Photo: Courtesy of Elise Strachan

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That (Almost) Anything Can Take Your Table from Basic to Beautiful
Behind every impeccable buffet, there's a secret lurking—and, odds are, that secret is in the form of a cardboard delivery box or a stack of novels. Take a box or a couple of books, cover them in sturdy gift wrap, set them on a table and you'll have a lovely stage for whatever you're serving, whether it's a multi-layer cake or simply cheese and crackers. Strachan likes to use "bases" of varying heights, and set platters of little sandwiches, trays of cupcakes or even just stacks of Oreos on top. The alternating highs and lows give the illusion of abundance, whether or not you actually have loads of food.