Long dining room table

8 of 10
Know Your Guests and Seat Them Properly
"At the end of the day, this is what makes the party work," says Rena Sindi, a party lover and the author of Be My Guest: Theme Party Savoir-Faire (Assouline). "You want to give everyone the best seat for them. I never put couples together, or best friends." Preston Bailey, the author of Preston Bailey's Design for Entertaining (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown and Company), likes dinner for 20 at a long, long refectory table. His gambit is to switch seating at each course. "And I like to have many courses," he says. "Instead of three, I have eight. All that moving really gets people talking."