing over the work you have done on their behalf.

How rewarding!   

Please let me know if you have any questions on what you see here!




About LindaVuichBurt

I have a passion for setting the stage when entertaining but also in decorating my home. As a professional stager and an Independent Willow House Design Consultant, I help others create warm and invitng homes! I enjoy creating a warm and welcoming home enviroment not only for my family but for all who enter, by delighting and exciting the senses of guests, all the while making them feel welcomed and comfortable. It is so fulfilling when I can help my friends do the same. Whether you realize, that when you serve your family breakfast, you are entertaining them with food and by setting the table, to the dishes you use to serve, you are entertaining! We all entertain to one degree or another. From the beauty of the dishes you choose, to a table cover or place mats, that is a form of not only entertaining but decorating. I hope through my blog you will be able to take away fun ideas that you can incorporate into your life style. I hope you come back often, share this with your friends and share your successes with the ideas you find in my blog. Enjoy! Linda Your Independent Willow House Design Consultant and Professional Stager!
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2 Responses to Build a Better Buffet!

  1. Rani says:

    Would you mind sharing where you purchased your 2 tier stand holding the buffet plates? You set a lovely table!

    • Hello Rani,

      The two tier stand you are inquiring about was purchased through a company called Southern Living at HOME. They had a high quality home decor. Sadly, they closed their doors over a year ago. I will miss them greatly! Thank you for your compliment!

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