Dining Rooms

40 Great Gifts for Living and Entertaining

What in the world would you deliver the hostess with the mostest? In this installment of the 2010 Houzz Gift Guide, we have gathered a few of the most stylish gifts for those who like to entertain. Some are unique things to bring to the party in lieu of wine, the others are extravagant and wedding-gift worthy. Each was picked with parties, the dining area and entertaining in mind.

We’d love your great gift finds, also. Insert a link to your very best idea for the perfect gift for entertaining in the remarks section and tell us why you enjoy it. The Houzz member with most creative idea wins a Crate and Barrel gift card (a little something for you, possibly?) . And come back tomorrow for our next guide to the many trendy gifts of this season.


RowRow – Big Bowl and Spoons, ceramic serving dishes – $48

Houzz friend and author of the design blog chictip, Keren, recommends this”adorable serving bowl shaped like a boat with strands shaped like oars, made from ceramic” It’s the ideal gift for the entertainter who enjoys coastal and nautical design.

Ceramic Bowl and Wood Spoons
$48.00 for your set

Design Public

Paper Cloud Petals Field Placemat – Rain on Beige

These soft grey blue placemats provide a graphic punch which does not sock you in the face or contend with the meals. It’s just the right amount of pattern to make a tablescape stick out.

2-sided placemat is handprinted on heavyweight 100% certified organic cotton
Produced in the USA
14.0 H x 20.0 W


Designer Chairs Cocktail Napkins Set two by avrilloreti on Etsy – $25

Houzz friend Linda, author of this blog Restyled Home, picked these because”I want to gift them to a friend who loves retro-modern design!”

Set of 4 cocktail napkins.
Every napkin indicates an illustration of another designer chair.
White cotton/poly mix.
Folded size 4 1/4″ x 4 1/4″, open size 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″
$25.00 for a set of four


Maluku Dinner Plates – $18

Friend of Houzz Marion, a.k.a. Miss Mustardseed, has picked these plates out of Anthropologie since”the soft, hand painted appearance of these plates would beautifully grace any dining table, china wall or cupboard. They may be combined with white linens and china to bring some color to a neutral table”

New bone china
Dishwasher and microwave safe
10.5″ diameter

Fishs Eddy

Ideal for the interior layout enthusiast, these floor plan coasters will help you design-saavy hostess keep her wood surfaces ring-free.

Powerful enough for Many uses
$3.95 for some 10


Monogrammed Hemstitched Linen Table Runner, White | Williams-Sonoma – $68

Houzz friend Cindy of My Romantic Home says”this 100% linen table runner is a great gift choice! It might look equally beautiful on a formal or casual dining table! They offer various colors of monogramming but my favorite is the white . It’s classic and tasteful!”

100% Linen
90″ x 16″

Pottery Barn

Addison Party Bucket | Pottery Barn – $99

As a result of Houzz friend Cindy of My Romantic Home for adding a number of her favourite things to our gift guide. Cindy says”This is a gorgeous and quite elegant way to serve champagne or white wine when you amuse! I really like that this product can be monogrammed which makes it a personalized gift. They also have a bigger version which would be perfect for 1 bottle of champagne!”

Made from hand-blown glass with a scissor-cut rim and glass footed base.
16″ diameter, 14.5″ high; 15 quarts (3.75 gallons)


Starburst Bowl – $159

This bowl has created a great deal of buzz here at Houzz. When someone requested us to track it down, I was sure it was some $1500 piece of sculpture, but no, this beauty is out of Crate and Barrel! Due to Happy Interiors for introducing it to us!

Steel cable dipped in antiqued brass
23″ dia. X 5″H

The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop

These three handmade candlesticks are shapely and modern. While their silhouettes catch attention from a distance, it is even more intriguing to look up close and realize they are created from recycled cable.

Set includes:
One small, 13 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ diam.
One medium, 19 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ diam.
One big, 22″ x 6″ diam.

Pottery Barn

Antique Silver Snack Bowl – $29

Friend of Houzz Marion, a.k.a. Miss Mustardseed, has picked this bowl since”I really like the warmth of the serving piece in addition to its inscription celebrating family. It’s the perfect modern interpretation of grandmother’s silver”

6″ diameter, 4″ high
Made from brass with a classic silver-plated finish


Fred Wine Line – $7

This pick comes in Houzz Team Member Adi, who says”I saw these at a friend’s home and had been intending to get them to end the’whose wine glass is that?’ Debate and for all. It’s a fun and affordable gift that may accompany a bottle of wine and make your hostess gift more memorable.”

Set of 12

MoMA Store

Tasto Chip and Dip Set – $35

Houzz Team Member Kathy says”For someone who loves to entertain, you may never have too many chip ‘ dips. This is a smart version, which allows for you or a number of drops together with your chips and enables you to perform a quick dip refill without taking the chips away ”

Ceramic Bowl, Silicon Pouches
Dishwasher Safe
Size: Bowl: 4h x 11″diam., 10 cups;
Pouches: 3h x 4w x 2.5″d,.5 cups each


Six-in-one Spirit Chest from Monticello – $125

This is modeled after the torso where Thomas Jefferson stashed his spirits. A drink caddy this great looking makes it nearly acceptable to inventory your workplace bar like it is 1962 and you also work for Don Draper.

Six compartments hold bottles around 3 1/2″ dia.
Antiqued solid wood with sturdy brass hardware.
9″h x 13 1/2″w x 8 3/4″d.
Your purchase supports Monticello along with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation’s mission of preservation and education.

The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop

Eggshell and Bamboo Bowl in The Art Institute of Chicago – $50

There are not a whole lot of gifts out there which are created from burnt eggshells, and I’m pretty sure there are not any as beautiful as this Vietnamese bamboo bowl.

Food safe.
11 1/2″ x 8″ x 10 1/4″.


Acorn Domed Butter Dish from Monticello – $59

This classic nickel butter dish is a practical item that will add conventional Monticello design to any dining table. The little acorn makes it perfect for fall and winter dining table settings.

Glass butter dish has a lid made from antiqued nickel.
5″ large


Channing Beverage Dispenser – $89

Houzz friend Cindy of My Romantic Home says”I’ve one of these dispensers and it is wonderful to continue a buffet to serve heated water at a dinner party. Any beverage seems more tasteful served in this gorgeous dispenser!”

Diamond-etched glass
24″h x 8″d

Simon Pearce

Vermont Evergreens by Simon Pearce – $98

If you are not crazy about the usual holiday decoration, select up these stunning glass trees out of glassmaker Simon Pearce. They’re appropriate to leave out all winter, long ago New Year’s Eve.

Handblown in Vermont
Prices vary depending on size, from $98-$298

Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler Bird Bottle Stopper – $18

I had difficulty choosing a favorite Jonathan Adler wine jar topper — there is something for everyone here — cat people, dog people, even elephant people! It’s the perfect gift to bring a hostess in lieu of or alongside a bottle of wine.

High-fired stoneware with white glaze
3.5″ large Stoppers

Sundance Catalog


This set of candelabras out of Sundance is the perfect hostess gift for an oenophile, and provides a excellent method to reuse an empty wine bottle.

Made of wrought iron
Set of two $35.00


CB2 – Galvanized 12 Bottle Wine Rack – $69.95

Forget about the wine gift tote – why not provide this industrial style wine rack with your favourite bottle of wine? This tubular rack can be set on its side on a console or countertop, or you can stand it up on the dining table to make a sculptural centerpiece.

Hand-welded galvanized sheet metal
Holds 12 bottles
Wine Rack. 11.5″Wx10.25″Dx19″H


Savoy Jumbo Cocktail Shaker | Crate&Barrel – $24.95

Sleek. Modern. Hammered Stainless Steel. The Savoy Bar Accessories were created for modernists. For fun, throw in a favourite martini recipe and contain the ingredients.

Stainless steel
54 oz.; 6″Wx3.5″Dx10.5″H


Vintage Cocktails Book – $50

Sometimes I wish I had a touch drink, like a Singapore Sling or even a Sidecar. Unfortunately, I don’t have any clue what’s in a single, and don’t a great deal of bartenders. Help your favorite host or hostess plan their next theme party for this charming book.



MINI art by modernarteveryday on Etsy – $50

Houzz friend and author of the design blog chictip Keren says”This collection of mini-paintings is a great way to add bright colors to a space! Simple to show on a shelf, stand on a desk, hang on a wall or group together with other MINI art pieces.”

Your choice of 6, 3″ x 3″ prepared to hang wall art
Giclee printed on professional grade paper; mounted onto a natural archival fiber board.
There is a groove in the back of the board which enables easy wall hanging with a nail.
Each board / artwork measures 3″ x 3″ and can be 3/8″ deep.
Set of 6 $50.00


kate spade Madison Square Decanter from Lenox – $150

Recently it seems every interior stylist in the world is focusing on arranging the home bar in a trendy way. This kate spade decanter is a great beginning for friends who want to stage a posh pub of their own.

Crafted of fine crystal
42 oz.


Product: Nambe”Tilt” Wine Decanter – $150

Something about the shape of the wine decanter makes me do a double-take. By the gorgeous glass into the sudden form and tilt, it is a gift any wine lover will appreciate.

1.25 liters
11.5×7″ with a 46-ounce capacity
Hand wash

West Elm

David Stark Twig Topiary – $39

We masses are so lucky that David Starck has a lineup at West Elm. These twigs wrapped in text are graphic and unique, perfect for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays without clogging the vacuum up with all the pine needles and tinsel.

Newsprint paper/poly resin.
Two”diam x 27″h

MoMA Store

Finlandia Vase by Alvar Aalto – $135

Any layout enthusiast is going to be thrilled to receive this iconic vase by Alvar Aalto (in actuality, it’s my go-to wedding gift for all my design school buddies ). Elegant and sculptural, it is going to inspire your giftee to keep fresh flowers in it every day.

10 high x 5.5″ diameter


Peggy Karr Glass – Metro 18″ Boat – $69.29

This serving piece is handmade and can be truly unique. The geometric images and mix of colors will delight any modern entertainer.

Handmade in New Jersey
18″ long
Dishwasher Safe

Tiffany & Co..

Tiffany & Co.. Frank Gehry® Torque Vase in Bone China. – $200

Oh, it is a splurge fine, but it is a double-whammy — it comes in the coveted Tiffany blue box, and it is a piece designed by a true Starchitect. This Torque vase by Frank Gehry is an iconic piece any design fan will proudly exhibit and brag about forever.

Bone China


Green Vine Taper Candles – $20.69

These elaborate candles are something nobody is very likely to splurge on for themselves, therefore it is the ideal treat to deliver a hostess. The colors and layout are certain to inspire a gorgeous tablescape.

Pair of 12″ x 3/4″ tapers

Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein Silverplate Faceted Bowl – $125

Everyone’s dining area can use a bit of glow! This silverplate faceted bowl from Calvin Klein will add some glitz to each table.

Handmade in Italy
4″ in Diameter
Silverplate secured to brass

Contemporary Candleholders – $29.95

The very best thing about these crystal lotus candleholders? They look MUCH more expensive than they really are! Give a pair of two with tapers or the column dimensions together with a candle that’s 3 inches in diameter.

3″D candle.
Taper/Votive holder is 5″D x 3″H
Pillar holder is 9.5″D x 4.5″H
Pillar holder: $29.95
One taper holder: $9.95


Palace Stacking Tableware – $189

This architectural design of a Florentine building is really a stack of dinner dishes! Including six square dinner dishes, along with the serving dish”roof”. It’s a fun item to depart out on the buffet every day.

Dinner Plate: 8.6″ dia x 1″ top
$189.00 with this set


Moroccan Style Tea Glasses – Set of Four – $60

Moroccan design exploded in popularity a few years ago and like the first designs themselves, it’s proved it’s staying power. Exotic and elaborate, these golden glasses from Horchow are a luxurious treat to grow your loved one’s barware.

Four various 6.75-ounce tea glasses
Set includes one each in purple, amber, turquoisegreen. Produced in Turkey. Hand wash.
$60.00/Set of Four

Saks Fifth Avenue

Palio Nut Dish by Michael Wainwright – $64

This nut dish is somewhat bling-bling but subtle and lovely at the exact same moment. While it is glazed in glazed in 24k gold, platinum and rose gold (bling!) , it is porcelin, it is small, and it is based in an early and traditional design. This is a unique piece that will make the person that you give it to think of you each time they use it.

Dishwasher safe
43/4″W X 11/2″H X 43/4″D
Produced in USA


RSVP Nutty Squirrel Nutcracker – $16.95

It just makes sense to have a nutcracker shaped like a critter which hoards them. The bewitching little squirrel is going to be a welcome addition to any entertainer’s gadget set.

5 3/4″ Place nut in squirrel’s mouth then lift his tail to close his mouth and crack the casing.


Houzz friend and author of the design blog chictip Keren says”Bringing optimum performance and design to the home, the eco-friendly and reusable silicone Doileez, come in minimalist patterns which protect furniture surfaces, while adding a fashionable design element to modern decor.”

Non-porous + germ-free surface
absolutely free of BPA, lead, latex, phthalates + other unpleasant chemicals
Sold in a pack of two, 10 x 10 inches each.

Fred Flare

I Like You by Amy Sedaris

Ever since Strangers with Candy I have been hooked on Amy Sedaris. It turns out she’s quite the unique and welcoming hostess, and this novel is filled with amusing and fun suggestions for entertaining at home.

304 pgs.

The Spoon Sisters

Pound – Nail Party Picks – $9.95

Plain old toothpicks are such a bore — why not kick some party conversation with nail shaped party picks instead?

18 Reusable plastic picks
Foam base included
Every choice is 3″ long

Design Public

Normann Copenhagen 58 Degree N Calcium chloride snow removal Little Rock And Pepper Set – $44

I’m not sure which is a better comparison: black with white or black ceramic with cork. In any respect, mixing all these ingredients together results in a pleasing and modern set of ice melt salt Boise and pepper shakers.

Engineered ceramic, cork
Dishwasher safe if cork tubes and bottom plugs are removed
3.8 H x 1.6 Diameter

Also in the Houzz Donation Guide:
40 excellent gifts for cooks
40 trendy gifts for men

See related

Dining Rooms

Mix and Match Seats

Recall your Grandma’s diningroom established? The identical seats, which were frequently needlepointed are left, by the big table together with the extension, the customized pads when it was not being utilized to guard it? Times have changed. It is possible to use the established of Gram, but it really is more interesting to break it up. Keep the dining table and pull up some bistro seats that are aluminum. Or pull up the seats to a Saarinen Tulip Dining Table.

The pictures below reveal how folks are mixing up their eating locations. Occasionally they use big upholstered wingback chairs in the ends of the tables, occasionally it is surprise pairing of a dining table with seats, occasionally there exists a seat or a couch on a single side of the dining table, occasionally there might not be so muchas a coordinated set of seats in the table. Do not be scared to haul from your kitchen or livingroom in some seats and test with your diningroom seats. You never understand the type of successful mix you will produce!

This arrangement actually shows off the the master adore for seats.

SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

Adore the seat here!

Interesting upholstered seats do not overwhelm the chamber when they’re employed sparingly.


Adore the tulip of Victoria -type seats with all the classic farm dining table that is wooden.

Dufner Heighes Inc

Dufner Heighes Inc

A wonderful, surprising combination of a classy round marble-topped dining table with Wegner seats (I believe these are Wegner – does anybody know without a doubt?).

An integrated seat and an excellent set is made by Bertoias here.

Wow! The arm chairs supply just the right clout of colour and anchor the table.

BKSK Architects

Utilizing the exact same fashion using a roll of Life Savers array of colour is really amazing!

This entire room is a mixture that is wild plus it only functions.

Timeless and contemporary work here due to the impersonal palette.

Pepe Calderin Style- Contemporary Interiordesign

sarah & bendrix

Steven Miller Design Studio, Inc.

Vanessa De Vargas

I have mentioned it before and I Will say it again (and again): I see Dr. Evil enjoying chess here. And I suggest that as a compliment – therefore daring, so plain, though the black makes it possibly bad!