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Ideas for Buffet Tables | Setting a Buffet Table

Updated on June 17, 2014

Ideas for Buffet Tables | Buffetscapes

Decorating buffet ideas and setting up a beautiful presentation can add so much to your event -- whether it is Easter Dinner at home, a wedding reception, shower, rehearsal dinner, or fundraiser -- WOW your guests. Ideas for buffet tables are here to help! Setting a buffet table is easier than you think.

All of us have seen a buffet table that was less than inspiring. It was set in a utilitarian fashion -- line 'em up and feed 'em -- long tables with the food falling into rank like an Army chow line. That is soooo yesterday! And, using some of my tips and tricks will actually help you get the food to fit on the table better!

In this article, you will find some tips and suggestions I used (and still use) when I was in the industry. Anyone can make a pretty buffet table. Let me show you how!

Image is from the buffet I set up for my sister's baby shower.

Notice: All Buffetscape photos are from my personal collection unless otherwise noted.

Today, most caterers, chefs and event hosts put more thought and creativity into creating memorable buffets or food stations at their events. So much so that these buffetscapes or setting a buffet table actually become part of your event décor -- they help further the ambience and atmosphere of the theme you have chosen for your event.

Whether it is buffet decorating ideas for a wedding, fundraising event, Prom, rehearsal dinner or a get together of friends and family at your home, buffet decorating has come a long way. Below are buffet ideas for servingware, tiered displays, florals, chafers and photos, tutorials and links to more resources for self catering.

Setting a buffet table made easy!

Buffet Ideas for Serving with Style - Serveware for Your Buffet

These are a few items that can help display your food on a buffet.

Wrought Iron Pie Stand/Rack Triple Tier Hand Made
Wrought Iron Pie Stand/Rack Triple Tier Hand Made

Wire metal racks that hold 1, 2 or 3 dishes are a must on my buffet tables. They draw the eye up and give you something interesting to look at.

Wilton 307-859 3-Tier Cakes and Cupcake Stand
Wilton 307-859 3-Tier Cakes and Cupcake Stand

This tiered stand is connected but each level is complete on its own. Use it for cakes, appetizers, cookies, tarts, pinwheels of whatever you are serving!

Set of Three White Iron and Glass Cake Stands
Set of Three White Iron and Glass Cake Stands

This is one of my favorite cake stand sets. I love a little bling!


A buffetscape is the presentation of your food (and drink if you wish) in a manner that is visually attractive and ties in with the theme of your event. Some refer to it as a buffet display or buffet design. There are many ways to accomplish this but you need some basics that you will use with every buffetscape created.

On to the basics...

Image: Set up by McDaniels Catered Elegance, my photo

Ideas for Buffet Food Table Decorating

What are the basics?

Buffet table decorating ideas are not that hard to come by. Applying interior design tips can assist you with décor ideas for buffet food tables -- or creating a buffetscape (or centerpieces for your tables). There are 4 basic tips to apply:

  • Use varying heights to create visual interest.

  • Layer items (one item slightly in front of another) for added interest. It encourages the eye to roam.

  • Use accenting colors and textures in fabrics and décor items.

  • When grouping items together, use an odd number - This technique has been proven eye pleasing.

The above ideas are basic tips all designers learn in school. If you apply them to your buffetscape, you will be on your way to creating an interesting and memorable buffet.

Buy at

Now, let's look at specific ways to incorporate the above tips into setting a buffet table (buffetscape).

  1. Varying heights - This is easy to accomplish using common items found around your home. The only prerequisite is these "risers" need to be sturdy and solid. You will be placing platters, bowls and other serving dishes of food on top so making sure they will not topple is of utmost importance. Possible items you could use include hat boxes, jewelry boxes, vegetable cans, hard sided suitcases, inverted pots, tabletop plant stands, stemware turned upside down, books and more. Basically, look around your home -- anything that can be used as a solid "base" has potential.
  2. Accenting textures and colors - Most events have a color scheme already picked out. Use a neutral from that color scheme as your base linen (black, white, gold, silver) and accent with fabrics of the other colors in your scheme or a patterned fabric that has all the colors in it. Mix metals and wicker -- mix a patterned and/or textured fabric with a smooth, shiny fabric -- mix smooth leaf greenery with spikey bright colored flowers.
  3. Layering items - This is the easiest of buffet ideas to accomplish. In front of a taller item, place a shorter item or laying greenery at the base of any item is layering. You can also place like sized items, one slightly in front of the other when looking straight on. Layering adds depth, thus interest.
  4. Grouping Items - A proven, visually pleasing tip is using odd numbers in groupings. Look at your table and mentally (or physically if you prefer) divide it into sections. In each section use two or three décor items mixed with 2 or 3 food items to create your grouping -- remembering to come out with an odd number.

    You will be surprised at how many ideas for buffet food tables you can come up with by simply looking around your home!

Basic Element for Setting a Buffet Table - Cake Stands - Use together or separate

Anchor Hocking 3-Tier Presence Platter Set
Anchor Hocking 3-Tier Presence Platter Set

Because the three platters in this set stack or stand on their own they provide plenty of options for serving hors d'oeuvres, sweets, or fruit or for creating a dramatic centerpiece or riser in setting a buffet table. Each platter has its own pedestal attached so the three can be arrayed singly or in combinations. The clear glass coordinates with any dinnerware. The platters measure 13", 10.", and 8" inches in diameter.


Where do I get décor for my buffetscape?

Shopping for Buffet Ideas

Items you already own that fit the theme of your event is the cheapest way to go. Walk around your house with a basket and shop!

If you don't own anything that will go along with the theme, you could try...

  • a local or online party supply store

  • a local or online department store (Like Amazon!)

  • dollar store (Dollar General, Dollar Tree, etc)

  • discount superstore (Wal-Mart, Target, Meirs, etc)

  • overstock inventory store (T.J. Maxx, Ross, Marshall's, etc)

  • home décor store (Home Goods, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc)

  • Craig's List

  • Ebay

  • thrift Stores

  • Garage/Tag Sales...

to find décor for your buffetscape. Remember, someone else's discarded item could be just what you need for setting your buffet table, so definitely check Ebay, Craig's List, Garage/Tag Sales and local Thrift Stores. You never know where you will find the perfect idea for buffet tables. They can all be a treasure trove of décor -- and inexpensive too!

Themed Centerpieces for Buffet Ideas - French - Paris Themed Centerpiece

Doodles Destinations Eiffel Tower Paris
Doodles Destinations Eiffel Tower Paris

Themed centerpieces can be used on a buffet as well as a guest table. A Paris or French theme screams for some of the "City of Lights" landmarks, such as the Eiffle Tower above. What about an Arc de Triomphe, or Notre Dame? Any of them could be incorporated into your buffetscape.

More ideas about using Eiffel Towers as Centerpieces.


This is dependent on your theme. I like to use free association when coming up with buffet ideas for items to fit my theme. Some will be literal; others will create more of a feeling or mood.

Below are examples for a few different themes and corresponding keywords to give you the idea:


Cowboy boots, rope, bandanas, cowboy hats, spurs, branding iron, covered wagons, saddles, horses, cactus, mountains, chuck wagon, saloons, ghost towns, corrals, fire pit, granite speckled coffee pot and/or dishes, gold mining


Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, red geraniums, cheese, bitros, sidewalk cafes, museums, Moulin Rouge, parks, chefs, food aromas, perfume, patisseries, twinkle lights for the city of lights, fleur-de- lis, street vendors, artists, berets, toile

Country Garden

Watering cans, white picket fence, lattice, statuary, pots, urns, fountains, flowers, topiaries, wrought iron, greenery, ivy, potters bench, mailbox, wheelbarrow, wooden flower carts


Candles, soft light, wisteria, whites & pinks, lace, sheer/gauzy fabrics, candelabras, hearts, red roses, white roses, glassware, white dishes, floral patterned dishes, white twinkle lights, ivy, sheer ribbon

Each theme and corresponding keywords can give you ideas for buffet tables and items you can use.

You will be accenting your food selection with these items so be careful not to overdo. And, some items are not made to be used in conjunction with food. These items carry a notice of this usually on the bottom. It states something like this: "Not intended for use with food". Please pay attention to these warnings.

Chafing Dish for Hot Foods - Keep Your Buffet Food Safe

Alegacy AL424A Stainless Steel Top-Shelf Round Chafer, 15-1/4 by 12-1/2 by 11-3/4-Inch
Alegacy AL424A Stainless Steel Top-Shelf Round Chafer, 15-1/4 by 12-1/2 by 11-3/4-Inch

This 4 quart Chafing dish is perfect for your buffetscape. It will keep your food hot and at a safe serving temperature using canned fuel (sterno). It is attractive and doesn't take up much room with its' round design. Throw out the big, bulky electric roaster and serve in an elegant chafer! Stainless steel; 4 quart capacity; 15.25" x 12.5" x 11.75"


Palm trees, fishing net (unused of course), palm leaf, tropical flowers, fish or hula girl figurine, grass skirting, hot colors, lots of greenery, seashells, candles (I like to use the LED so no on gets burned reaching over a flame), tiki torches (tabletop or full size), leis, and anything else you can think of!

Flowers, plants & your buffet

Believe it or not, some flowers and plants are actually toxic to humans. The effects can range from itching to cramps, diarrhea or worse! It is much safer to use silk plants and greenery on a buffetscape. Better safe than sorry!

If you use real, please research to verify it is not a toxic variety of plant/flower.

This is a fun way to make your buffetscape really pop. It has become quite popular in the last few years, though some industries have been doing it for years (like the cruise lines).

Basically, you create fun and interesting centerpieces with your food offerings. Strawberry trees, molded cheeseballs, pineapple palm trees, shrimp trees or waterfalls are just a few of the ideas chefs and party/event hosts have come up with.

The bottom line is coming up with unconventional ways to serve conventional foods.

Another way to use food is making a non-edible centerpice. On the right is a craft using Hershey's Kisses on a topiary form. It's a Spring or Easter Topiary Centerpiece. I made this a few years ago and used it on an Easter Dessert Table.

You can use the same format and any candy that fits the theme you are decorating for. Red, white and blue for 4th of July, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, Labor Day or throughout the summer -- green and red at Christmas, orange and black for Halloween and so on.

You can do more than just lay your vegetables on a platter. Make a Vegetable basket. It will keep your veggies crisp, and cool and is a much more visually interesting display than a platter.

Are you having fresh shrimp for your event? Build a Shrimp Waterfall or a Shrimp Tree. If you don't want to create yourself, order an edible arrangement from Edible Arrangements. Just strp outside the box and do something different.

Look around your house, office, basement, mom's house and garage. Remember that box of decorations you put up in the attic? Remember grandma's pink Depression glass collection? You know that figurine collection you have added to over the years? Use them!

Build your own theme around them or just make an elegant buffet table with candles, fabric and serving pieces without a set theme.

This is much easier than you think; just let your creative side take over! The pictures throughout this lens are to inspire you. Change, add too, take away from these buffet ideas -- let loose and just create!

Free guide to building your own buffetscape. Use it for your next party or event!

Article about Self Catering and keeping foods at the proper serving temperatures.

Unique Servingware

Setting a Buffet Table to WOW!

Serving dishes that can do double duty, are gorgeous, unique or different help make your buffetscape memorable to your guests. You are going to entertain during your life. Why not invest in some buffetware that you will use over and over again!

Old Dutch 838 Round Antique Copper Chafing DishBuy Now

Signature Housewares Sorrento Collection 2 Tiered ServerBuy Now

Signature Housewares Sorrento Collection Stoneware Serving Trays in Tiered Caddy, Set of 3Buy Now

White and Pink Beaded Multi Cake StandBuy Now

Irene Pedestal Cake Stand, Set of 3Buy Now

Signature Housewares 11-Ounce Stoneware Ramekins with Serving Caddy, Ivory, Set of 3Buy Now

You can lend them out too! Family and friends will be knocking on your door ready to borrow some of your gorgeous, serving dishes for their parties and get-togethers!

Buffet Serving Dishes - to use on Your Buffet Table

Don't forget to check eBay for great deals and, often, unique items! Tiered cake stands are plentiful and there are lots of different styles. I never build a buffet without using at least one. Take advantage of vertical space with tiered serving stands!

Decorating buffets vs Not Decorating Buffets

Do you decorate your party buffets or not?

Yes! It's fun and adds to the party.

Yes! It's fun and adds to the party.

Submit a Comment

  • kathysart 4 years ago

    Absolutely! I used to belong to an art group who did not decorate their tables for openings. I couldn't believe it.. artists with potato chip bags just thrown on the table? I had to take charge! I told people that had to bring nice serving dishes and they did. I felt sooo proud of myself and them cause they got it with the first nice buffet. Sheeze. Even flowers.. well really to me most especially fresh flowers make a nice table.

  • ConsumerProductAlly 4 years ago

    I'm to concerned with the great selection of food!

  • Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

    Of course. That's half the fun and it's what makes a party a party.

  • Ben Reed 4 years ago

    Got too. A great read.

  • JRsFavoriteFinds 4 years ago

    Absolutely, and you have great ideas and tips.

  • ismeedee 4 years ago

    Looks much more special with a bit of décor, nothing over the top!

  • Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

    My sister creates lovely dinner settings, she would love your buffet ideas I'm sure

  • KateAdamsUSA 4 years ago

    I've always liked better looking buffet tables but you take it to a whole other level!

  • webhostingrevie 4 years ago

    Looks absolutely amazing.

  • anonymous 4 years ago


  • MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 4 years ago from Jersey Shore

    Most definitely! Looks are everything! :>)

  • Judith Nazarewicz 4 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

    Yes it's loads of fun!

  • Michey LM 4 years ago

    It is part of the party...

  • ComfortsOfHome 4 years ago

    Oh yes, that's half the fun!

  • miaponzo 4 years ago

    I absolutely do decorate them! What's the point otherwise? :)

  • lshields lm 4 years ago

    Yes presentation sets the mood

  • EbooksFreeWeekl1 4 years ago

    I'm a presenter, so bring on the extra-effort.

  • Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

    I think decorating makes the food more appetizing.

  • designworld lm 5 years ago

    I always love to decorate my buffet tables. Themes are so much fun!

  • fryroost 5 years ago


    I always think to decorate my buffet in parties, as i love decorating and Tables decorating is one of the beauty of parties if one have decorated her/his parties buffet table than for sure her party will be more loving party :-)

  • SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

    It's a long time since I've done this but your ideas have prompted me to do it again.

  • alex89 lm 5 years ago

    I love creating interesting buffet tables! I have even done ice sculptures.

  • Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

    Yes. It's part of the fun.

  • casquid 5 years ago

    Yes I do. Even Family events get special attention.

  • peggygallyot 5 years ago

    It's fun when things are arranged well

  • Lori Green 5 years ago from Las Vegas

    I decorate for Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas. It's my favorite time of year.

  • Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Just love to decorate each time we have a party. Our problem is so many in ourfamily want to do it.

  • Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

    I lean toward decorating with the food and my mismatched dishes but yes, I try to make a buffet look appealing.

  • peggygallyot 5 years ago

    i normally line them up

  • Michey LM 5 years ago

    Yes! like a nice set up, it is part of the party fun.

  • renagirl 5 years ago

    I say yes but they look nothing like these beautiful buffets

  • KateHonebrink 5 years ago

    I haven't had many party buffets to this point, but after reading your APPETIZING LENS, I'm all excited to set the date and send out the invitations! Thanks so much for all your great research and details - I plan on using them!

  • seosri417 5 years ago

    It looks good

  • Clairissa 5 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

    OH, Most definitely! So much fun to create a fabulous canvas to display your food!

  • Pastor Cher 5 years ago from United States

    It's part of the fun. I love coming up with themes to decorate the tables and room.

  • seojyo 5 years ago

    so far haven't.. i should try it

  • dahlia369 5 years ago

    I like everything decorated but prefer someone else to do it for me

  • Mahogany LM 5 years ago

    I don't have buffet parties. But if I DID, I think decorating everything nicely would be a must!

  • MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

    It's been proven over and over again that the more appetizing the food looks, the better it will taste (it's obviously psychological), so why not decorate a buffet?

  • anonymous 5 years ago

    I like sweet cate. also its funny.

  • anonymous 5 years ago

    Yes, I try. Now I can decorate them better, after reading your lens.

  • SoniaCarew 5 years ago

    I regularly have to do the buffet settings for fundraising events myself. And I am constantly short of ideas. Thank your for this lens,... certainly is going to help me out in the future.

  • wheresthekarma 5 years ago


  • miaponzo 5 years ago

    I sometimes do both of these.. but definitely decorating is way better!!!

  • Mary Crowther 6 years ago from Havre de Grace

    It's fun to be creative. Love your ideas!

  • Pam Irie 6 years ago from Land of Aloha

    It's been a while, but I do my best. I love the tiered presentation.

  • vauldine 6 years ago

    Yes I do!

  • cards by cathy 6 years ago

    You got to decorate!

  • Gerald McConway 6 years ago

    I used to work at a hotel and designed most of our buffets. I always thought simpler was better and classier for formal events. When we did weddings, I would usually use nothing but glass blocks and candles to decorate. When the lights went down, it was breathtaking.

  • Philippians468 6 years ago

    oh yes i do! the decoration adds to the ambiance! cheers

  • E L Seaton 6 years ago from Virginia

    Great job, lots of variety, especially the spacial displacement in 3-D. Keep it up fellow squid food artist!

  • anonymous 6 years ago

    I love some art in buffet.

  • slotowngal 6 years ago

    I have a friend decorating the buffet for my daughter's upcoming wedding.

  • dustytoes 6 years ago

    When I had parties yes, I decorated. It was such fun.

  • anonymous 6 years ago

    It can almost be the best part

  • Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

    I try to make my party buffet festive looking.

  • jctatum 6 years ago

    Absolutely! It really adds to the appeal and makes your event look more professional.

  • VSP 6 years ago

    I think I need an in between one on this. Like Jimmie, I love the idea, but will I really do it? I hope so, or at least implement some of the level ideas. First I need to clean then start inviting again.

  • EpicFarms 6 years ago

    Absolutely! Even the most marvelous food looks even yummier (um, that's a technical term) with that added dash of splash :o)

  • Fran Tollett 6 years ago

    I am in charge of fellowship dinners at church. Normally, we have just lined up the food. Pretty boring stuff. This lens has given some ideas so I can be on the look out for decorations for Thanksgiving, Christmas etc. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  • norma-holt 6 years ago

    Absolutely, it's the most fun of the pre-party. Love the look on people's faces when they see the result of your efforts.

  • Barkely 6 years ago

    I love getting creative in my food presentation. You gotta play with your food! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise:-)

  • SAMEPRINCESS10 6 years ago




  • OliveHouse 6 years ago

    No, but my wife does!

  • anonymous 6 years ago

    For some events, I decorate. If the event is just immediate family, I'm not so much into it. However, I do have a very creative nature, so sometimes I go all out and am usually really glad I did. It is very special when someone does that.

  • Sugar Rush1973 6 years ago

    Definitely decorate!

  • justholidays 6 years ago

    Well, I don't over decorate buffets, I mostly try to provide the cuisine from the country the buffer is decorated so for example, if I make a Spanish buffet, I'll add a lot of red and yellow decorations: flowers, napkins, but will also serve Spanish food only. But I wouldn't add too big decorating item like monument or so as I don't like such items on a table...

  • careerlady8 6 years ago

    Yes, i love decorating and adding my special touch :)

  • JenOfChicago LM 6 years ago

    I like to have at least a little decoration!

  • bruno1432 6 years ago

    GOOD work, I love it.

  • anonymous 6 years ago

    Decorated buffets are more inviting.

  • SueSturos 6 years ago


  • annel lm 6 years ago

    Yes! It's cool and fun and not always needs to be very complicated or time consuming, just be creative or ask kids, they are better with imagination ;)

  • caketech 6 years ago

    Yes! I look for simple items that are friendly to my pocketbook! Great ideas!

  • LotusMalas 6 years ago

    I can't guarantee how good I'll be at it, but it looks fun to try!

  • Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I always like to do this. And I agree to the varied heights.

  • Amy Fricano 6 years ago from WNY

    twice... :)

  • journey103 6 years ago from USA

    On special occasions I love a really nice looking buffet and I love tiered dishes at varying heights because it not only looks inviting, but saves space. Great lens!

  • stacy mcdaniel 6 years ago

    It's a yes for me. I think it looks cool.

  • KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

    Yes, I love to present food cleverly.

  • DecoratingEvents 6 years ago

    Of course! I have fun doing this and can usually find things around my house that will add to the ambience of the party.

Nope! I say "line 'em up and feed 'em.

Submit a Comment

  • shewins 4 years ago

    My buffets are generally pretty casual. Your table look lovely though.

  • FamilyBeachVaca 4 years ago

    My talents do not extend to decorating

  • MichaelDubrovnik 4 years ago

    Aluminum foil tray does the job

  • malualhati 4 years ago

    i'm all about the food---hahaha!

  • markadamdouglass 4 years ago

    Not for me. For me it is all about the food

  • Heidi Vincent 5 years ago from GRENADA

    I am not that creative with buffets. Leave it to the experts.

  • Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

    I rarely entertain at home because of my pets and others' allergies to them, but the few times I have, I confess never putting too much thought into it. Your examples are great, though. Inspired :)

  • anonymous 5 years ago

    I have to say I do line em up and feed them because as our family expands, we find there's less room on the table for all the dishes!

  • Fcuk Hub 5 years ago

    I would love but I can't

  • anonymous 5 years ago

    So would rather go somewhere else to have a buffet rather than have to be the host.

  • Sher Ritchie 5 years ago

    because its fun!

  • Annamadagan 6 years ago

    I wish!

  • pixelposy 6 years ago

    I wish I put more thought into buffet design, but unfortunately no, most of our parties have the food just set out wherever it'll fit. I will have to keep your tips in mind.

  • nukemdomis lm 6 years ago

    I leave it someone else.

  • susankristoff 6 years ago

    I love the concept, but I don't create large enough buffets to warrant all of the decorating extras.

  • Jimmie Lanley 6 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

    I LOVE this idea, but I just don't do it. :-)

  • BradKamer 6 years ago

    No. I am guilty of throwing out the chow line. After reading this buffet inspiring lens, I like your "western" themed ideas for my next barbecue. What a great lens idea!

  • Linda Hoxie 6 years ago from Idaho

    Actually I am not much for entertaining except for a huge family dinner for Thanksgiving. I do love using visual appeal for all my cooking though. Amazing how much it adds to the experience to have your vision stimulated as well as your other senses!

  • Sherry Venegas 6 years ago from La Verne, CA

    Well, maybe I should make everything extra special next time.

  • LouisaDembul 6 years ago

    I haven't done it until now, thought it would be too difficult. I've changed my mind.

  • Jennifer P Tanabe 6 years ago from Red Hook, NY

    I think these decorated buffets look absolutely gorgeous, but I've only encountered them at catered events never at my home! It's usually all I can do to get the food and drinks on the table in any sort of order.

  • Sue Mah 6 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    I would love to add some decorative touch but alas my skills in that department is very limited. I try to do more than just line them up, they look quite orderly .

  • nightbear lm 6 years ago

    I am very left brained and very imagination challenged. It is a lot of effort for me to figure out something as gorgeous as these tablescapes.

  • Karen 6 years ago from U.S.

    I'm in the group of untalented decorators -- and not particularly talented with preparing food in general...but I'm in awe of those who are!

  • redflea13 lm 6 years ago

    I like the creativity of these buffets nut lack the motivation to do it myself.

  • Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

    If I had one ounce of artistic abillity I would decorate, but afraid I'm still in the Army chow line category.

  • anonymous 6 years ago

    As much as I admire your lovely buffetscapes, I missed the line that handed out artistic talent. If my buffet were to look this lovely, I would have to hire it done.

  • Jacqueline Marshall 6 years ago from Chicago area

    I spend as little time in the kitchen as possible - but what I see on this lens is lovely.

  • June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

    I admire these beautiful buffet scapes tremendously. Sadly, being on the lazy side, I figure my guests are lucky to get fed at all at my house. Expecting it to look nice would be too much! LOL

  • Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

    Got to admit, I'm not very good at decorating buffets (or even the dinner table for that matter). My daughter on the other hand is brilliant. She put on a spectacular spread for her 16th birthday party, complete with beautiful labels for each food and drink.

Did you know...

Hot foods should be kept at a temperature of 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) and cold foods that are dairy or mayonnaise based should be kept at or below 41 degrees F (5 degrees C) to avoid food borne illness.

Ideas for Candy Buffet - Buffet Decorating Ideas

Candy buffets can be decorated too! Visit theses articles for more fun!

Don't Forget the Dessert Table Buffet - Modern Style or....

Dessert Buffet Table Décor Ideas will give the you the basics of planning both a modern style and traditional style dessert table buffet. The colors used here were black and white but you can use any color scheme you want!

Traditional Style Dessert Table - It's up to You!

Holiday Buffets and Dessert Tables

Holiday Buffets - Vintage Halloween Dessert Table - Themes are Great!

Vintage Halloween Buffet Table
Vintage Halloween Buffet Table

Create your own Vintage Halloween Dessert Table with Photos. Yup, the holidays are perfect times to set up a buffet -- buffetscape that will impress your family and friends. Use seasonal décor and a little imagination and you'll have a wonderful food table your guests will talk about!

Go Scary with a Spooky Halloween Table - Halloween Buffet Tables

Transylvania Buffet Table
Transylvania Buffet Table

A spooky Halloween table is a lot of fun to make. This article -- Halloween Buffetscape -- shows you two different buffet tables:

Transylvania Hotel and Resort - (Vampire Theme)

Ghoulish Graveyard Buffet

Christmas Party Ideas - Dessert Tables is 3 Styles - Retro, Elegant and Candy Themes

Retro Christmas - Dessert Buffet
Retro Christmas - Dessert Buffet

Christmas and winter holidays are filled with family, friend and workplace get togethers. Try making an awesome dessert table in one of 3 different styles:

Retro Christmas

Elegant Christmas

Candy Themed Christmas

Helpful Resources - Buffet Suggestions and Ideas

These are a few of the places around the web that can help with décor ideas or products for your event.

The End of Ideas for Buffet Tables but...

just a beginning for you!

I sincerely hope you take away some information and suggestions that will help you with ideas for buffet tables in the future. Thanks for stopping by!

Note: All buffetscape photos are from my own personal collection.

Thank you for stopping by!

Do Come Back and See Me Again!

~ DecoratingforEvents ~

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Did you get some unique ideas for buffets? - Will you use any of them?

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    • profile image

      Amit 2 years ago

      Nice Post, Get more at

    • profile image

      Zweety 2 years ago

      My brother's weiddng reception was in the gym at his church as well. We saved a fortune by renting & borrowing a lot of supplies. We set 2 gazebos, one over the cake & one over the sweetheart table (for the new couple). Tables had fabric table cloths & small votive candles the length of them so it would look less like a cafeteria. We were also able to drape long flowing pieces of fabric from the ceiling to make it more billowing & romantic (check with local fire code to see if you can do this). Also using small trees (fake or real) that stand anywhere from 7-12 feet in height wrapped in white lights will make the room feel more intimate. Since you have such a large space to fill, you can also put the gift table, guest book, & bar all in the main room.If the space is still overwhelming, see if you can section off part of the gym using lattice trimmed in white lights & flowers, or setting a larger defined dance floor.

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 3 years ago

      Looks great, love the idea of using edible buffet décor. Thanks for sharing!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Absolutely terrific, Mandee! Bookmarked for future reference. :)

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      Very comprehensive lens. Well done!

    • KathyZ1 profile image

      KathyZ1 3 years ago

      Wow, how beautiful these sets are. Great lens.

    • profile image

      cmeverything 3 years ago

      I'm going to get people to bring a contribution to our wedding buffet. Hoping to see some creative buffet dishes!

    • CrazyHomemaker profile image

      CrazyHomemaker 4 years ago

      I got loads of ideas from this lens. Thank you for sharing your decorating skills. Really nice.

    • CrazyHomemaker profile image

      CrazyHomemaker 4 years ago

      I got loads of ideas from this lens. Thank you for sharing your decorating skills. Really nice.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 4 years ago

      Yes indeed I did. Thank you!

    • profile image

      Auriel 4 years ago

      great party tips and ideas.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 4 years ago from Texas

      Ohhhhhhh, I love the eddible buffet ideas and pictures. Please send samples. Ha ha ha This is a great lens!

    • JeffGilbert profile image

      JeffGilbert 4 years ago

      A lot of great ideas for the next party I plan. Nice lens!!!

    • profile image

      chickie99 4 years ago

      great ideas for next holiday family buffet!

    • barbea profile image

      barbea 4 years ago

      Fabulous ideas for decorating a buffet table. Thankyou

    • KateAdamsUSA profile image

      KateAdamsUSA 4 years ago

      impressive display of creativity. i enjoy good looking buffet tables but your lens shows the many looks of a buffet table how it can add to the ambiance of the event.

    • profile image

      TheJewelryStore 4 years ago

      So many wonderful ideas for decorating a buffet table! Your tables and photos are quite lovely!

    • jonathanwm profile image

      jonathanwm 4 years ago

      Great stuff. Very cool len

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      wow, idea is too yummy, hank u soo much

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 4 years ago

      Very constructive lens! Big thanks!

    • profile image

      Ankushvchoudhary 4 years ago

      such a beautiful idea. thanks for share..

    • profile image

      fiatcommander 4 years ago

      nice lens and good tutorial

    • profile image

      AlexanderMontanez 4 years ago

      your buffets makes me hungry and i wanna to eat.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Super ideas - I'm doing a buffet for 23 on Thanksgiving and this is perfect timing! :>)

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 4 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      Wonderful lens with awesome ideas!

    • malualhati profile image

      malualhati 4 years ago

      my favorite is the edible buffet arrangement :) thank you for sharing!

    • profile image

      zacrew7 4 years ago

      This is the highest ranked lense I have ever seen. I'm very new to squidoo so this help me learn a lot about how to design my lenses :) Great work!

    • Essentially Ind profile image

      Essentially Ind 4 years ago

      Lovely idea. Love , Love and more love.........:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nice Table.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 4 years ago

      Great buffet decorating ideas.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      I come back to give Blessings to this lens. By the way, the button for the newest lens is great... but how you keep this info up-to-date across all your lenses?

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image

      ComfortsOfHome 4 years ago

      Your buffets are gorgeous! I like the "buffetscape" concept, a good way to look at decorating the table.

    • profile image

      olmpal 4 years ago

      Such beautiful Ideas for decorating Buffet Tables in your lovely lens! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was here back in 2010 and it is my pleasure to return with fresh angel dust to congratulate you on your purple star and home page honors!

    • treehousebrando1 profile image

      treehousebrando1 4 years ago

      I think the appearance of a buffet helps a lot in creating a positive atmosphere. Sometimes buffets can gives off the vibe of over-eating, which is a bit depressing to some people, even if you are eating healthy portions! The unique buffet decorations above leave me feeling satisfied not only from the food, but the general mood it but me in as well.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      Absolutely wonderfully presented! Thanks so much for sharing! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 4 years ago

      You sure do have some lovely buffet table ideas here :) Thanks! Blessings to you :)

    • Rowangaia profile image

      Rowangaia 4 years ago

      Very helpful lens: thanks!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Just saw this wonderful list of 'ideas for buffets' on the Front Page -- it has always deserved special recognition! Well done.

    • lshields lm profile image

      lshields lm 4 years ago

      Very nice lens,thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very cool lens with some great ideas! Love it! Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very nice lense m8 :)

    • kaecao profile image

      kaecao 4 years ago

      I love these ideas!!Thanks for sharing.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

      I love this lens!

    • Kumar P S profile image

      Kumar P S 4 years ago

      Great lens ! Thanks for sharing.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Glad to help! Good luck with your event!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Yes! I am actually going to quote you in my instructions to staff!

    • krior76 profile image

      krior76 4 years ago

      this is so informative. nicely crafted lens. Thanks a lot

    • EbooksFreeWeekl1 profile image

      EbooksFreeWeekl1 4 years ago

      Ah, have to say...presentation speaks volumes! Nice appealing lens! :)

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      This a great lens and the photos are beautiful --some great ideas.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Fabulous ideas.. Loved them.. :)

    • Escapes2 profile image

      Escapes2 5 years ago

      Presentation is so important to a buffet table. A buffet table that is not decorated is kind of boring.

    • diy-plan profile image

      Jim Brown 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Wow, you have so many interesting and informative insights and products that you've mentioned. How do you manage to keep up? I can certainly appreciate the full-time attention you put into it... it really shows.

      We recently helped a family friend organize a wedding and I'm amazed at how much goes into buffet planning. I'll be back, the next time we help like this again.

    • profile image

      acregmed 5 years ago

      Great lens!

    • profile image

      dellgirl 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens, you really put a lot of thought into it. Thanks for sharing.

    • designworld lm profile image

      designworld lm 5 years ago

      What fun decorating tips you have here. I have to bookmark this page for my next fun party where I'll be using a buffet!

    • profile image

      antoniow 5 years ago

      Very nicely done lens! Great job Squidlike!

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      Some lovely ideas here, in particular I like the idea of introducing height and grouping.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I used to be a Buffet Runner when I was in High School and this Lens brought some Wonderful Memories of those Days!!! ;D

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      You make it all look so beautiful.

    • hessa johnson profile image

      hessa johnson 5 years ago

      Lots of excellent ideas for entertaining! Thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Some of those tiered stands would certainly help solve my problem of not having enough room and then it may just create some room so I can be a bit more arty woth the presentation. There'\s some nice ideas here Mandee :)

    • casquid profile image

      casquid 5 years ago

      I feel so happy, after this lens. Ideas for the future and I know where to come back!

    • peggygallyot profile image

      peggygallyot 5 years ago

      Very nice layout on the buffet.

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      This is great and unique idea, I will definitely use some of your idea for my party. Thanks!

    • bohica96 profile image

      bohica96 5 years ago

      Nice, wide ranging overview. Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I sure did, thanks for making this informative lens!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      wow - ranked #10. Way to go, my friend. Your 'buffets' are beautiful and very deserving of extra recognition, like finding you on Squidoo's front page.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Love the black and whilte theme. We recently had a Goth party for one of the grandchildren. Great tips here.

    • profile image

      ClaireDavids 5 years ago

      Very helpful 'n' informative, thanx

    • profile image

      productsandreviews 5 years ago

      Now that's what I call buffet tables!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Great ideas for items to use as bases of varying heights!

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Great lens:)

    • profile image

      FashionMommy 5 years ago

      Great tips and ideas.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      This is a delightful presentation of tips and ideas, illustrated with some really helpful photo examples. ~~Blessed~~

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      High Five to Mandee! I was so impressed with this FIRST lens of yours back in September of 2010 - which led me to following you as a lensmaster -- and ended up with a bonus of a wonderful Squidoo friendship - that I just had to return today to give you a special 'High Five' and say how impressed I am with your progress and success on Squidoo and how much I value our friendship. --Elf--

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 5 years ago

      @dellgirl: Thank you! Much appreciated and so glad you liked it!

    • profile image

      dellgirl 5 years ago

      One word...Beautiful! Love this beautiful lens! I'm on a liking & pinning expedition, so I'm pinning this on Pinterest.

    • peggygallyot profile image

      peggygallyot 5 years ago

      ver good ideas to follow

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      I like the idea of buffet tables especially with a house full of guests. Thanks for the tips and ideas.

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 5 years ago

      Great lens! I love all your suggestions. I think they re very practical and the set up are beautiful!

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 5 years ago from Sweden

      So lovely lens! This is quite like the Swedish Smorgasbord - I made a lens about that.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      your lens is great, a lot if info here.

    • profile image

      seosri417 5 years ago

      Great lens

    • FalconFan LM profile image

      FalconFan LM 5 years ago

      What a great lens! Tons of great ideas for anyone who regularly serves groups of people. Perfect for wedding-day set up!

    • prosepine lm profile image

      prosepine lm 5 years ago


    • jordanmilesbask profile image

      jordanmilesbask 5 years ago

      oh yes! I need to have this for our next party..thanks for sharing..

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 5 years ago

      @philiphewitson: I catered for a lot of years -- built up an inventory and just reused what I could to accent the buffets. Little things mean a lot! Thanks for stopping by!

    • philiphewitson profile image

      philiphewitson 5 years ago

      My company provides buffets everyday and with the current hard times faced by all, the little cool extras like table decorations are now a little obsolete unfortunately, but the one thing I think works very well is using food platters as a centre piece it just looks amazing when done correctly ...nice lens

    • LotusLandry profile image

      LotusLandry 5 years ago from Southern California

      Very attractive photo!

    • PastorCher profile image

      Pastor Cher 5 years ago from United States

      Excellent ideas to add to my craft list. It makes me want to host another banquet. Appreciate your work.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Enjoyed your creative article and for the awards you've earned for it. *blessed by a squid angel*

    • AlexTedford profile image

      AlexTedford 5 years ago

      Very fascinating...thanks for sharing!

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      Beautiful ideas and images, I especially liked the Hershey kisses topiary, thank you!! :)

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 5 years ago

      @Wednesday-Elf: And a wonderful surprise it is! Thank you my friend!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      A beautiful lens which looks wonderful on the Front Page of Squidoo today!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens! I'm sooooo hungry right now!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Nice lens

    • profile image

      Namymartyn 5 years ago

      Nice lens with excellent information........

    • SoniaCarew profile image

      SoniaCarew 5 years ago

      Certainly! Wonderful lens.