Rising To The Occassion


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With a few simple tips, everyone can become a food stylist at holiday time.  Taking a little extra time can ensure the presentation of our special meals is as memorable as the season.  Setting a table is a breeze…we’ve been doing that for ages.  Styling a buffet is not something we do every day.  A pretty set up eluded me until I learned this one simple secret.



Foods looks better, and are easier to serve buffet style, when they are on different levels.  Crowding  any surface with too much food, all at one level, means a lot of reaching over one dish to get to another.  Visually, it all looks like a sea of food, especially as service begins.    Simply mixing in elevated service pieces, with the other dishes, achieves the look of a stylist…presto!


Is not just for Dessert!

Cake stands come in so many styles, colors, finishes.  With covers and without. Multiple sizes can be stacked to create tiers.   Any flat serving piece can be placed on another item that can become a pedestal .  Once you start thinking about how to present food at different heights it is easy to create wonderful, pleasing displays.  Instagram and Pinterest worthy shots!

You probably have one of these puppies somewhere buried under other little used service ware.  More than one is better.  Different sizes are good.  Yes, we know it’s Saturday and dinner is tomorrow.  Now is a good time to borrow one from a friend or neighbor who is not cooking this year.  We promise, after you start using this idea, it will become more standard.  You might even use it every day.  Placed on a counter it automatically gives you more space while looking pretty cool.

We found these options at places that may be local to you.   Do you have time for a quick run in and pick up?   In the event you are an over achiever, and have a few hours to browse the day before a major food holiday,  second hand shops are also a great place to pick up some beauties.

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Kristen’s Favorite White Porcelain


Set of Three Clear Glass

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Wood and Metal with Cover


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Laurel’s Favorite – Marble and Wood

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Wouldn’t the deviled egg plate look smashing on this stand?

So many of our clients have fond memories of family kitchens where the cake stand was always front and center.  What a great way to use a family piece or revive a tradition with your own “new” heirloom.



Off center the main star of the stand.  Add fruit or flowers as accents.  Or leave room for a service piece.  How chic does this small cake look with it’s buddy ready to cut and serve?


Use different colors, or all the same.  Look at the impact of 3 sizes of the same style.  Play around with stacking.  See all the usable real estate below these stands!


Use Solids and Clears Together


Make your own stands.  Use all size plates, bowls and glasses.  Mix and match or all the same.


Even coffee cups/mugs can get in the game.  If you need a little extra support…clear silicone can hold the cup in place.  Peel it off when done.


How adorable are individual cupcake pedestals?  Coffee cup and saucer?

Love this Idea….punch, salad, truffle?


Cake Plate with Cover – Punch Bowl (note: great way to store more compactly too)


Every day meals look more gourmet!


Even store-bought muffins are more lovely on a cake stand.

Other Uses

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Recognize Kristen’s Favorite…great double duty!


How many places can you think elevated storage could be useful?

Let’s say you are simply too tired to gather cake stands, or make up your own at the 11th hour for this holiday….don’t fret.  If you have a tablecloth and a few books/boxes you can still wow your guests.  “Where does she find the time to do all this?!”  Notice we left off steps 1 & 2…it was about washing and ironing the table clothes.  With enough food you can camo the wrinkles and save the washing for after the party!  Another designer trick. Mum’s the word.

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So put on some of your favorite tunes and have fun in your new career as a food stylist.  Don’t forgot the photos…everyone is going to be talking about this dinner for a long time!

See our Previous Post – Be Our Guest

Thank you for spending a few minutes of this busy weekend with us!

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13 thoughts on “Rising To The Occassion”

    1. Yes, you are the bounty hunter of tag sales and have curated a lovely home1

    1. Leaving a cake stand out helps us remember it has so many other uses!

  1. I enjoy and use cake stands often. It really draws attention to a simply-prepared dish. 👀🍃

    1. Yes! SO many of your dishes would be wonderful served a bit higher. I’m going to try a pizza at the table on one tonight.

  2. I have a 50-year old milk glass hob-nailed cake stand sitting in a box in my basement….guess it’s time to bring it “into the light.” Today’s blog shows how simple it is to make a table pretty. Thankx!

  3. Love this topic! I have six cake stands and one 3-tiered tray. (Laurel is surely gasping, lol.) I use them all!

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