The countdown has begun: Only a precious few days remain before the holiday entertaining season begins. For some of you, the impending deadline means sprucing up your neglected dining room, scrambling to find enough seating and silverware, sculpting your centerpiece and, of course, planning your menu. Well, don’t panic. The only thing more fun than decorating and entertaining is the intersection of the two — what you could call decor-taining.
To decor-tain successfully, start with the basics: a table, chairs and lighting. I chose an unfussy modern table of white lacquer. It always looks as clean and crisp as a white linen tablecloth, but all you have to do is wipe it down — no staining and no ironing required. My table seats a maximum of 10 guests, which, to me, is an optimal size because you can have three conversations going or just one. (If you have more than 10 guests, consider some temporary furniture.) You also don’t want your dining table to take over the room. A good rule of thumb is that the footprint of your dining table should be no more than a third of the floor’s total space — you want room for people and chairs.