Dining in Style: How to Decorate for a Dinner Party

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Everyone has a different idea about what the perfect dinner party looks like, but if you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve got a few! 

Here are our decorating tips for creating the ideal dinner party experience in your home.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

The first thing to consider when hosting a dinner party is who is going to be there. This will help you decide how many seats you’ll need, how you set the table, and how you curate the party’s atmosphere.

If you’re dining with immediate and extended family, it may call for a different setup than if you were hosting a soiree for your closest friends or a formal party for work associates. 

Likewise, a mingling and grazing house party requires a different strategy than a formal sit-down dining affair.

winthorpe remodeling ways to decorate for a dinner partyKid-Friendly

Dinner parties with infants have their own sets of rules, so don’t worry about making everything picture-perfect. The most important thing is that it’s safe, fun, and lets you spend time with your loved ones.

If there are kids in the house, you probably won’t want to use your fanciest dishware or have live flames within close reach. Laying down a roll of butcher paper as a substitute for a tablecloth will keep kiddies entertained with coloring while parents dine. 

If the weather is good and the circumstances allow for it, you may want to consider dining outdoors. This way, the setting is a bit more informal, dropped food and dishes don’t matter as much, and the children can get up from the table while still staying under the watchful eyes of their parents.

Table Dressings

winthorpe remodeling ways to decorate for a dinner partyFirst thing’s first – you need to cover your table. This could be anything from a floor-brushing full-length tablecloth to woven placemats, depending on preference and formality. Long tablecloths are typically well-suited to fancy dinners and formal affairs like weddings and banquets, but a well-dressed table with a shorter tablecloth is just as good.

Runners are a simple way to make sure that all your serving dishes stay in one place. They’re especially useful if you have a long, narrow table. Everyone can serve themselves, and there’s never any question about where the dishes should go. Fabric, woven, or wicker placemats are ideal for casual meals and outdoor dining. 

Fabric napkins are a must-have for the at-home party planner. While they can be a bit of a hassle to wash and fold, we whole-heartedly believe that they ratchet up the fancy-factor of any event. Not only are they better for the environment, but they add a touch of class and luxury to any home dinner party. Napkin rings will take your table dressings to the next level – they’re like jewelry for your table! Another perk? They don’t fly away during windy outdoor dinners.

Make sure tabletop decorations are low-profile. Candles, short vases, decorative table spreads, and small floral arrangements are perfect for dressing up your table without blocking the view.

Keep on Talking

winthorpe remodeling ways to decorate for a dinner partyA dinner party is all about keeping the conversation flowing. The easiest way to ensure there are no physical barriers to communication is to clear your table’s sightlines. That’s why tall, extravagant flower arrangements are a no-go for home dinner parties. While they may offer a striking visual, they’re extremely impractical and make it difficult for diners at opposite ends of the table to see or talk to one another.

Dishware and Cutlery

Buy dishware in complementing colors. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that dishware doesn’t have to be completely identical to look amazing. Try layering different sizes and colors of dishware. This makes it easy to serve meals with several courses, and it also creates amazing depth and visual interest.

For kid-friendly or outdoor dishware, melamine is a durable option. But if that’s not your style, try enameled glass, wood, or bamboo dishes. You can even mix and match, depending on the formality of the event.

Setting the Mood

Last but not least, don’t forget to set the mood for your dinner party with good lighting and music. An evening dinner party shouldn’t be too dark or too bright, so a happy medium can be easily accomplished if you have overhead lights with a dimmer switch. If your lights don’t have this setting, use candles and bring in standing shaded lamps from other rooms to create the right ambiance. Throw a Spotify dinner music playlist together to complete the vibe. 

If you’re thinking about a remodel and need inspiration, connect with the design-build team at Winthorpe. We have an eye for style and can transform any space into the destination of your dreams.

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