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Stylish Sides for the Holidays


Multi-functional furniture makes it easy to serve up woodland charm (love this DIY centerpiece!) and lots of snacks. Photos, clockwise: midwestliving.com, Hooker Furniture and Sam Moore Furniture.

Want your holiday gatherings to be truly festive and bright? Then ride your sides.

The secret weapon of designers and chefs, sides round out rooms and menus, creating layers of interest that will be savored long after the big day is done.

You are sure to create smiles with family and friends from holiday BFFs like side tables, side chairs, ottomans, and –of course—savory side dishes that make mouths water. Here’s how…

If space is tight in your home, or you are expecting lots of people who need to be accommodated, tables with dual function can save the day.


Aptly named, Studio 7H’s Sybil rectangle cocktail table has a split personality–in a good way. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

Guests will be intrigued by Studio 7H’s Sybil rectangle cocktail table because it transforms with the touch of the hand. The walnut veneer table top slides the length of the table so guests needn’t move to reach snacks. Beneath it is a upholstered storage trunk with two lids that lift to reveal secret storage that’s deftly organized with a removable, sliding tray on one side and a removable letter/legal file storage system on the other.


Wrapped in soft leather and decorative nailhead trim, the Grace cocktail storage ottoman adds a luxe touch. Photo: Bradington-Young

Add books and objects on a tray to use the Grace cocktail storage ottoman as a coffee table. Or lift its lid and fill it full with clothes, bedding and even unused holiday décor.


Serve up a taste of Scandinavian style with the Studio 7H Geo trestle dining table, Stol upholstered dining chairs and Norden storage credenza. Photo: Hooker Furniture

The Studio 7H Trestle Dining Table is so inviting for your Christmas crowds of all ages. With its Mid-Century Modern vibe, it appeals to multi-generations for its combination of warmth, vintage softness and modern relevance. Pair it with stylish sides: the Norden Storage Credenza and the Stol Upholstered Side Chairs.


The Norden credenza combines warmth and organic appeal with modern coolness. Photo: Hooker Furniture.


Foot-high yew trees, with root balls nestled in moss, look festive lined up in a tray. Anchor with white and purple eggplants for an all-natural centerpiece. Photo: midwestliving.com


Colorful cocktails set a festive mood, especially when served to guests on swanky side tables like these. Photos clockwise: Midwestliving.com and Hooker Furniture.

Even the most basic beverage becomes toast-worthy when served on a side table that sizzles with style.


The Melange Gilded accent table gilds the lily with a luxe gold leaf finish. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

 With its shiny, sleek silhouette, the East Village Marble-Topped Martini Table will leave guests not shaken, but stylistically stirred. And grateful for a place to park their plates and glasses.


At 18″ in diameter, the East Village martini table is a swank little side that fits just about anywhere. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

Don’t your guests deserve somewhere better to sit than the floor or sofa arm? Bring in a side seat or two with the Ludwig Bench or the Renee Cocktail Bench.


Going the extra mile during the holidays is always appreciated, from scenting your home with fresh greenery to making sure there’s ample seating to go around. Photos: Midwestliving.com and Sam Moore Furniture.

For a Mid-Century Modern Merry Christmas, add the Ludwig Bench to your guest list. It features a tufted bench cushion set on low-profile wood frame with tapered legs and is accented by two round bolster pillows. Not only does the Renee cocktail bench provide extra seating, it adds a vibrant pop of holiday color.

Tasty Sides

In addition to holiday favorites like sweet potatos and homemade rolls, my family likes to mix things up with a new side that tickles the tastebuds and intrigues the eye. This year, it will be Brussels Sprouts with Bacon from “My Irish Table” by Cathal Armstrong. This is one of the best recipes I’ve come across in ages. It’s easy to make and absolutely delicious. Add Brussels Sprouts with Bacon to your holiday menu–you’ll be glad you did.


It’s a fact (at least in my world). Bacon makes everything better. Including Brussels sprouts. Photo: Penguinrandomhouse.com, by Scott Suchman.

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon


“My Irish Table”


Cathal Armstrong

Even as a child, my sister Katharine was a huge fan of Brussels sprouts, so they were always part of our traditional Christmas meal. The trick is to not overcook them when you blanch them. If you wish, you can blanch the sprouts a day ahead and finish the dish when ready to serve.

Serves 4

 6 quarts water

11/2 cups table salt

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved, and rinsed

1/4 pound streaky (American) bacon, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons chicken stock

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black


Blanch the Brussels sprouts: Cook the sprouts in the water and salt for 2 to 3 minutes until they are bright green and very slightly al dente; shock them in an ice water bath, drain, and then pat them dry.

 Prepare the dish: In a slope-sided sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring often, until it is lightly browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until lightly browned and tender, another 3 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 2 minutes to warm through. Stir in the butter, stock, and thyme. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

 Reprinted with permission from “My Irish Table by Cathal Armstrong & David Hagedorn, copyright © 2014. published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2014 by Scott Suchman


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