Whether you’re celebrating the holidays or another special occasion, great food and drink are a great start to a fabulous get-together. But we think there’s another step to perfection– design your rooms in a way that make guests feel at homeand encourage them to mix and mingle. It will help them—and you—relax and enjoy one another’s company.

Here are five of our favorite pieces for entertaining friends and family in comfort thatalso deliver great style every day.


The extension table is a classic go-to for big dinner parties; it’s a great investment if you have a spacious dining area. To get the most out of this piece, choose a timeless,versatile look that complements your lifestyle and adapts to your changing tastes. The Sayer extension table delivers an inviting rustic yet modern look that can go casual or dressy depending on how you style it. It has a generously sized planked top for family dinners and sprawling homework sessions, and it can easily seat up to ten with the addition of two twenty-inch leaves.


Rethink your seating plan: Swap dining chairs for an upholstered bench on one side of your table to create a more intimate feel. The Aldrich bench can seat up to three people and has a simple, elegant silhouette that can complement many dining styles. For fashion-forward flair, dress it in a stain-resistant fabric in a color or print that differs from the rest of your dining seats.


What’s the next best thing to having your own bartender? A bar cabinet, of course! It’s a stylish and smart choice for storing barware and serving up food and drink in an instant. The Evansview bar cabinet has a chic, Hollywood cocktailhour vibe, and its modest size fits beautifully in many spaces. Gorgeous brass-accented doors open to reveal four drawers, two shelves, and four stemware racks.


Nesting tables are some of our favorite functional pieces for gatherings. These duos and trios come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. Nested together, they make cool coffee tables or end tables. Pulled apart, they can expand your tabletop space, or you can use each table individually. The It All Started With A Mouse table from the Ethan Allen|Disney collection delivers a unique, midcentury-modern-inspired design. Tuck the two smaller circular tables beneath the larger one, or let them peek out to form a cool three-tiered silhouette. (If you look closely, you may see Mickey Mouse!)


A great seating arrangement makes it easy to relax over cocktails and conversation—and sectionals make it easy to have a great seating arrangement. They’re inviting, they can seat many people comfortably in less space than a traditional sofa-and-chairs setup, and they can be configured for your room any way you like. The Marcus sectional has a sleek, casual profile that works wonderfully with many styles. Add the Marcus ottoman, and you’ll have an extra seat if you need it, a table for a tray of food, and a place to kick up your feet when you’re done wearing your host or hostess hat.

Whether you’re hosting a small gathering or throwing a big bash, serve up a great time with the right mix of style and function. If you need help designing a space for entertaining, stop by our local Design Center at 11516 Carolina Place Parkway in Pineville, 704-341-7512. Our interior design consultants can help as little or as much as you’d like, and their help is always free! You can also find inspiration at www.ethanallen.com.