You don’t need a dining room or even a buffet table to make this party setup work. We used a fold-up party table topped with a covering made from a dropcloth (!!!) and a small, hemmed piece of gorgeous marbled fabric.
Placing the plates and napkins at one end of the table creates a clear entry point. Copper string lights inside a footed cloche draw attention to the beginning of the line.
Since plates of food tend to be, well, flat, we placed food atop pieces with varying heights. Here, wooden chargers prop up potted plants and succulents, which are more affordable and longer-lasting than cut flowers. Footed pedestal servers are a great option, too. If your serving dish supply is low, use cardboard boxes or overturned pots covered with wrapping paper or fabric as a base for dishes of food.
Quiet cries of “What is this?” with custom-made food labels. Keep it super-simple with pieces of card stock or stick-on labels, or make these adorable twig place card holders with paint and a little copper wire.
Pick a palette that corresponds with the hues you’re showcasing at your party. Since we used a lot of plum, turquoise and metallics at our party, we added bright accents — like these rustic potted celosia from the HGTV HOME plant collection — in those same hues.
We mixed homemade galettes and a handmade cheese plate with store-bought cheese, crackers and garnishes. Consider how much you can realistically cook beforehand: If you’re strapped for time, consider equally-delicious ready-made options.
Original article and pictures take http://www.hgtv.com/design-blog/entertaining/how-to-set-up-a-holiday-buffet-table site