When it comes to entertaining and decorating, Charity Buchika’s advice is every bit as refreshing and down-home as her designs: “Keep it simple,” says the owner of Teaselwood Designs. The interiors and product designer is based in beautiful upstate New York, in the charming lakeside village of Skaneateles. It’s here that she invited us to pull up a chair on the front porch of her home for a quick lesson in holiday decorating. Follow Charity’s five easy tips for creating a gorgeous buffet this fall (and don’t be afraid to ask for seconds).
photographed by alice g. patterson
1. Decorate with fresh produce instead of flowers.
“Be creative on this and think outside the box,” says Charity. “A bowl of produce adds color and texture to the table and depending on what you use, possibly another menu item. Using a pumpkin as a flower vase is another great way to keep costs in check. We gathered these apples from a tree on our property. It doesn’t get much easier than that!”
2. Break out the heirlooms (or vintage style pieces).
“Heirlooms create a wonderful sense of nostalgia at family gatherings. Vintage pieces might even inspire a guest to share a funny story or touching memory,” muses Charity.
“This is a vintage flatware set that I inherited from my grandmother. I love that it’s an heirloom in our family and also how delicate the pattern is. I always like pairing yin and yang type pieces together on a table to create a ‘collected’ look.”
The plates and serving pieces are from Teaselwood Designs, Charity’s custom line of pottery and cook’s tools.
3. Use candlelight.
“Candles create an ambiance that really nothing else can quite mimic,” says Charity. “These votives have been in my collection for some time, and I’m not sure where I found them. I am never tired of them and use them every year.”
4. Take it outside.
“I think creating an outdoor buffet creates a sense of adventure and lets people relax and feel comfortable. It creates an unexpected twist to your party, and it’s also a great way to make a home seem more spacious,” says Charity. She used the front porch of her home in Skaneateles, New York, for the location of her fall buffet.
5. Have at least one “comfort food” element on the menu.
“You can be creative in your menu, but having at least one comfort food option puts even the pickiest eater at ease,” says Charity. “The apple pie dish is from our collection of pottery as well. We created this pie dish to help make every pie beautiful with the detailed scalloped edge.”
Read the full recipe for Teaselwood Apple Pie here!
Thank you, Charity, for sharing your great tips (and beautiful front porch) with us this Thanksgiving.