Turn an Everyday Space into an Entertaining Space

console table serves as party buffet

Now that the holidays are behind us I’m ready to put my energy back into decorating our new house.  It’s taking a lot longer than it did when we bought our first house – I think I was done in about 2 months then, with every room furnished and decorated!  This time around I’m finding it more difficult to find curtains in the right length, an expanding farm table, and art to fill up the walls.  Oh yeah, and we’re not supposed to paint for a year because the builders will come back and fix the nail pops, etc, from the first year of settling, which means we would have to repaint patched walls.  So we’re living with builder beige for another 6 months.

Anyway, here’s a tiny glimpse of our family room wall with the tv console on it {you’ve seen some of the room here already}.  The first part of this post shows you how it looks on a daily basis, and the second half shows you how I turned this every day space into a place for entertaining.

family room tv console table and shelves console table tray display shelves console table antlers console table shelvesfamily room tv console turns party buffet

First, let me tell you the trick I used to fill the wall…  We knew this wall would be the tv wall, but it’s 17 feet long!  Any regular piece of furniture would get lost on it, and I wasn’t feeling the ‘entertainment centers’ I would see in the stores.  I also wanted something sleek and timeless and everything seemed to be overly traditional or contemporary.  And finally, we had to have a place for the oh so lovely cable box {eyes rolling} but didn’t want it to be out in the open when not in use.

I finally found this fabulous saga credenza from CB2.  It has a mid-century-modern style with sliding doors that can easily hide away the electronics when we want, and only one panel stays open when we are using it.  I bought 2 of them and pushed them side by side so we have a long seamless look that takes up most of the wall.  I love, love, love it!

To add height we hung a couple of 3 foot floating shelves on one end.  My plan is to fill the opposite end and the area surround the tv with a collage of prints, photos, and artwork {remove the ladder display that’s there now}.  That way the black box of a television will not stand out so much, but become more of a part of the collage so to speak.

Some of the items I’ve used to decorate the space:  stacked books {of course}, a hand painted art print from Kori Clark designs, some antlers I spray painted gold, a tray from HomeGoods, art, and random knick knacks that may get rotated on a whim.

What’s great about having one side dedicated to the tv is that I can turn the other side into a buffet for entertaining.  I just clear off most of the items and set out food and drinks – perfect for watching the big game so you won’t miss a play!

use a long tv console table and shelves for food buffet when entertaining family room tray with mugs for soup console table pigs in a blanket family room console napkins with antler brunswick stew and flowers family room drinks console table cupcakesfamily room console set up for football party

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I cleared off the lower shelf to make way for drinks and dessert.  The credenza is turned into a serving area for soup or chili {in this case, Brunswick stew}.  I made use of the tray that was already there and placed a tureen, coffee mugs, and a vintage cut glass spoon holder.  Using coffee mugs with a handle to serve soup or chili from is a good idea when people may be walking around or sitting on the sofa.

One of the antlers becomes a napkin weight, and I filled the rest of the area with plates, a vase of flowers, and more game day snacks.

What do you think?  Do you have an everyday display piece that you can turn into a serving area?  It’s a great idea if you live in a small space, or you just want to move the party traffic into a different area.  You can see more ideas on this article I did for Homes.com.

Have a great day!


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About Chris

Chris Nease is a party stylist and home entertaining expert with over 15 years of experience. In addition to her work as founding editor of Celebrations At Home, Chris is an editorial stylist and contributor to Homes.com, Marie Callender's, and SheKnows. Most recently her work has been published in Woman's World, Yum Food & Fun for Kids, and Cottages & Bungalows.


  1. Love this and I am so happy I am not the only one feeling like it’s taking so much longer to decorate this time around! Also, MY PRINT!!! YAY!! You just made my day! xo

  2. very nice Chris

  3. Where did you find he stair stepped tray for sodas? The transformation is impressive.

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