We’re always blown away when a friend invites us to dinner and proceeds to serve cornichons from a cut-glass bowl, bubbly in rose-tinted goblets and cookies on a stunning three-tier stand.

Did her grandmother have really good taste or is she spending every waking hour at estate sales?

If you haven’t amassed your own collection of “good dishes” but want to throw an equally elegant soiree, turn to Chicagoan Kelly Connolly of Nimble Well.



Connolly has a knack for tracking down beautiful serving pieces at yard sales and thrift shops, and through Nimble Well, she rents (yes, rents!) them to clients who want to kick up the ambiance when they entertain.

Check out Nimble Well’s online inventory or make an appointment for a consultation with Connolly at her Lakeview studio--a good idea if you’re planning a large party and want to stick to a certain color palette.

Dishes for an eight-person cocktail party--serving platters, bowls, highball glasses, crystal stems, cocktail napkins and flower vases--cost about $200, and you can either pick up and return the goods yourself or have Connolly take care of it.

The best part? No dish duty: Brush off the crumbs, pack ’em up.

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