The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving design: A room that dresses for dinner

(Continued)

— For a cocktail that impresses guests, Spungen recommends in her book a champagne cocktail, made by putting a sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne glass, soaking it with two dashes of Angostura bitters, and then pouring chilled champagne. For a classy vial, Spungen likes the Camden Champagne Flute ($14, www.canvashomestore.com).

— "Gold can look really fantastic as a charger under a plate or a napkin ring," Spungen says. "Festive notes add a little bit of formality to a holiday." Try the Paramount Dinnerware Charger (set of four, $79.80, www.zgallerie.com) under a patterned or rustic-style plate for a polished, on-trend look.

— "Glass containers are wonderful," Olive says. "You can put grasses and flowers in them — shells, rocks or leaves. You can put candles in them on a different day. You can even fill them with Christmas decorations." Crate & Barrel's Baird Covered Server ($59.95, www.crateand barrel.com) will also keep cake, fruit and cheese fresh for cocktail hour or a buffet meal.

— In Spungen's book on entertaining, she writes, "If you're entertaining a crowd or serving drinks outside, stemless glasses are great because they're not as delicate as stemmed glasses and you can fit a lot of them in the dishwasher at the end of the party without fear of breaking them." Try the Color-Drop Stemless Wine Glass ($14, www.anthrop ologie.com); the subtle touch of gold in the bottom is warm enough for a fall meal and festive enough for a glitzy holiday gathering.

— "The best way to set a table is to have really fun pieces to put in the center," says Olive, who confesses that vases are her personal obsession. When not being used for its original purpose, Billy Cotton's white stoneware pitcher ($39, www. billycotton.com) can serve as a centerpiece and vase.

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