holiday seating

redindianaAugust 18, 2013

Ok I know this is early but need to get planning.... Has anyone ever transformed their dining room into restaurant styled seating for the upcoming winter holidays? Wondering about removing our large rectangular table that seats 12 people and buying several round card tables and folding chairs and placing them in dining room. Is this crazy? Tableclothes and decor on each table. Insight if this would work. Thanks! (I've tried an image google search and not finding anything.)

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For Passover, I often need more than our dining room table, but I've only ever moved it to one side and added folding tables, too. But our dining room (originally the living room of the house) is big enough for that.

How many people will you need to seat? If more than 12, what would you do if you don't add tables, put some in another room?

Are you asking for how to seat more than 12 people, or are you already planning on buying those tables and just asking how the configuration changes conversation, serving, etc.?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:51PM
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I've hosted the family numerous times. It never stops amazing me that I've placed folding tables in other areas of home and EVERYONE wants the main table! So one year at Easter I thought fine...and I packed them all in the dining room using extra folding tables along the side walls. I kid you not...we were like sardines in a can! If memory serves me right I had 28 people. I'm now looking at approx.33. I had asked them to leave me a seat near opening of room. No one complained!!! I guess I'm the one looking for a more creative way to seat them. Yes, I'm willing to invest in the tables. Ideas on arrangement of tables would be great! Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 8:42AM
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I don't think it's ever too early to start planning ahead. Is your living room larger than your dining room?

We used to host Thanksgiving at our home for many, many years. At first our dining room was a perfect size. But as the family grew and kids got married, had their own kids and others brought friends, GF'S and BF's, friends started joining us yearly, we outgrew it. Even after moving into a home with a larger dining room it was way too small.

So we just set up our main table and extra tables in our living room. We always set up a large buffet in the dining room, along with a beverage table and a dessert table. We even had a few years where the weather was absolutely perfect so ate outside. Needless to say, we had to finagle the living room furniture but it worked out.

We moved to this home about nine months ago, in another state. It's smaller but it's an open floor plan. We are just now winding down a big, almost two week long, get-together that included a bunch of old friends, family and SO's of some of our younger relatives, all from out of state. We had 37 people for our "Thanksgivin in August" dinner and we just spread out from the dining area into the living room, which was easy because of the open layout.

I bet if you get creative you'll be able to come up with something that works for you also.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 1:59AM
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Yep, use the biggest room in your house. Just move the furniture out. (That's how they did things in old manor houses, by the way -- rooms weren't dedicated by use. You just served a meal in the "gold room" or the "blue room" depending on what size you needed and moved the furniture around accordingly. Of course, that's a lot easier to do with a staff of servants!)

I don't blame your family for all wanting to be at the main table! Good for your family that they like to be together.

I find I can squeeze more in with long tables placed end to end, often in a squared off U shape. The space needed for chairs and passing through, as you have learned, is more than you'd think.

I remember one Passover when my very elegant aunt, the best hostess I've ever seen, arranged a very long table (two end to end) in the living room and 4 round tables in the adjacent dining room. From any chair, every guest could see the leader of the seder (at the farthest end of the looong table from the dining room) either directly or in the mirror on the dining room wall! Talk about planning.

You can figure out your best configuration without shoving furniture around by using paper shapes cut to scale. Do that before you invest in round or long tables.

I, too, set up a buffet for the main course when it's this many people. Desserts are either on the buffet or on one platter (like if it's cookies or something) per table.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 11:17AM
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