Please enjoy these pictures of a housewarming party.

One of my favorite things to do, and this will likely become a familiar theme throughout this blog, is to rent table linens when planning events of any kind. It is a simple way to make a big decorative statement that is also quite affordable. And it also allows you to switch up the decor from event to event without needing to invest in massive quantities of new linens…and storage for said linens. And in addition to tablecloths, you can rent a few napkins, in a similar or complementary fabric, and use them as accents.

For this party I rented a pumpkin-colored burlap tablecloth, wanting something that was vibrant (the color) but also felt casual (the material). I also rented some pink and buttery yellow napkins with a subtle check on them, for some visual interest. I used the napkins underneath a huge ice bucket that would eventually hold drinks. They helped anchor the bucket and also improved the look of the tray tables underneath. Some of the other napkins ended up lining bread baskets and trays, so there were pops of color here and there on the table.

Tip: Something I have done for a long time that I find very helpful when planning an event where there will be a number of dishes served, is to choose the serving dishes ahead of time,  lay them out on the table, and then label them, so when you are inevitably running around pre-party and trying to find time to get dressed, you don’t have to think about what goes where: you just look at the label and it tells you what to put in the serving dish. Stress averted. At least until a guest shows up a half hour early and you haven’t showered yet.