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Holiday Soiree
Set the stage for festive entertaining

Photos by Dan Bishop

December 2014

Copper holiday trees in varying sizes from Xenia add holiday grandeur to the rustic mantel. Combine fresh greenery, a string of white lights and tea candles for a festive focal point.


Hosting a holiday get-together doesn’t have to be elaborate and time-consuming — you can be holiday ready for an impromptu affair or a more formal soiree with these simple preparations.

1. Create glimmering ambiance. No need for elaborate decor, a few simple statement pieces can set the mood. These copper trees bring drama and sparkle to the fireplace mantel. Add some twinkle lights and candlelight for a warm glow. Choose decor and serving pieces with a hint of metallic for extra glamour.

Copper holiday trees in varying sizes from Xenia add holiday grandeur to the rustic mantel. Combine fresh greenery, a string of white lights and tea candles for a festive focal point.

2. Mix and match barware. Keep the conversation going with an interesting mix of new and vintage glasses. We mixed these extraordinary new champagne flutes and wine glasses from Xenia Gallery, Mequon, with vintage cocktail and champagne glasses from Antiques on Second, Milwaukee.

3. Layer your table. Whether you decide to display hors d’oeuvres on your coffee table or dining table, make your arrangement appealing by layering a pretty beaded runner with sparkling placemats. Use serving pieces in a variety of heights and sizes to make the most of your space and presentation.

Hors d’oeuvres by Rochester Deli atop a Julia Knight large cake stand from Xenia keep the party flowing around the room. Gold and white striped paper napkins are from Broadway Paper, Milwaukee.



4. Keep the menu simple. Whether you choose a caterer or do it yourself, the menu should be a balance of savory, sweet, rich and crisp flavors. Keep your refrigerator stocked with some party essentials and you’ll be ready whenever guests drop by.

5. Appeal to all five senses. You’ve surrounded your guests with beautiful decor, layered textures, delicious aromas and tasty treats, don’t forget to fill your home with music. Head to iTunes or Google and download a play list for a holiday sing-along or a swanky soiree.

By having a variety of barware and serving pieces at the ready, along with sparkling accents, a coffee table becomes a party hub. In addition to some vintage barware from Antiques on Second, Milwaukee, the following pieces also shown are from Xenia, Mequon: William Yeoward American Bar collection, Julia Knight serveware, Chilewich metallic table runner.

About the House:

Having a beautifully appointed house creates a no-fail backdrop for holiday entertaining. The Delafield home of Gary and Gail Reynolds was recently renovated by Tim Rigsby of The Rigsby Group.

The homeowners wanted to up the wow factor in the high-ceilinged living room. Updates included a new fireplace surround, and adding a statement chandelier and rustic beams.

Appetizers set on a decorative tray, create a festive tone for an event

No detail was overlooked in the renovation of the lower level, from museum-quality lighting designed by Steven Klein Lighting to Venetian plaster and hand-painted woodwork.

The homeowners’ desire for a wine room was the impetus for the project. The climate-controlled, professionally designed room houses 852 bottles. The painted black shelving, hand distressed and glazed by Artistic Finishes, gives the room a relaxed and weathered feel.

The wine room also houses some of the homeowners’ autographed collector electric guitars.

"We didn’t move any walls in the renovation, but every surface and material was either painted or replaced," Rigsby says. 



Baked Brie in FiloRumaki
Mini Reubens
Sautéed Apple & Sharp Cheddar Crostini
Imported Cheeses, Flatbread Crackers, Baguettes
Antipasto Platter
Fresh Fruit Platter



This story ran in the December 2014 issue of: