Holiday Entertaining is in the Details

Lesa Buckler.

Tips and ideas from Lesa Buckler, designer/owner of Details Furniture Galleries and Design

October is almost over, which means the winter holidays are drawing near. It’s almost time to start pulling out the decorations and festive foods and thinking ahead about hosting family and friends. And who knows how to throw a perfect soirée better than Lesa Buckler of Details?

From invitations to table settings, no element goes overlooked when she’s planning a get together. Most importantly, Lesa believes that a relaxed atmosphere makes for the most memorable experience. Here, she’s shared a few of her go-to tips.


Send unique invitations, even if you are hosting a small dinner party – it makes it feel more special.

Keep it real. We are only interested in entertaining if what we’re doing is actually fun, and that means keeping things as informal and natural as possible. Then, guests feel included and invited into something sacred or real. Loving your home has so much to do with your attitude.

Let guests help themselves to the bar if you don’t have a bartender. We will make the first drink, and then everyone makes their own. Set a tray out or have a bar with lots of glasses and different wines in buckets, and splurge on top-shelf liquors. I think people love that because they don’t have to wait to be served again.

Think of the table as a blank canvas. Use your favorite things to decorate – including objects you’ve collected over the years. What you create is your own personal work of art.

The table setting is the backdrop for the food that will be served, so always think of the table first. Candles and an abundance of beautiful flowers for the table and buffet and throughout the rest of the house are necessary.

Make foods guests will enjoy. I find that good quality, simple foods are the best. Nothing overly complicated. We are so fortunate in Louisville to have wonderful local farms for fresh and organic finds.

Prepare a terrific mix of music that speaks to your own personal listening style. It makes the evening feel more personal.

Finally, in the words of Elsie de Wolfe, “Plates should be hot, hot, hot: glasses should be cold, cold, cold; and decorations low, low, low.” VT

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