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Creative ways to entertain with warmth and style

An abundantly set table always offers a warm welcome or guests with a few simple strategies, hosts will be able to create the “perfect feast” and make every room of the home warm and inviting. Here are some tips on holiday entertaining that should get a warm reception from holiday hosts.

• Color, glorious color
“ It’s important to choose a color scheme that works throughout the entire holiday season,” advises Laura McDowell a spokesperson for T.J. Maxx. “You can save a tremendous amount of time and money.” Consider neutral silver/gray tones — they look elegant and modern and coordinate well with many basic color groups. Other favorites include deep plum, midnight blue, olive or hunter green and rich burgundy. Use color in accent pieces such as decorative pillows, throws and picture frames to create a warm yet relaxed atmosphere.

• The well-dressed table
Welcome guests with an abundantly set table. Select beautiful dishes that act as a visual focal point. Table runners are adorned with sparkling sequins and beading; chair cushions are overstuffed and inviting; napkin rings and linens also shimmer with embellishments. (Be creative and use in the kitchen, living room or even bedrooms; the entire house should have special holiday touches.) Wine and water goblets run the gamut from traditional crystal to vibrant jewel tones to ornate patterns.

• The Pampered Chef
Cook in style with high-end, name brand cookware (and serve right from the oven) with ceramic bakeware from Italy and Portugal in glimmering glaze finishes. Serving bowls and platters are available in a variety of seasonal patterns and autumn leaf colors for pots, pans, kitchen towels and even pot holders. It reinforces the overall holiday decorating scheme.

• Make guests feel at home
Guests will love to lounge on sofas and chairs laden with lush pillows and silky chenille throws, all aglow in gentle lighting. Area rugs pull the room together and add additional comfort.“Keep it simple, soft and sophisticated,” advises McDowell. “Just a few details such as opulent hand towels in ivory, olive green and gold or a sequined picture frame can transform a bathroom for the holidays.”

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