Setting the Scene

Transform your home into a seamless space for holiday entertaining with tips and suggestions that bring Napa Valley style into every element of your guests’ experience.

Less is More

When creating centerpieces and decorative accents for your table and serving areas, keep it simple. Seasonal fruit presented with nuts, berries, grapes and other natural gifts for the table make a lovely and elegant statement.

Longer Blooms

If your decorative touches include the use of fresh flowers or branches, add an even combination of non-diet citrus soda and water to the vase. The sugar in the soda will give your blooms a nice lift and keep berries from wilting.

Scented Notes

Lightly incorporating aromatic herbs and dried leaves into serving, presentation and common areas extend your thematic vision into every aspect of the evening. They also make wonderful and inviting garlands for candles and other centerpiece elements.

Carry Alls

Borrow the best from casual and formal with smart serving trays. Whet the appetite of friends and family with thoughtful presentations of stylishly arranged passed hors d’ oeuvres on country-style trays and rustic serving platters.


Mismatched heirloom silverware adds unique casual charm. Plan time to polish your antique collection beforehand and have fun mixing floral, classic and rustic patterns for each setting.


Glazed stoneware brings an easy-going sophistication. Choose simple shapes and subtle colors to complement the cuisine. Add hand-thrown pottery serving pieces for textural contrast.

Pride of Place

When creating your table setting, the smallest touches have a great impact. Place cards casually incorporated into a nicely folded napkin make for a simple and understated presentation that speaks volumes about your approach to entertaining.

Rustic Touches

Even if the setting is more formal, rustic presentations add an air of casualness and familiarity to your table that help to immediately put your guests at ease. Cluster breadsticks in a clean flowerpot and make it part of your table setting. It’s a thoughtful, friendly and visually appealing way to set the mood.

Ready to Go

Set the table, dim the lights, start the music and light the candles well before guests arrive. (Tip: Putting candles in the freezer for a few hours will extend their life on the table and helps them to drip less.) Set out wine glasses, chill the wine, arrange serving plates, centerpieces, napkins and silverware so you’re relaxed and ready to greet your guests the minute they walk in the door.