Whether you live in a party city, small town or rural idyll, enjoying the company of friends and family old and new is one of life’s great delights. So here are some of our top tips for creating a dinner party that will have guests praying for a return invite.
Make An Entrance
The key to setting the entertaining stage is in being present and pleasant as the guests arrive, as opposed to dashing into the kitchen leaving guests to struggle through introductions. To ensure you are available, try setting the table much earlier in the day so even if on arrival the kitchen is in chaos, you can direct them somewhere well presented, sparkly and welcoming. To keep things simple, consider an elegant dinner party menu that incorporates a cold starter and dessert; two things you don’t need to serve on time, and the former can even be a simple refined Italian salumi arrangement already on the table. Useful if guests have a tendency to be creative with timekeeping. Another good conversational ice breaker is a striking dinner party centrepiece such as an architectural, angular bloom, and incredibly easy to arrange even for a novice.
Whether your dining room is a separate space or part of your kitchen or sitting room, it needs to feel welcoming and relaxing to encourage easy and lively dinner party chatter. A dining room colour scheme may need to move from early morning breakfast fresh to evening cosy, through high summer and deepest winter. Window coverings can help you achieve huge atmospheric range even in one room. These denim effect Roman Blinds add a layer of soft texture and warmth in the evenings, yet allow for a fresh daytime feel when retracted. Consider if you need to filter the light all day or want to change mood before you choose the best product for your home. They can also create an ideal opportunity to enrich your dining room colour scheme, helping it transition to an entirely different nighttime space.
Get Quick Results
Make styling easy and impactful by keeping it simple. With enough to do in the kitchen, table-setting ideas for a dinner party need to feel celebratory but not become a time drain. The best quick dinner party ideas play to your strengths, so choose two or three colours or textures and build on those. These black plates on a black table are as impactful as a full linen cloth, napkins and bone china. Forget wildly variable exotic dinner party themes and work with the existing dining room colour scheme, as you will already have a visual base achieved. Simple table decorations are also easy to clear away, making the morning after much less of an ordeal.
Let The Table Tell The Story
Sometimes an unstructured dinner party is a delightful break from the norm. A great way to create a relaxed atmosphere is to create a family-style table, where all dishes are served when they are ready. A mismatched earthy table of earthenware and a stack of dishes encourages guests to help themselves. This sets the tone for a casual, friendly evening. Simple dishes of seasonal produce and easy to create slow cooker dinner party recipes will add to the warm but delicious mood. These Duette Top Up Bottom Down blinds can be adjusted as the sun moves around if your long lunch or supper party stretches out over many hours.
Light The Way
Want the kind of dinner party where everyone looks good and feels great? The secret is in creating exactly the right ambience. Even if your dining room colour scheme is bright and breezy, the addition of some low lighting can bring an intimate, engaging mood. Several points of light, from candles, lamps or wall sconces will always win over one bright overhead fitting. But to add to the sense of intimacy, make sure the glowing centre of celebration is the dining table itself. The addition of this rich-toned tablecloth and hanging bulbs create a sensual focus, whilst the Duette Shades help block the light from the outside which given the size of windows, would make it almost impossible to manage.
Change The Season
Let the tone change as the day does. These Twist Shades allow staggeringly precise control, so that summer early evening or summer dinner parties can enjoy the benefit of the dropping rays without feeling overpowered. They are also ideal for those who prefer dinner party starters served on the table as guests arrive, as they can protect the room from excessive thermal gain, protecting food and floral arrangements from the UV onslaught.
Keep It Simple
A dinner party menu doesn’t have to take over your life, or your space. Essential if you have a dine-in kitchen. By choosing one-pot dishes, most of the prep work can be done and tidied away long before the guests arrive. Easy main course recipes also allow more time for hosting and toasting, important if guests don’t know one another and need more encouragement to settle into the evening. The rich wood cabinets of this kitchen combined with the pretty floral Plisse blinds break with the functional feel of standard in-dining kitchens.
After Dinner Counts
Depending on how much you like your guests, dinner party entertainment ideas can help you create connections and extend the evening long past the after-dinner mints. A dinner party music playlist can help set the pace and give guests something to refer to (as can providing a dinner party conversation menu rather than a food version). And when dinner is over, a round of prepared dinner party games or entertainment can shift the energy. Just remember that while an acoustic Joni Mitchell sing-song may create a fun ambience, guitar solos may clear the room much earlier than you’d hoped. Follow these shortcuts to easy dinner party entertaining and all you’ll need to remember is the lyrics.
If you want more ideas for making your dining room a social epicentre, take a look our full range of products.