How to Design a Serving Table for Your Next Get Together - Home & Texture
DIY Styling Serving Tables

How to Design a Serving Table for Your Next Get Together

October 13, 2023 at 6:46 PM PST

What’s a better compliment when hosting a party than hearing people rave about their delicious meal? Of course, any host wants to know the food is so good everyone wants seconds, but preparing beautiful dishes for your next get-together doesn’t just mean taking that golden turkey out of the oven at the perfect temperature. If you want to impress your guests with your recipes beyond your seasoning skills, curating a stylish serving table is a great way to do it.

What You Need

Most of us have attended an event where we were ready to dive into the appetizers and drinks, but the serving setup was so disorderly that we didn’t know where to begin. Not only can this impact the overall mood, but sometimes it may ruin appetites, too. So, prioritizing a cohesive and organized presentation ensures a seamless and enjoyable experience. Generally, what you’ll need for your table design depends on what you’re serving, but these are the basics of every serving setup:

  • Serving trays or tiered serving stands
  • Ice buckets or drink dispensers
  • Unbreakable glassware
  • Napkin holders
  • Risers
  • Utensil holders
  • Decor

Photo credit: Rene Asmussen

How To Style It

Glassware, Drinks, and Risers

You may not want to use risers if you’re worried about anything on your table getting knocked over. Otherwise, you want to place those first. These will act as the serving base for your drinks. Position your glassware and drink dispensers on them to give a little height for easy access. When using ice buckets, you can place those on the table without anything beneath.

Serving Trays and Stands

Use your serving trays or stands to display your food however you want. Arrange everything in a particular order for the most visual appeal.

Napkins and Utensils

Place your napkin and utensil station. You’ll want to keep these items together beside the plates. This station is best positioned on one end of the table to give guests an indication of which direction to serve themselves.


Position your decor within and around your setup. Make sure you don’t cover any of the food; you want to avoid having guests move anything to grab something to eat. Likewise, don’t place anything too close to the drinks, or you might have a few spills.

Luckily, H&T has compiled everything you need to make your next get-together your best one yet. Scroll below for our top picks.

Pilsen Glass Beverage Dispenser

The Pilsen Glass Beverage Dispenser holds more than a gallon of liquid. Its simplistic design allows for hassle-free filling and dispensing. Though made of glass, it's not dishwasher safe. That being said, with its metal spout, you'll want to avoid filling it with thick, syrupy beverages or muddled fruit. Otherwise, entertain guests with cocktails, mocktails, and flavored waters. If you have enough room in your refrigerator, you can even chill the dispenser instead of adding ice.

Chiku Teak Wood Riser

The Chiku Teak Wood Riser pairs with The Pilsen Glass Beverage Dispenser. Its rustic design features a deep rim to double as a shallow bowl, where you can add flower petals or a garland for an expert decorative touch. Beyond holding your dispenser, you can use this riser to display cakes, champagne bottles, and other items.

Turk Black Marble Utensil Holder

The Turk Black Marble Utensil Holder is elegant, sophisticated, and chic. The gorgeous polished finish with subtle white swirls makes a dynamic addition to any serving table. Prefer to lay out utensils instead? No worries, this holder doubles as a wine chiller, too. Grab a few bottles and place them around the table in these for an interesting visual element.

Fall Pumpkin Live Centerpiece

Handcrafted with fresh florals, fragrant, and clean, the Fall Pumpkin Live Centerpiece is a must-have autumn soirée staple. However, you can grace your serving tables with it past the chilly seasons as it lasts up to a year with proper care. Accentuate the beautiful greens, yellows, reds, and oranges by wrapping a garland around the rim of your display table for a lovely botanical statement.

White Marble Tiered Serving Stand

The White Marble Tiered Serving Stand is hand-carved, imported from Italy, and features a stainless steel champagne gold finish. Created with both the casual and formal event in mind, it includes a two-tier design topped off with a small, round serving bowl. Exclusive to CB2, you won't find a serving stand this gorgeous and functional elsewhere! On their website, you'll also see a matching tray for a complete look.

Atelier Napkin Holder

The Atelier Napkin Holder is available in three sizes for utmost practicality: cocktail, guest, and luncheon. Crafted from lacquer with clean, sleek lines and a glossy white finish, these holders are plain on purpose to make the guest list for any occasion. Accordingly, you don't want to go with white napkins when using these. Instead, opt for something ornate that matches your decor or shows personality.

Sole Outdoor Wine Glasses (Set of 6)

The Sole Outdoor Wine Glasses are shatter-resistant, but that's not the best part of this stunning design. These glasses are available in seven colors: clear, terra cotta, rose, yellow sun, sage, aqua sky, and blue ether. If you need even more variety, don't worry. You can get this glassware in iced tea, cabernet wine, sauvignon blanc, or stemless wine shapes. Perfect for a charming evening dinner or a lively game night.

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