Versatile Pieces for Entertaining AND Decorating

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It seems like we entertain a lot in my household!  We are lucky to have friends and family who love to drop in for a few days (or longer).  We do tend to see them more when we’re stationed in fun locations–Virginia Beach and Nashville have kept my guest room full–and I’m guessing that Savannah will continue that streak.  Plus, with a husband in the military, we have hosted so many unit get-togethers over the years, and that’s one 0f the things that we both enjoy.

While I am absolutely not afraid to serve my guests on paper plates (I LOVE to throw away the dishes when we’re done!), I do still look for display and serving pieces that will help me to dress up a table or an event, even if we’re just using paper and plastic.  Presentation is everything!  I wanted to show you guys a few things I’ve found over the past months that look great incorporated into my home decor, but will also do double-duty when I need to entertain.

I found this cute chalkboard at Hobby Lobby for $10.  It’s hanging on my pantry door right now, but it also has an easel stand on the back.  Wouldn’t it be a great menu board at a party?  Amy shows you how to make one of your own here.  By the way, even if I don’t update what’s for dinner every day, I do have to update which kid sets the table and which kid clears it.  Clearing the table is their least favorite thing in the world and heaven forbid they have to do it two nights in a row!  I always remind them that I have to cook every. single. night, but they are unmoved by my plight (much as I am by theirs!).

Hobby Lobby hanging chalkboard


I’ve been looking for a nice old toolbox, and I have no doubt that I’ll find one at some point, but I found this new-one-that-looks-old at Home Goods a few weeks ago.  I’ve been putting my fresh fruit in it on our kitchen island, but notice that we’re completely out at the time the picture was taken.  Guess it’s time to go to the store!

There’s a plastic liner inside, so it could hold herbs, too.  My plan for it during our next party is to line it with napkins or towels (maybe even burlap?) and fill it with rolls or small bags of chips.

Faux vintage toolbox


This great tiered basket looks like chicken wire and is a gorgeous gray color.  It was $15 at Hobby Lobby (you probably already knew this, but you must only buy these items when they’re on sale for 50% off!).  It also folds, making it super-easy to toss in the car for a function that’s not at your own home.  I see it holding plates, napkins, and cups, although it would look equally nice holding the rolls and chips, like I mentioned above.  While it’s at work in my house, it’s going to either hold washcloths and towels in the bathroom; or onions, potatoes, etc. in the pantry.  I haven’t decided yet!

Chicken wire tiered basket

I made a trip to World Market last weekend.  I can’t go very often–Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, and World Market are absolutely deadly for me and I have to limit my trips!  I snagged two darling pieces, though.  First, the “Patisserie” cake carrier:

World Market Patisserie Cake Carrier


It’s only $24.99, and so cute and retro!  I almost sent Amy one for her birthday, but opted for jewelry at the last minute.  It’s perfect to carry a cake, pie, or cupcakes to an event, and it dresses up my pantry’s top shelf in the meantime.

The other thing I bought was this wire 3-tier drying rack for glasses.  Now, I’ll admit that I’m not sure that I’m going to keep this one, even though I love its industrial look.  The price was right at $14.99, and it’s solid and well-made, but I’m not sure I want something else on my counter.  If I had a baby and was constantly air-drying bottles, I’d use this in a HEARTBEAT.  It would also be great for smaller buffet-style parties–which is why I bought it.  What do you guys think?



I’d love to hear what you all use to multi-task between decorating and entertaining.  Obviously, pieces like old enamelware and wash basins are classic for icing down drinks, but do you have any other great creative ideas?  Share them so we can all “borrow!”

Thanks for stopping by~



  1. Mary Robards says

    I am not sure how they would lay, but another idea for the wire 3-tier drying rack for glasses would be to hold the numerous baseball caps my husband had (he passed away this last Dec. 21st). He loved his hats and they were hung all over the house. Thanks for your website…it is cute and interesting.

    • Mary, I’m so sorry. That would be a great idea for the rack. I hope you continue to display your husband’s hats and whatever else of his brings you comfort. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Hobby Lobby finally opened it’s first store in Connecticut–I was there on opening day! Home Goods is one of my favorites too but we don’t have World Market to my knowledge and maybe that’s a good thing! Love the cake carrier. I repurpose a lot of things in my craft room to hold my way too many craft supplies……….the three tiered basket would be perfect to hold lots of different craft supplies!! Thanks for the look!

    • Good idea–I did think it might be good for holding spools of ribbon for gift wrapping, so I’ll probably give that a try before I take it back. You are right, Peggy, it’s a good thing that you don’t have a World Market near you, too–very dangerous!

  3. I love all of theses pieces. They’ll be very usefull. Here’s my opinion on the bottle-drying rack: KEEP IT!!! I have the same one from World Market (see here: ) and I LOVE IT! I have it set back into a corner of my counter space holding mugs, and it’s like an ever-changing piece of artwork (providing, of course, that you fill it with your very-most-favorite mugs!). Don’t give up on it too soon. If you can find the perfect spot for it, you will love it!!! I hope you’ll update us on what you decide.

    I know what you mean about going to World Market, Home Goods, etc. Dangerous stuff. Have a great weekend!

    • Hi, Sally–
      I do like how you put coffee mugs on yours–good idea! I’m also going to try spools of ribbon (like I mentioned right above your comment) in my craft room. Or even jewelry in my bedroom…lots of possibilities! Thanks for stopping by!

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